What to see in the Camargue, attractions and places to visit in this region of France located at the mouth of the Rhone, a journey through dunes, ponds and free animals.
Vast area of France, between the two branches of the Rhone delta and the Mediterranean sea, the Camargue extends along the entire ancient gulf that goes from Aigues-Mortes to Fos to go up to Beaucaire.
The great river delta is limited to the west by the old bed of the Rhone, which ran from Beaucaire to the Crau du Roi.
To the east, starting from Beaucaire, it runs alongside the Alpilles descending through the crau to the Gulf of Fos.
Alluvial debris, deposited by the Rhone river over time, have formed these lands, characterized by large expanses of sand, salty soil meadows, brackish ponds and marshes.
An oasis of peace where in the midst of willows, reeds and the typical flora that adapts to salt water conditions, there are many species of birds and a particular breed of horses called the Camargue.
But the most characteristic area is undoubtedly the landscape made up of water, between ponds and salt marshes, where the life of the Camargue has kept intact its environment rich in ancient traditions that are still alive today.
The Camargue, to safeguard its extraordinary natural environment, has been declared a national park and nature reserve.
Aigues-Mortes, a village that owes its name to the sandy marshes and ponds that surround it, is a beautiful example of medieval architecture.
Its construction was decided by King Louis IX, called the Saint, obtaining coastal lands from the monks of the Psalmody abbey, which are very interesting both as access to the Mediterranean and for the proximity of the salt pans.
Two crusades led by Louis IX left from Aigues-Mortes.Recommended readings
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The main monument is the Church of Our Lady of the Sands, a building built in the Gothic style with subsequent transformations over the centuries.
Saintes Maries de la Mer is a place that takes its name from an event that would have occurred at the beginning of the Christian era.
According to tradition, a boat ran ashore carrying Maria Giacoma, Maria Saloma, their servant Sara, Santa Marta, Santa Maddalena and San Lazzaro, driven out of Palestine after the death of Jesus.
The two Marys and Sara decided to stay and live in this place for the rest of their lives.
Every year, in May, the gypsies converge on Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer from all over Europe to venerate Saint Sara, their patroness.
The main monument of this particular seaside resort, a destination for pilgrimages, is the Church built in the twelfth century.
The building is actually a small fortress, with a patrol path on the roof equipped with slits and battlements, very useful in the past to protect the inhabitants from Saracen attacks.
Sansouire, which occupies the central part of the Camargue, is located between dunes and agricultural fields, in the area of ponds and salt up to above Vaccarès.
The local vegetation, very rare, is mainly characterized by salicornie, which are halophytic plants, that is plants that prefer very saline environments.
During the summer, when temperatures are particularly high, evaporation causes the soil to whiten, due to the saline deposits that create a spectacular reverberation phenomenon.
In this area, bulls and horses graze in the wild.