Martigues Tourist Attractions
The picturesque old town of Martigues lies on the western edge of the Etang de Berre, about 30km/19mi northwest of Marseilles.The character of the surroundings of Martigues has been strongly influenced by the construction of the expressway and industrial plants; nevertheless the town, which because of its situation on the Canal de Caronte is also called the "Venice of Provence", has still retained to a considerable extent its atmosphere of bygone days.
The Canal St Sébastien and the picturesque corner - Miroir aux Oiseaux (Mirror of the Birds) - of the Ile, the central part of the town, are given a particularly attractive appearance by fishing boats with their nets hanging up to dry. The canal is overlooked by the square tower of the 17th C. Church of La Madeleine with its wrought-iron bell-cage.In Jonquières, in the southern part of the town, near the Church of St Genest (17th C.), is the Chapelle de l'Annonciade with 17th C. sculpture and paintings.In Ferrières, in the north of the town, can be found the Musée du Vieux Martigues with local history collections, and the Ziern Museum (Félix Ziern 1821-1911, landscape painter).
In Martigues, a Folk Festival is held in the month of July.The Festival of Martigues began in 1988 and has had thousands of festival goers in attendance. The focus of the festival is modern and traditional folk music.
There are resorts outside of Martigues.
Martigues Europort Sud
With the petroleum harbor of Lavéra in the surroundings of Martigues there begins the largest port and industrial complex in area of southern Europe. It is composed of refineries, steelworks, production of man-made materials and oil storage installations. In this coastal zone, known as "Europort Sud", more than 80 million tons of oil are handled every year. The 782km/486mi long pipeline to Karlsruhe starts from here.
9km/5.5mi south of Martigues and pleasantly situated on a hill above the Anse du Verdon lies the resort of La Couronne. 2km/1mi south rises Cap Couronne, from which there is a good view of the sandy bays to the east.
On a little bay, protected by the southern escarpment of the Chaîne de l'Estaque (which was one of the subjects of Paul Cézanne) lies the fishing port and resort of Sausset-les-Pins, 6km/4mi east of La Couronne. It is popular as a recreation area for the people of Marseilles.
The fishing port and resort of Carry-le-Rouet, 4km/2.5mi east on the southern foot of the Chaîne de l'Estaque, is a popular resort and yacht anchorage. The sector of Le Rouet-Plage at the end of the charming Vallon de L'Aigle is especially attractive. Just to the east lies the beautiful Calanque des Anthénors (yachting and swimming) and the little bay of Méjean.
The largely agricultural community of Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, some 10km/6mi east of Martigues, lies at the foot of the northern flank of the Chaîne de l'Estaque. The beach, the Plage du Jaë, is situated on the spit of land cut off by the Etang de Balmon.
The township of Marignane, 16km/10mi east of Martigues and 18km/11mi west of Marseilles, is considerably affected by traffic using the nearby Aéroport Marseille-Marignane, within which are situated the installations of Aérospatiale (air and space industry, Airbus).
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