Backed by the coastal landscapes of Calanques National Park, La Ciotat is a picturesque town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea between Marseille and Toulon. It was here that the Lumière brothers shot one of their earliest films and screened it at the historic Eden Theater.
Things to do in La Ciotat
Spend an afternoon strolling around the historic port of La Ciotat, which is bustling with activity as yachts and fishing vessels come and go. You can delve into the local history at the Musée Ciotaden or admire the 19th-century Môle Bérouard lighthouse before dining at one of the breezy cafes or restaurants that line the waterfront.
South of the port sprawls the impressive Parc du Mugel, which has been designated as one of the Remarkable Gardens of France. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea at the base of The Eagle's Beak, a 155-metre-high rock formation. Admire the palm trees in the tropical garden and explore the fragrant Aromatic Garden before enjoying a stroll between the oak trees of the Provençal Nature Preserve.
La Ciotat is home to the world’s oldest operating cinema, the Eden Theater, which is where the Lumière brothers first screened a film in 1895. After being closed for 18 years, it was lovingly restored to its original glory and re-opened in 2013 to a packed house. In addition to films, the Eden Theater also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
Getting around La Ciotat
La Ciotat is around 30 minutes drive from the centre of Marseille and 45 minutes from Marseille Provence Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Regular trains connect from Marseille and Toulon to La Ciotat railway station, which is a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Buses travel throughout La Ciotat and connect most of its attractions.