Marseille is France's oldest city, with a rich and flavourful history. Yet it has also undergone a radical facelift over the last decade under the aegis of the ambitious Euroméditerranée development programme. In 2013 it will be the European City of Culture. And it has never been easier to get there, thanks to a high-speed TGV rail link from Paris and Lille (with frequent connections from London), Europe's first air terminal purpose-built for low-cost flights and fast-expanding cruise-ship traffic.
Lavender fields, hilltop villages and spectacular rocky fjords, rosé wine and bouillabaisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, cutting edge rap and hip-hop music, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, pétanque and scuba diving, Zinedine Zidane and OM: Provence and, above all, Marseille are a vibrant mix of romantic tradition and surprising, fast-changing modernity.
As an English journalist living just outside Marseille, I've long been astonished by the dearth of reliable, up-to-date tourist information in English and the poor design and maintenance of local websites. So I decided to build my own. It currently focuses on Marseille and, in time, will be a complete travel guide to Provence. Updates will be added daily so, whether you're planning a Citybreak, an extended stay, the purchase of your dream house or just an armchair tour of the most beautiful corner of France, do come and check regularly what's hot and fresh under the Mediterranean sun.