Visit Camargue (Provence, France)
Camargue, in southern Provence, is now a regional Natural Park, around the Rhone Delta.
The Camargue is a large, flat area (more than 900 square kilometres), hard to access, and full of marshes, fields, and lakes. It is also home to an astonishing range of wildlife, including semi-wild bulls and the renowned Camargue horses, and many hundreds of species of birds. Other wildlife includes wild boars, badgers, flamingos, tree frogs and water snakes.
The region is also reputed to have more than 40 species of mosquitoes, causing difficulties for visitors for most of the year except the winter.
Exploring the Camargue
You will see little from your car when you explore the Camargue except for the occasional small group of camargue horses and some birds - to enjoy the region you need to leave the road and explore a little! There are various marked trails in the region, to help you best see the flora and fauna.
The Port Gardian and Launes Pond are among the natural highlights which visitors can see.
There are also nature safaris in jeeps that leave from Sainte Maries de la Mer to explore the places that you might find it difficult to discover yourself. Sainte Maries de la Mer is a pretty town, and very lively in summer (albeit rather expensive) with a popular beach. You can also hire bikes in the town which is a good way to explore the Camargue.
A particular architectural feature to look out for as you explore the region is the small simple whitewashed cottages of the guardians of the Camargue - the 'cowboys' who look after the horses and bulls.
You will also have the possibility to ride horses, visit the ranches of the Camargue, and learn more about the breeding and training of these famous horses.
A museum provides a useful introduction to the flora and fauna that you can see in the Camargue.
Other activities in the Camargue
The Camargue Natural parc and the coast here together offer a large choice of activities to visitors. These include horseback riding, mountain biking, bull fights in Sainte-Maries de la Mer, various water sports, and for those with energy at the end of the day there are also theatres, nightclubs and other spectacles.
Where to stay?
There are no substantial towns within the Camargue Natural Park itself so to explore the Camargue, your best starting point is Arles, found at the northern edge of the region, or Sainte Maries de la Mer on the southern coast.
An alternative base is Aigues-Mortes, to the east of the Natural Park, while a further option, if you want to combine the nature exploring with a seaside resort, is to stay at La Grande-Motte, along the coast to the west.
Note: the Camargue region is also a major French rice production area.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Camargue, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence || GPS: latitude 43.47, longitude 4.45
Map of Camargue & places nearby
Highlights close by
Le Grau-du-Roi 26km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Camargue, France
- Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer - recommended detour (3km)
- Etang de Scamandre - site of natural beauty (18km)
- Saint-Gilles - secteur sauvegarde (23km)
- Saint-Gilles ancienne abbatialle (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (23km)
- Towers and fortifications of Aigues-Mortes - national monument (24km)
- Arles église St Honorat (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (27km)
- Eglise et cloitres de Saint Trophime, Eglise de Saint-Honorat des Alycamps (Arles) - religious monument (27km)
- Roman Arles - heritage site (27km)
- Arles - secteur sauvegarde (27km)
- Montmajour Abbey - national monument (31km)
The French version of this page is at Camargue (Francais)