The Frioul archipelago, pronounced "Frieu" in the Provençal language, is a group of four islands located about 15 minutes by boat from the Old Port of Marseille. The four islands are Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen. If you decided to hire a boat in Marseille this summer, don't miss the opportunity to discover the Frioul archipelago and its totally exotic character! You will be amazed: turquoise water, hidden and preserved bays, fine sand, wild and protected fauna and flora and absolute calm. The Frioul archipelago is also a true paradise for diving enthusiasts: here you can see octopuses, starfish, various species of fish and if you are lucky you can meet dolphins and turtles!
Connected to the island of Ratonneau by a dam, the island Pomègues is the largest of the Frioul archipelago. Cars are forbidden and access to bicycles is regulated. The island of Pomègues is the wildest and most authentic island of the archipelago and you can discover the breeding of giltheads and sea bass, the Fort of Pomègues and the Tower of Poméguet. Above all, you can explore the numerous inlets such as the Calanque des Cambrettes - a magnificent diving spot - the Calanque du Cap Frioul, the Calanque de l'Huile or Calanque de Crine that hosts the most beautiful beach in the archipelago.
Ratonneau island is the most urbanized island of the Frioul archipelago: in fact, you disembark here when you arrive from Marseille. The island, which for a long time was a military base, with forbidden access to the public, has nowadas developed its touristic side. Ratonneau island has a marina that can accommodate up to 700 boats, many accommodations and some restaurants along the port. During your stay on this island, you will enjoy many dream beaches such as Calanque de Saint Estève or Le Havre de Morgiret. And if you are looking for more authenticity, you will find many hidden bays on the island, where you can fully enjoy your day. On Ratonneau island there is also a unique place of its kind: the Caroline Hospital. It is a 19th century hospital built to treat patients suffering from the yellow fever that devastated Marseille. The hospital is open to visitors.
Island of If
The island of If is the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago. Here you will not find beaches, but the Castle of If, which occupies almost the entire island and it is known for the fictional character Count of Monte Cristo invented by Alexandre Dumas. It is one of the most visited sites in Marseille and was classified as a Historical Monument on July 7, 1926. The castle was built between 1524 and 1531 by Francis I to protect the city of Marseille from invasions by sea. The castle then served as a state prison: it housed the famous prisoner José Custodio Faria, made immortal by Alexandre Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo. We strongly recommend you to visit this castle and its site, full of stories. You can also see the legendary hole dug into the wall by Edmond Dantes during his escape.
A day in Frioul archipelago will offer you a peaceful escape, away from the hustle and bustle in the city of Marseille, with only the sea as a backdrop! Frioul archipelago is an emblematic place in the region that holds an exceptional heritage that we invite you to discover during your next Mediterranean cruise.