Camargue is the fruit of the encounter between the River Rhone and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one western Europe's richest natural regions. From the rice fields to the reed beds, from the salt marshes to the Mediterranean beaches, the region has a whole host of facets waiting to be discovered during your holiday in our village club, Les Hameaux de Camargue !
Explore the natural and cultural heritage
From our holiday residence, there are many Camargue natural and cultural sites to visit with a chance to see and understand the world around us even better. The Capelière information centre is an excellent entry point for exploring the Camargue National Reserve, which extends for 13,000 hectares in the communes of Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. A great walk or bike ride will take you to the Etang de Vaccarès lagoon, La Digue à la Mer dyke and the Gacholle lighthouse. On the way to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, take a break at the Maison du Riz (rice farm) in Albaron. The Rozière family have been growing rice in Camargue for five generations. They will welcome you to their farm which has an information centre showing how rice is grown. A few miles further on, the Camargue Museum is also well worth a detour. The permanent exhibition "Along the water... in the course of time in Camargue" is the perfect prelude to a visit to the region. It provides a fun and original approach to Camargue culture and explores the relationship between mankind and nature. And for a really spectacular sight, head for the village of Salin de Giraud, where a surprising view awaits visitors: the impressive salt mountains, known as "camelles", rise to a height of 15 metres. Even higher, even more beautiful? In Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, the Saint-Louis Tower offers visitors an exceptional view over the Saint-Louis Canal, the mouth of the River Rhone, the salt marshes and Camargue. So don't forget your camera!
Fauna and flora in Camargue
Camargue Regional Nature Park is on the shores of the Mediterranean and inside the Rhone delta. It extends across 100,000 hectares and three communes: Arles, Port-Saint-Louis and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. This vast, protected natural area is listed as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is home to exceptional animal and plant life that always delight visitors with an interest in ecotourism. Here nature has been tamed, but without losing its unspoilt character.
Among the most charismatic animals in Camargue is the Carmargue horse, a rustic breed of riding horse with a grey coat. At the Maison du Cheval Camargue horse centre in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer you can find out more about these small wild horses that live in freedom at the edge of the lakes.
Flamingoes also live here all the year round. The birds are the symbols of Camargue. But plenty of other birds (western marsh harriers, common shelduck, little egret, glossy ibis, etc.) can be seen in the area all through the year, especially in the Pont de Gau bird sanctuary and the Vigueirat and Verdier marshes. WIth other 400 species of birds listed, Camargue is a major birdwatching site in France.
And Camargue also means bulls. If you are planning a holiday in Camargue, a visit to a manade (bull herd) will probably be a part of your stay. From Aigues-Mortes to Fos-sur-Mer, there are over 150 manades. Here fighting bulls are bred for the Course Camarguaise bull races. You can experience the life of the gardians (herdsmen) during a horseback ride or a trip in a horse-drawn carriage through the Cailar fields, a famous bull-breeding site in Camargue. And for the flora, salicornia, common sea-lavender, yellow iris, tamarisk and reeds are some of the main plants in Camargue and representative of the marshy Mediterranean areas. In short, Camargue is an opportunity to stock up on enough nature and adventure to last the rest of the year!