• Sails, Kites and Crustaceans

    by  • September 4, 2014 • City Breaks, Festivals, Food & Drink, Marseille

    There’s plenty going on in Marseille this September


    Capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Marseille is the second largest city in France in terms of population. It’s a busy, vibrant city with plenty going on at any time of year, and this September is no exception.

    As a maritime city, Marseille is perhaps best known for its sailing festivals. These events attract many prestigious competitors and plenty of spectators. From September 13th to 16th the Juris Cup will bring together more than 100 old classical sailing boats from around the world.  Teams of lawyers take to the high seas to compete in a sporting challenge which starts at Quai Marcel Pagnol.  The event is free for spectators, who can enjoy watching the fierce battles among the superbly styled yachts from an ideal vantage point such as a café on the pier.

    One of the biggest festivals this month, and perhaps the most appealing to the casual tourist, is the Festival of the Wind which takes place on Marseille’s PradoBeach from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September.  Teams from France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain take advantage of the Mistral wind to fly their colourful kites.  It’s a real kite bonanza with single line kites and parafoils, stunt kites,  kite painting performances and kite combats.

    Those with more culinary interests will enjoy the Festival of Shellfish and Crustaceans which takes place from 18th to 21st September and celebrates the opening of the seafood season. Visitors to the festival can enjoy tasting the famous shellfish platters from Toinou and other local products.   Marseille is of course famous for its

    “Bouillabaisse”, a tasty stew made with the fish head and body, clams, shrimp, monkfish, parsley, tomato, olive oil, and white wine. The stew is cooked in a saucepan and is often served with toast smeared with “Rouille” (a sauce made of olive oil, bread crumbs, potato, garlic, paprika, and saffron).

    With its picturesque Vieux Port, its museums and beautiful coves, Marseille certainly has a great deal to offer.  It is a vibrant, lively city with a unique atmosphere, especially during Festival time in September.