Istres lies in the South of France at about 60km to the northwest of Marseille. Nestled in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d Azur region, the old maritime town of Istres is located in the northwest corner of the Etang de Berre (or the Berre Lagoon) and is centered by the famous fortified church of Eglise Notre Dame de Beauvoir which stands on the top of a hill.
There are also numerous interesting streets winding up the hillside from the centre, with many shady squares along the way.
Istres is also characterized by its old houses, painted in the traditional Provencal pastels, contrasting the trim and shutters with some restored bare stone buildings and walls.
From the top of the hill, you will have an amazing view of the many old tile roofs decorating the town and the low hills will reveal to you the blue water of the Etang de l’Olivier.
Istres is also an interesting yacht charter destination in the French Riviera and the Port des Heures Claires is popular in the area, it is located on the Lake Berre, off the Mediterranean coast.
The Port de Heures Claires offers about 225 berths for yachts measuring up to 12m long and is a popular destination for those seeking for a quieter spot in the area.
The town of Istres is renowned in the area for offering a varied and complete range of cultural and sporting leisure to its visitors.
In the town Old town, you will have the opportunity to discover the charm of the typical Provence. You will also appreciate the beauty of the numerous parks and the large flower avenues scattered in the city.
There are numerous historic places that are worth visiting including the 18th century Porte d’Arles, the Notre Dame de Beauvoir site where you will have a panoramic view of the entire town and its surroundings.
L’Oppodum du Castellan is also worth visiting together with the Contemporary Art Centre or the Museum of Istres.
You will also find numerous shops around the city centre and there are also various nearby recreational activities offered including fishing, boating and golfing.
There are also a large variety of cafes, restaurants and cocktail lounges scattered in the area and it is particularly recommended to visit the so called primevere restaurant where you can taste the traditional Provencal menus.