Camargue, South of France

Camargue is a natural region located South of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône. With an area of over 930 km2 the Camargue is western Europe’s largest river delta. It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes. These are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area.

Approximately a third of Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The central area around the shoreline of Étang de Vaccarès has been protected as a regional park since 1927, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds. In 2008, it was incorporated into the larger Parc naturel régional de Camargue.

Camargue is blessed with a strong  cultural heritage:

  • Bullfights, abrivados and encierros
  • Saltworks
  • Arlesian dress and the Costume Festival in July
  • Gardian’s Cabins
  • Gypsies pilgrimage to Saintes-Marie’s at the end of May to venerate their Saint, the Black Sara

This was my first visit to this region, a couple of days between Christmas 2015 and New Year. We stayed at the highly recommended guest-house Jasse de Frigoules, 6 km inland from Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the Route de Cacharel.


Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer


Jasse de Frigoules


Aigues-Mortes


Fauna in Camargue

 

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