Camargue Destination Guide
The Rhone River delta, more commonly known as the Camargue, is stunning natural wetlands. It is home to a variety of fish and birdlife, including pink flamingos, and even wild white horses and black bulls. The black bulls are raised and looked after by the Gardiens, or French cowboys, who subsequently pass them along to the bullrings in France and Spain once they have matured. There are red salt lagoons, rice paddies and a wide expanse of marshland. This undoubtedly adds to the natural allure of the landscape.
The Rhone River Delta is the largest river delta in Western Europe, spanning 900m2, and one of the 44 French National Parks. It is therefore extremely popular with visitors who like to kayak, fish, hike, camp, mountain bike and bird watch. You can take guided visits on horseback, by Jeep or on foot if you prefer.
The Camargue has long been a popular area for salt production, going as far back as the Romans and Greeks. Arles is the main town. It is full of quaint narrow streets leading to a restored Roman amphitheatre, the St Trophime cathedral, museums and art galleries as well as fantastic restaurants and little street cafes. Bullfighting remains a popular sport, as is bull running, in addition to other typical French festivals and fetes. These bring in a multitude of tourists and visitors each year. Van Gogh lived here for a little over a year, and it is said to be his most creative period. Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is well worth a stopover too. It is a beautiful seaside resort town with soft, sandy beaches and plenty of historic sights and buildings to keep you busy.
You can get to the Camargue from Nimes or Montpellier, both of which will take around 40 minute’s drive. The closest train station is in Arles, and the bus routes are limited.