Straddind Provence and Côte d‘Azur, La Ciotat is a small seaside resort which has preserved its authentic atmosphere. It provides six kilometres of sandy beaches and magic calanques under the shade of secular pine trees. Highest cliffs in Europe, islands that can be reached after swimming, mild climate, lemon trees, palms and eucalyptuses are an invitation to relax. But the more active people are not forgotten either, as they can go windsurfing, surfing, water skiing, diving or hiking.
In the old city, the fragrance and flavours of the typical shops and provençal markets are an invitation to travel. Its theatres, painting galleries and casino are also to be discovered as they offer high-quality programs all year long.
The rich history of this place
As the birthplace of cinema, la Ciotat has nothing to envy to Hollywood. In 1895, the Lumière brohers inventent cinematography in here and made the first film of the 7th Art ever : « Arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat ». The town enters History. Today you can discover this period visiting the « Palais Lumière » situated in their family holiday home…
Jules Lenoir is another local pioneer, crippled by rheumatisms, he invented a game which became a national and international sport. Playing with his « pieds tanqués » to the ground because of his infirmity, he invented the famous pétanque (a form of lawn bowling) : Marseille’s king of sport...
We encourage you to take part in the numerous tournaments organized under the shade of the plane treeds on the « Pieds tanqués » playing field and experience last century’s atmosphere...
The « calanque du Mugel » and its park are exceptional sites, they have been awarded the « Outstanding Garden » label, where you can discover rare vegetation. There, the beautiful holm oaks, the secular chestnut trees, the carob trees, the bay trees, the Alep pines, the corks oaks, the umbrellas pines and the maritime pines, the bamboos, the aromatic plants and wild flowers will enchant you.
The calanque in Figuerolles, which owes its name to the fig trees which used to be planted here, is the perfect place to admire a unique landscape created by erosion : the Rocher du Capucin, the Tête de Chien and the Ilot du Lion. What incredible traces of Mother Nature’s vagaries.
Both these calanques are very different from Marseille et Cassis ones, the rock is ochre and ridged. Painted by Georges Braque and Othon Friesz, it can be seen today in the world most beautiful museums.
The Ile Verte
This island is wooded, dotted with Alep pine. Situated at only 420m from the shoreline, it can be visited with 2 shuttles, allowing visitors to enjoy La Ciotat Bay and its heavenly creeks.
The Crêtes Road peaks at Cap Canaille which reaches 394 m high. It goes to Cassis which is 12 km away. Inaugurated in 1964, it offers a unique panorama. With La Ciotat Bay, The Ile Verte in the background, the calanques nestled at the foot of steep cliffs along the coast. In bright weather, you can see the islands of Marseille...
The Heden Theatre, reopened on the 9th of October 2013, is the world’s oldest cinema still in business. Officially opened on June 1889, it is classified Ancient Monument in 1996. It has become an integral part of the heritage of the 7th Art.
Significant rehabilitation work was from 2007 to 2013.