Visit the Château d'If


ProvenceCultural HeritageNature and Outdoor ActivitiesCitiesCoastal

Centre des monuments nationaux. Ph. Berthé
© Centre des monuments nationaux. Ph. Berthé

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 4 January 2023

The famous island fort facing Marseille immortalised by Alexander Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo

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 Dantès, was incarcerated before ultimately escaping.

The castle was built by François 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.


(Subject to modification. Open

)* 2nd January to 1st April: from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. * 2nd April to 30th September: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. * 2nd october to 31st December: 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 or on Frioul If express.


  • Mondays from 2nd January to 1st April and from 2nd october to 31st December
  • 1st January, 1st May and 25th December and subject to bad weather


  • Unaccompanied tour with guide booklet: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Czech, Portuguese

Duration: 45 min (1 hr 30 min with visit of the island)

  • Audio-guide tour: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish

  • Guided tour: Guided tours available in low and high season Five guided history tours at set times (please contact the monument directly for dates and times) Reservations: for groups only Duration: 30 mins

  • Tour-lectures: French, English, German and Italian

Duration: 1 hr 30 min including the tour of the island and two crossings (20 mins. each) Booking required: 8 days in advance Marseille Tourist Information Centre Tel 0826 500 500 / Fax (33) (0)4 91 13 89 20


  • Lavatories
  • Gift shop
  • The group can be dropped off and picked up again on the Vieux-Port
  • Parking for coaches 800 m (parking of Saint-Jean Castle)


** * Adults : 6 € * Concessions : 5 € * 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 Crossing not included * Extra charge: Audio-guide * Rate for tourism professionals and groups (minimum 20 people): 5 €


  • 1, Quai de la Fraternité in Marseille, old port boat bridge Frioul, If Express (20 minutes crossing to go and 45 minutes to come back)


Château d’If 8, rue Glandevès 13001 Marseille Tel: (33) (0)4 91 59 02 30 (landline) / (33) (0)6 03 06 25 26 (mobile 1)/ (33) (0)6 80 52 75 9606 80 52 75 96 (mobile 2) Fax: (33) (0)4 91 59 05 62 Email:


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