Frioul Islands Marseille

The Frioul Islands are about 4 km away from Marseille and are attached to the 7th district of the city. Discover the story of these four iconic islands of Marseille.


PomèguesRatonneau, If and Tiboulen are the names of the different islands of the archipelago. Pomègues and Ratonneau are the biggest and the island of If hosts the iconic "Castle of If" ("Château d'If").

In the past, this archipelago was strategic and had a military role. The Castle of If was built under the orders of François 1. Napoleon also participated in the construction of other military structures on the islands. 

In the 17th century, the archipelago played a major role for the city of Marseille. Indeed, vessels from East and Africa were put in quarantine there to avoid the risk of epidemics. In the 19th century, the architect Michel Robert Penchaud built the Caroline Hospital on the Ratonneau Island to treat patients suffering from yellow fever.

The Frioul Islands also experienced the German occupation during the Second World War. The fortifications were occupied, supplemented and amended, which led the Allies to bomb massively the archipelago. Aerial photos can still show this difficult past.

Today, the islands are peaceful and many people watch them from the Calanques of Marseille.

The Frioul Islands have a charming character: creeks and sandy beaches with impressive peaks, water transparency. This is an unspoilt site. The microclimate of the archipelago favour the frowth of special floral species

Through the year, about a hundred people live on the archipelago which is owned by the city of Marseille since 1971. There are a few restaurants, a holiday centre, a marine brigade barracks, a marina that hosts many boaters but also a marine farm, located on the island of Pomègues, that has been recognized as the first World organic farm.


Finally, it is possible to go to the Frioul Islands via shuttle boats from the Old Port, where is located our hotel right in the city centre.


Practical Information:

Frioul Islands - Marseille
13007 Marseille

For more information, visit the Frioul If Express website.