Château d'If

Château d'If, Marseille: Address, Phone Number, Château d'If Reviews: 4.5/5

Château d'If
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Islands
About
This famous fortress, standing on a rocky island off the coast of Marseille, was immortalised by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo as the prison where the novel’s hero, Edmond Dantes, was incarcerated before ultimately escaping. The castle was built by Francois I in 1524 and over the centuries it gained a fearsome reputation as many opponents of royal power were jailed and died in the fortress. The Castle of If has been perfectly preserved and is one of the most impressive historical sites on the Mediterranean coastline. Open: > 15th May to 20th September: from 9.30 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. > 21st September to 14th May: from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The last visit depends on the timetable of boats, information at the tourist information center, on our website monuments-nationaux.fr or on Frioul If express. Closed: > Mondays from 21st September to 14th May. > 1st January, 25th December and subject to bad weather. Admission fees: Adults : 5,50 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 4 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
1,725 reviews
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BigSur707
Paris, France315 contributions
Worth the trip
Jun 2021
Easy trip from old port in Marseille. Regular boats. Short trip of about 15-20 minutes. Beautiful views from here. The castle is open to the public and has interesting exhibits. The best part however is the views of Marseilles, the harbor, and surrounding islands.
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia26,407 contributions
Amazing place
Jul 2019
We travelled by boat to this intriguing little island not knowing what to expect. We knew it had some history. The trip was not very long. We only had limited time before the boat came back for the return trip to the city. It is a beautiful island, very small but full of history. It served as a fort and was meant to offer protection against invasion and it also protected the country's fleet. It became part of France in 1480. It has also served as a prison to many. However it is probably more famous as the island of The Count of Monte Cristo. And there is plenty of that too. It is definitely worth a visit.
Written June 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

PhilFGuildford
Leeds, UK53 contributions
Fascinating former island prison with great views of its surrounding area
Sep 2019
Constructed from 1524 on an island that was once connected to the mainland, the Chateau d’If provided France with the capacity to protect their valuable port of Marseille some 4 decades after acquiring Provence. Nowadays however it is the association with Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ that pulls in many visitors, and the site is best remembered as an island prison, a function assigned to it in 1580. It became a tourist attraction in 1890.

Tickets can be purchased from an office on the corner of the Marseille’s Old Port, itself a fascinating piece of history since it was here that the city was founded by sailors around 600BC. Departures take place by boat and while waiting for the next one to arrive, queues permitting, it is possible to explore the Port a little and maybe stroll under the Pont Vieux Pavilion which is essentially a giant mirror. Inevitably the boat journey affords guests splendid views of Marseille and of the Chateau itself upon approach.

After arriving at the island there are a number of steps to ascend but these are not too steep. Having presenting their access ticket the visitor can explore the rocky island, where seagulls nest and vegetation is limited but hardly sparse. Inside there is a section which according to a sign placed above its entrance is associated with Edmond Dantes, a character from Dumas’s story. Further signage indicates the names of individuals associated with each room. At the point of writing this review I am reminded of the terrible situation that prisoners found themselves in centuries ago, having had no means of immediately communicating with the outside world. It is something that people should reflect upon in 2020.

While exploring the various rooms it becomes apparent that there is a lot of graffiti inscribed across the walls and doors. This is explained in a series of information boards located within the inner courtyard, and it is believed that a lot of this dates back to the 19th century and early 20th. There is also a well.

Upon reaching the summit of the Chateau there is a fantastic viewpoint from which a significant amount of France’s second-largest city can be taken in. This includes the distant Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, located across the water and perched upon a hill. Of course there is a spiral staircase to ascend in order for visitors to reach this point.

Marseille is a city that I wholeheartedly recommend to tourists and the Chateau d’If deserves to be near the top of everyone’s to-do list.
Written April 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Razorfish
Little Rock, AR3,227 contributions
Chateau d’If was a former prison
Mar 2019 • Couples
Chateau d’If is a former prison on an island at the entrance to Le Vieux Port in the Bay of Marseille. It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas’ adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

vl1008
Modiin, Israel395 contributions
Nice fortress
Jan 2020
It is very nice site with a lot of information. Thehistory goes together with a fiction and nice view on Marseille and very nice islands
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tanya C
Surrey, UK441 contributions
Great boat trip & interesting history
Oct 2019 • Family
We opted for this trip as part of our Marseille tourist pass. Enjoyable boat ride (great views on boat) in lovely warm weather and you can spend as much time as you like walking around. Fascinating history - there is no lift & area is uneven which was a little bit difficult for our elderly relatives but we had plenty of time to explore which helped. Walk up is steep in parts too. Nice cafe with wonderful view and prices not too bad - we just had drinks & ice cream.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Evelyn
1 contribution
Came down looking for information to stay
Dec 2019 • Solo
Front desk person at the Red Roof Inn in Framingham named Patty D gave me excellent customer service
Written December 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Reineth
Pretoria, South Africa13 contributions
Alexandre Dumas' stories become alive!
Dec 2019
We did not experience long queues because it was not high season. It may be different in summer. To go on the ferry boat and experience the setting for The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask was really special.
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

amelita2017august
Chesapeake, Virginia12 contributions
Amazing Experience
Oct 2019
A Ferry boat ride out of Marseille to the island was the best way to see and experience Chateau d'If up close. Though we also went on top of the Notre- Dame de la Garde Basilica and took lots of pictures which was a fantastic view. It was a fascinating trip!
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kathryn Reed
Thames, New Zealand10 contributions
So worth going to see
Sep 2019
This was one of the highlights of our trip. A short and beautiful ferry ride out of Marseille to the island. The walk through the fort/prison was very well set out and the stories it told were fascinating. We went early so the crowds were just arriving when we were leaving. Had a coffee there as well - fascinating morning.
Written October 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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