Fos-sur-Mer (Fòs de Mar in Provençal) is a commune, located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (France).

The town of Fos-sur-Mer is located 49 km northwest of Marseille, on the Mediterranean Sea, at the bottom of a gulf to which it gave its name and which sinks between the Etang de Berre and the Rhône delta, and at the southern end of the Crau plain. The town has six km of sandy beaches, three ponds – the Lavalduc, the Engrenier and the Estomac – and it is crossed by the Arles à Bouc canal (the portion of the canal from Marseille to the Rhône).

Formerly, the town lived on salt marshes; but, now, the town’s economy is based on industry, with the presence of a major port industrial complex. The city enjoys an excellent position for trade: the Mediterranean Sea allows trade with several countries; particularly, the countries of North Africa.

Operated by the Autonomous Port of Marseille, Fos is the site of a major port development. The facilities include container handling terminals and a methane gas terminal. The waterside location of the industrial zone is attractive to heavy industry, including steel.

The steel group, ArcelorMittal, has its Sollac Méditerranée plant here (merged into ArcelorMittal in 2006). The presence of the steel, chemistry and oil industries means that pollution levels are high.

Main attractions

From the early Middle Ages but today disappeared under the sea, paleo-Christian abbey of Saint-Gervais, dedicated to Saint Protais and Saint Gervais.

The Saint-Sauveur church, located on the heights of Fos-sur-Mer, was registered as a historic monument on September 17, 1964. Built on an inclined rock, it is reminiscent of the bow of a ship. Dating from the 11th century, it was remodeled in the 19th century. The church, still dedicated to worship, also hosts temporary exhibitions.

The Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer chapel is located on an eminence between the Château de l’Hauture and the seafront.

The chapel dates from the 11th and 12th centuries, and the necropolis around it dates back to the Early Empire and the early Middle Ages. The building was listed in the inventory of historic monuments on April 23, 1965.

The village has preserved vestiges of the 14th century castle, owned by the viscounts of Marseille. The castle ramparts have been classified as a historic monument since April 21, 1937.

Shortest distances and how to get to?

From Paris: 7 hr 36 min (764 km) via A6 and A7

From Toulouse: 3 hr 26 min (353 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 41 min (47.9 km) via A55

From Monaco: 2 hr 48 min (246 km) via A8

From Andorra: 5 hr 12 min (480 km) via A9

From Madrid: 10 hr 20 min (1,052 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 34 hr (3,272 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 15 hr 52 min (1,549 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 26 hr (2,498 km) via E70

From Bern: 6 hr 27 min (605 km) via A1 and A7

Main information

Area: 92,31 km2

Population: 15 469

Coordinates: 43°26′25″N 4°56′55″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here Andorra travel guide

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