Chateau d’If a side trip from Marseille

France, Marseille, Château d'if
Chateau d'If

Chateau d’if is a easy side trip from Marseille

There are many daily sailings to Chateau d’if from Marseille.  Enjoy the view of Marseille from the water as you leave the port.

France, Marseille, Château d'if

Friol Express to Chateau D’If


Lying just one mile off the Bay of Marseille is Chateau d’If a small island fortress that was later to become a prison.  Chateau d’If was made famous by the writer Dumas who set his novel the Count of Monte Cristo in this prison fortress.

France, Marseille, Château d'if

Arrivals by boat can be viewed through artillery holes in the surrounding walls

The fortress was constructed for three reasons. Firstly to protect the coast from invasion, secondly to protect Marseille which in 1840 became a part of France and lastly to provide cover and anchor for the new royal fleet.

The size of the island is 3 hectares and is uninhabited.  The three storey high square chateau was constructed in 1531. At the end of the 19th century the prison became demilitarized and on September 23, 1890 it became open to the public.

France, Marseille, Château d'if

Looking down from the 2nd floor to the well and courtyard

Ground Floor:

Entrance Gate – a drawbridge located over a dry ditch that is the only access

Inner Courtyard – housed the kitchens, the grain store and the rainwater well

Dungeons – originally used as an armoury they later became barracks


France, Marseille, Château d'if

Entrance to one of the many dungeons

First Floor:

Cells and Dungeons

France, Marseille, Château d'if

View from the Terrace showing Marseille in the background


The Terrace:

360 degree views from the terraced roof tops used as observation posts during WW2.

In the courtyard area there is a small gift shop available.  In the grounds you will find a coffee shop and a toilet block that has views to die for.


France, Marseille, Château d'if

Great view from the boat heading back into Marseille


Entrance Fee: Euros 5.50 per person

Departure From: 1 Quai de la Fraternite in Marseille

Company: Frioul If Express, check departure times as they change accordingly throughout the year.  On days with high winds sailings will be cancelled.

Ferry cost: Euros 10.10 return per person



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