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Marseille in January

Australia
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Marseille in January

Hello Everyone - This is my first post in this particular forum so I apologise if my questions could have been answered by more research on my part. Over the past few days I have been reading many previous posts and the other information available, but still have some questions to which I am hoping that residents and/or experts may be able to assist.

My husband and I have the opportunity to take part in a home exchange with another couple who have an apartment along the sea front in Marseille. The suggested timing is from mid-December to the end of January.

We realise that this period is outside the popular time for tourism, but think that this could possibly be a plus as the sites will not be crowded. We are "mature-aged" and not looking to spend our time at a beach - other than perhaps a nice walk. However, we love sightseeing, scenery, history, food, wine, occasional shopping and learning about other cultures.

My concerns are:-

Is it likely to be too cold to be able to enjoy the above pursuits?

Is it likely that many of the "tourist sites" will be closed ?

Will the boat trips to the Calanques be available?

Will markets be running?

Are we just plain crazy to be even considering coming at that time of the year?

Any comments or advice anyone would like to give will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance. Cheers.

Provence
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1. Re: Marseille in January

January is not a period I would recommend myself.

Weather is unpredictible and temp could be as warm as in the 40s/50s but as cold as 10/20s. It might snow at time.

Since Marseille is a big and not touristy city, everything is opened.

There might be calanque boat but not everyday. and it might be cold, esp with the wind.

And when you go out touring to the country side, lots of touristy place (worth visiting) and quaint villages will be closed.

If I were you I would postpone to March or April.

Australia
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2. Re: Marseille in January

Thank you phideau.

I have to say that your comments were not what I was hoping for. But they were what I was looking for and I really appreciate your honesty.

I will be really interested in further comments.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Marseille in January

Hey Goldy....first off...your trade is a Provencal winter for an Oz summer. So, I would hope that the Marseille property is substantially nicer than your property...so it is closer to a fair trade.

Marseile itself is a large city...so in January...there will still be almost everything open and lots to see. But all of the lovely small gems around it will be virtually empty.

Do a "shoulder" swap in September or May when both party's can win.

Marseille
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4. Re: Marseille in January

> Is it likely to be too cold to be able to enjoy the above pursuits?

As mentioned the weather is unpredictable - the chances are that it will be sunny during the day but cold (possibly below freezing) during the night. The biggest problem is likely to be the wind which can make +15 degrees C feel like -5 degrees C. On the plus side, the Calanques and the hills will be open for walking at that time of year.

> Is it likely that many of the "tourist sites" will be closed ?

Probably not - it depends on what you mean by "tourist sites". Marseille is European Capital of culture this year - http://goo.gl/CSKE0. Some of the special events will probably have been closed but there will be no shortage of things to visit in or around Marseille

> Will the boat trips to the Calanques be available?

As above, it depends on the wind - however you will be able to walk in the Calanques (you can get to Calanques via a bus from Marseille or approach them from the other way at Cassis)

> Will markets be running?

Yes. There are also some markets close to Marseille that you might want to visit - http://goo.gl/U3S9R

> Are we just plain crazy to be even considering coming at that time of the year?

No, not at all - but it will not be the best in terms of temperature, but if you love love sightseeing, scenery, history, food, wine, occasional shopping and learning about other cultures, you will find plenty of things to keep you busy.

Edited: 17 February 2013, 17:42
Australia
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5. Re: Marseille in January

Thank you also datthecoast and Marseille Anglo for your comments.

Since my last post we have had further emails with our exchange partners and new arrangements have been made which sound perfect.

We are now going in early September to mid-October. Hopefully, the weather will be nice, the tourist sites and small villages still operational, but not too crowded. We also don't have to wait so long for our visit.

We are really excited and looking forward to exploring this area of Southern France. I have lots of research and planning to do so no doubt I will be back here from time to time seeking more advice.

Thank you very much to all 3 who replied with advice this time.

Australia
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6. Re: Marseille in January

Further comment - I just re-read my original post where I used the words "occasional shopping". My husband would find this comment quite hilarious. I'd better make sure he doesn't get to read it !!!

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Marseille in January

Goldy...good for you...WAY better plan! Do some research with a good guide book and come back to us with some questions and we will be happy to help you.

Australia
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8. Re: Marseille in January

Thank you again datthecoast - Do you by any chance have a guidebook that you recommend ?

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Marseille in January

MIchelin guide for Provence

Australia
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10. Re: Marseille in January

Thanks. But I thought the Michelin Guides was only "high end" stuff - or is that only restaurants. Restaurants who rate Michelin stars are generally "in my dreams" but out of my price bracket.