The best spots for filming in Marseille with a drone

In a world where audiovisual reigns supreme, capturing beauty from every angle has become a never-ending quest. Today, we invite you to discover Marseille like never before: from the skies. As a seasoned professional in aerial cinema since 2011, we have repeatedly flown over the most beautiful sites to film the Marseille city with our drones. However, before taking off, it is important to know certain regulations for a seamless experience. So take a seat and let yourself be guided through these exceptional places which make up the undeniable charm of our Sublime Marseille!



Legal information before flying a drone in Marseille

Before embarking on an audiovisual adventure in Marseille with your drone, it is crucial to know the legal concepts in force. Regulations regarding the use of drones in France are strict and require prior authorization to film in certain public spaces. This includes a registration and declaration process with the competent authorities, the DGAC, then a declaration of theft in an urban area to be sent to the Bouches-du-Rhônes Prefecture 5 working days before the flights. In the framework of compliance with the laws, we emphasize that each operator must ensure that they do not threaten safety public when he films with his drone in Marseille or elsewhere. As the airspace around this magnificent Mediterranean city is very busy with various types of aircraft, piloting a drone requires the greatest attention. The maximum altitude is 50m over most of the city, but a specific protocol between the remote pilot and the Marseille-Provence airport, allows you to reach 120m. Never forget that even if panoramic views of the old port or the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica are tempting for your camera flying, but you will always have to obtain the agreement of the basilica or the captaincy in order to respect local regulations to guarantee not only your safety but also that of others, and not to have of problems in the event of an on-site inspection on the day of the drone mission.

It should also be mentioned that Drone-Pictures, as a Marseille drone operator, responds perfectly legal requirements while producing stunning videos thanks to its technical and artistic expertise. Also, if administrative questions put you off, do not hesitate to call us, or why not, to our vast dronestock of aerial images of Marseille and Provence, available immediately on HOsiHO!

The Marseille Coast

Starting with the Côte Marseillaise is a natural choice. This ribbon of coastline, which winds between coves and calanques, constitutes an ideal playground for your drone.

The bay of Marseille opens like a jewel where white boats seem to float on an intense blue sea. The contrast is striking when the sun sets and the Marseille city takes on orange hues.

Don’t miss the Prado beaches either, with their unique urban setting in France. The sea meets there the concrete in a hypnotic dance which offers exceptional cinematographic shots.

Then continue your journey east to discover the dazzling Goudes cliff, silent guardian at the entrance to the Calanques National Park. Its steep rocks plunging into the Mediterranean offer a dizzying perspective to be immortalized from all angles, but be careful to always stay in the PNC membership zone, otherwise you will face a heavy fine. If you are looking for a complete change of scenery, head to the Friuli islands with their shapes tormented by the wind and the sea. There you will discover astonishing lunar landscapes populated by strangely shaped rocks sculpted by the elements over time.

Here in this second Opus of our Sublime Marseille series, are some of the treasures that this Marseille coast so loved by us audiovisual experts holds!

Fly over the Old Port

Have you ever felt the emotion of flying over Marseille, of an air journey over the Old Port?

A unique spectacle awaits us when our drone deploys above the quays. Boats, large and small, are moored in a colorful harmony that contrasts with the intense blue of the Mediterranean Sea. The perpetual movement of the oscillating masts creates a hypnotic ballet that your camera will capture with precision.

The bridges that cross the port are dynamic vectors that animate the image. They offer an interesting perspective for a high angle shot or a close-up on architectural details.

And then there are the tourists… A colorful and lively crowd whose comings and goings bring rhythm and vitality to your shots. Their presence adds that essential human touch to bring your images to life.

Remember that filming in this emblematic place requires respect and discretion so as not to disturb port activities or disturb the tranquility of passers-by.

Be creative, let your imagination guide you while keeping in mind these few essential technical tips: always keep your drone in sight, respect the maximum authorized height (50m without protocol) as well as the minimum distance from people (30m).

Don’t hesitate to vary your shots: wide maritime panoramas or tight close-ups of local action will be all assets to make your film unique and captivating. Don’t forget to film the central town hall, and further away, the bottom of the Canebière or even the Bonne-Mère perched on its hill!


First Opus of drone videos Sublime Marseille


Flying over the Calanques is prohibited for drones

It is essential to remember that flying over the Calanques with a drone is not authorized. These natural areas protected areas are subject to strict regulations regarding the use of drones. This is a legislative framework aimed at preserving the exceptional biodiversity and environment of the Calanques and all the Parks. French nationals:

  • The restriction aims firstly to minimize noise disturbance for the animal species that live there.
  • In addition, it aims to prevent any risk of accident that could be caused by the possible fall of a drone.
  • Third, it also helps protect the peace and quiet of visitors and hikers.
  • This ban also helps to avoid any form of pollution or environmental degradation likely to be caused by the inappropriate use of the drone.

However, don’t be disappointed! Marseille is still full of many other magnificent spots where filming with your drone is entirely possible and legal. From city vistas to stunning coastal landscapes to fascinating historic architectural structures… the range of possibilities available to aerial filmmakers in this dynamic city remains impressive. Choose your spots wisely according to their accessibility to drone flight and always ensure strict compliance rules in force so that your passion can be exercised without harming the environment or others.


Filming at Notre-Dame de la Garde, with permits

Notre-Dame de la Garde, one of the best spots for filming Marseille with a drone, requires express authorization from the rector. Don’t risk taking off without the precious sesame. Many (too many) amateur drone pilots have tried it and this has had the effect of making access very selective. Indeed, the place has something to appeal to drone pilots!

This emblematic basilica of the Marseille metropolis offers an exceptional panorama of the urban landscape and the Mediterranean horizon. Authorization is necessary because it is a place full of historical heritage, nestled in the unique setting of its neo-Byzantine architecture. Getting this permission is worth every effort. The privilege of flying a drone there allows you to capture breathtaking images, highlighting the monumental reliefs and minute details that make up all its splendor. By day or at dusk, it is adorned with shimmering hues that only the aerial gaze of the drone can fully reveal.

Promotional videos made with a drone are particularly advantageous. They offer a unique and striking vision that instantly captivates the viewer. Filming from this grandiose spot not only honors our rich heritage but also enriches your visual content with unique shots that magnify every corner of the place. See in our video below, a brief example of the sublime images we have shot there in recent years.


Video edited to welcome Pope Francis, who will be visiting Marseille in September 2023


L’Estaque and its maritime panoramas

L’Estaque, a picturesque district of Marseille, is a true gem for any aerial filmmaker. Nestled between the sea and the hills, this maritime enclave offers breathtaking panoramic views.

Imagine your drone flying over the Bay of Estaque, capturing the sparkling reflections of the sun on the Mediterranean. Here a perfect harmony emerges between the azure blue of the sea and the red tiled roofs of the Provençal houses.

A few meters higher and a breathtaking view of the Estaque massif spreads out before your amazed eyes. The rugged reliefs are adorned with a soft golden light at dusk, offering a spectacle natural of rare majesty.

The visual richness that L’Estaque offers is undeniably unique: its maritime panorama combined with the splendid surrounding landscapes forms a living pictorial canvas that begs to be immortalized.

So don’t hesitate to deploy your drone in the skies of Marseille to capture these magical moments where land and sea merge into a breathtaking scene. But do it while respecting the regulations!


Aerial view of the village and port of l’Estaque from the sea, by drone, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France © Drone-Pictures