Riou Archipelago in Marseille
Riou Archipelago, located in front of the town of Marseille and easily accessible by ferry from Marseille Old port, was created in the Prehistoric Age by the Earth gradually heating and the subsequent rise in the water level that submerged the wide plains once stretching at the foot of the Marseilleveyre Massif.
Riou Archipelago is now property of the Coastal Preservation Project and are inhabited. It is a unique paradise for seagulls and divers with a wide range of diving possibilites.
The side of the island that faces the open sea is inaccessible due to the vertical rock faces and the crumbling ravines while the side in front of Marseilleveyre Massif features a gentler landscape and provides easier access. Numerous paths lead visitors to the discovery of the island up to 100m over the sea level.
Two small islands off the coast of Riou Archipelago are worldwide famous among submarine archaeology lovers: the Small and the Big Congloué where commander Cousteau brought to light the world’s most famous Roman wreck in 1952. Many other remnants constitute a wonderful submarine heritage which attracts a multitude of divers all year round.
Located in front of Marseilleveyre Massif, Jarre Island is one of the oldest berth along the Mediterranean coastline used by the Romans over 20 centuries ago. Together with Pomègues and Ratoneau Islands, theu formed the Frioul Archipelago.
Maïre Island, located south from Marseille, was populated since the Stone Age and was fortified by the Germans during World War II. Today, the island is inhabited.
Planier Island, which emerges from the Mediterranean Sea 15km off the coast of Marseille, hosted the first lighthouse dating back to the Middle Age. Nowadays, it houses the highest lighthouse in the Mediterranean area with its 68m high lighthouse.
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