The town of Martigues is around 40 kilometers far away from Marseille. It is a city of bridges and canals - well it sound like description of Venice and yes Martigues is also caled the Venice of Provence. The town is not postioned on the coast, but on a lake of brackish water. The old town is an island between two channels. Because of idyll the town visited artists like lanndscape painter Corot and other.
By bike through the streets of MartiguesWe went over the bridge to the old part of town. At the end of the bridge is a monument fisherman and woman mending nets and boats decorated with flowers - the place is ideal for a nice picture. The most interesting part of town is definitely the island L'Ile.
In Martigues a settlement set up close the Etang-de-Berre around the 2nd Century BC. Today's Martigues is a large town with a lively center. The town is joined by the Three Villages L'Isle, Ferriers and Jonquieres. The bridge connecting the island is really somewhat similar to those in Venice, it is built in a more moderen way. The view from the bridge to Canal St. Sebastien with boats at the quay is now truly reminiscent of Venice all right - small-Venice.
We ride with bikes through the narrow streets of the village Ferreires, which is somewhat less interesting than L'Isle. Therefore Jonquières with many shops interseted tourists and us. Jonquières, a large marina is accessible by boat through the canal Caronte which is seven kilometers long and opens onto the Étang de Berre. Regattas, fishing competition and bouillabaisse nights are Often Held here.
The seventeenth century Annonciade chapel, a historic baroque monument which houses “trompe-l’oeils”, carved paneling, a gilded altar, venetian painted ceilings and revolutionary graffiti can be found by chance when walking through the narrow alleyways embellished with opulant houses
At the end of a half day trip
All three parts has common picturesque and narrow streets. I think the town deserves the name of Venice of Provence. At the end of the day trip in Martigues and navigation with our bikes in the the narrow streets, we became hungry. We found a restaurant with reasonable prices and chose a fruits of the sea shrimp with tomatoes, garlic lettuce, oranges and grapefruits. It was refreshing.