The 2nd stop on our Mediterranean cruise was Marseille, France. I scoured through the available tours offered by the cruise ship but none were appealing so I turned to TripAdvisor. I found a bike tour from Marseille to the calanques and at first I almost skipped by it for another option (my mother and husband will happily tell you that I am not a graceful bicyclist). But then saw it was an E-bike tour! I had no idea what that meant but it caught my attention so I continued reading. The bikes all have a self assisted motor that you control from your handlebars. I was nervous to take on a 22 mile (35 km) bike ride, but it definitely sounded like a fun adventure!
When the boat arrived in port, we took a cab to the city center. *Travel tip: if you don’t speak the local language, have pictures with you of where you need to go* We walked around for a bit before heading to our meeting place for the tour. The marina is huge and full of beautiful boats (you just have to get passed all the visible trash floating around to see the beauty). You’ll see all of the fisherman coming in and preparing to sell their morning catches. And there is a giant Ferris wheel! I don’t typically ride them (with the exception of Chicago) but for some reason I love looking at them, especially on a beautiful clear day.
We walked to the garage where we were meeting to pick up our bikes. I was so nervous that I signed us up for a bike tour, and even more nervous when I had to do a test ride so the guide could make sure I wasn’t going to crash! I was wobbly but he assured me I’d be fine. Since I was the slow one of the group, I had to ride in front so he wouldn’t lose me. My other concern was for my legs being able to survive a 22-mile ride!! But let me tell you, it was AMAZING! And so easy! Trust me when I say, if I can do this, you can do this – http://www.ebiketours.fr
Our guide was so great and we made many stops for food, coffee, and taking in the views on our way to and from the calanques. He picked a great little sandwich shop to have lunch made that we would later enjoy in the park. Mmm French bread! I used the restroom here and if anyone knows, please message me… why was the toilet paper pink? It’s one of 2 weird questions I still think about from our trip.
The ride to the calanques was mostly business, with a few stops for sights. But the way back is where all the fun began. We stopped at Parc Borély to enjoy our lunch and the gardens. Then beach side to play a round of pètanque. After that, coffee and a dip in the Mediterranean ( this Florida girl couldn’t handle the water temperature so only my toes made it in).
Our last stop before the tour ended was up a HUGE hill to the Notre-Dame de la Garde. I had built up a lot of riding confidence by this point, but not enough for this! The guide again assured me that I’d be fine and to put my motor on the highest level. Again, he was right and I was completely fine. It was so beautiful when we reached the top, I was so glad that I hadn’t chickened out.
The ride back down the hill was obviously super easy and a ton of fun! We rode back to our meeting point to drop off the bikes and then make our way back to the ship. *This is where the picture of where you’re going will come in handy* The cab driver we hailed didn’t speak English and we do not speak French, but luckily made it back with time to spare!
If you are visiting Marseille, I highly recommend this E-bike tour! Any age, any size, any shape, you can do it!
When we got back on the ship, we celebrated my new love of biking with a few drinks before setting sail.
Next stop, Pisa and Florence!