Arrival by train

Without changing from Frankfurt to Marseille: The French high-speed train TGV

With the TGV to Marseille

Although Marseille is located very far in the south of France, traveling by train can be faster, cheaper and more comfortable than traveling by plane. This is at least true if you live near the direct TGV connection between Frankfurt and Marseille. The TGV - the French counterpart to the German ICE - runs once a day without changing trains from Frankfurt via Mannheim - Karlsruhe - Baden-Baden - Straßburg - Mulhouse Ville and a few other stops in France to Marseille-Saint-Charles and only needs 7 from Frankfurt: 52 hours (from Karlsruhe only 6:38).

If you include the waiting and check-in times at the airport and do not have to take a direct flight but a connection, a flight to Marseille may be more time-consuming than a train journey. And such a train journey is always more ecological than flying. In addition, there are very often savings prices at Deutsche Bahn, especially for other European countries.

By train from Marseille to Bandol

Bandol, the starting point of our long-distance hike, is best reached by train - regardless of whether you are traveling to Marseille by plane or by train anyway. The journey with the regional train from Marseille-Saint-Charles takes about 45 minutes, the trains usually run once an hour (ticket about 10€ per person). Current timetables are available here: moovitapp.com.

Tip: If you would like to spend a few more days on holiday in Marseille or Provence after the long-distance hike, you can use the lockers in the Marseille train station for your extra luggage (from €5.50 per 24 hours). We asked about the conditions for this on site and photographed them. The small print under the prices is particularly relevant here: For long-term rentals of more than 24 hours, a written declaration must be made at the counter in advance, in which the planned rental period is specified. If the agreed duration is exceeded, the locker will be opened and the contents will be treated as lost property.

Three different locker sizes

The lockers ("Consignes") are located on Platform A

Price list and conditions (as of 2018)

Arrival by plane to Marseille

Marseille Airport is located north of Marseille about 25 km from the city center on the shore of the Étang de Berre bay. If you arrive by plane and want to get to Bandol from Marseille Airport (the starting point of our long-distance hike), you must first go to Marseille Central Station (official name: Marseille-Saint-Charles), from where hourly regional trains run to Bandol (Information about the regional trains ).

Since the airport does not have a direct train connection, the shuttle bus from the airport to the main train station is the easiest and fastest connection. The blue buses, called Navettes Marseille Aeroport, usually run every 15 minutes and depart from outside the airport (always keep left when exiting the arrivals hall). A small ticket counter also sells the tickets there (as of 09/2019: single trip for adults €10, return trip with a small discount). The shuttle buses run from bus platform 6 (09/2019). Further information: www.marseille-airport.com/access-car-parks/access/bus/marseille-gare-saint-charles.

As a somewhat cheaper alternative, there is the possibility of taking another, free shuttle bus (bus platform 5) to the Vitrolles Aéroport Marseille Provence train station, which is 2 km away, and from there taking the regional train (5.20€) also to Marseille-Saint- to drive Charles. This is not really much cheaper, but it is associated with significantly more waiting time. Further information: www.marseille-airport.com/access-car-parks/access/trains.

The fastest way from the airport to Marseille Central Station (Marseille-Saint-Charles)

Arrival: Accommodation in Bandol

Hotel Key Largo is located on the southern tip of Bandol

Overnight stay in Bandol

The first stage of our long-distance hike starts in Bandol, a small town on the Côte d'Azur, and is quite strenuous at 20 km. It is therefore advisable to plan your arrival in such a way that you already spend the night in Bandol on the day of arrival and can start hiking in the morning of the next day.

We stayed at Hotel Key Largo on our tour (Link: Hotel Key Largo), which is located on the southern tip of Bandol. From the hotel's breakfast room you have a great view of the small offshore island Île de Bendor. This belongs to the empire of Paul Ricard, who has made it very prosperous with his pastis brand. The island is now a popular destination (further information: www.lesilespaulricard.com).

The excursion island Île de Bendor in the morning light

Back to the hotel: The 2-star Hotel Key Largo is located right at the starting point of our long-distance hike and, in our opinion, offers very good value for money with new bathrooms and clean rooms. The biggest plus is the lovingly prepared breakfast with many homemade delicacies!

Tip: Those arriving by car can use the free parking lot "Parking Deferrari" directly in front of the hotel and leave their car there for the entire hike (without surveillance).

Panoramic window at the Hotel Key Largo overlooking the Île de Bendor and the free car park

Rather simple but clean rooms in the Hotel Key Largo in Bandol

Hotel Key Largo: Newly renovated bathrooms

Lovingly prepared breakfast at Hotel Key Largo