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La Camargue is the wildest place I have been in France which is probably the reason why I love it so much. Some of the Camargue is in the Gard department, in Occitanie, and some of it is in Bouche-du-Rhône in PACA, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, our friendly neighbours to the east.
La petite Camargue, or Camargue Gardoise, is found west of the Petit-Rhone in the department of the Gard and in l’Hérault.
map by Danko
For people totally unfamiliar with the area, the Camargue is located east of Montpellier, south of Nîmes and west of Marseille. It is Western Europe’s largest river delta.
Aigues-Mortes is one of the highlights of the Camargue sitting pretty behind well preserved medieval walls behind a brilliant coloured salt lake.
Port Camargue, le Grau de Roi and the plage de l’Espiguette are three more reasons to visit the Camargue. If you like windsurfing and kitesurfing this is one of the best spots on the curve (the golf of Lion) to indulge your passion. A wild beautiful spot that will blow you away!
Roseaux, oleander, olive trees and all the usual Mediterranean plants lie across the land that is one third lake or marshland. White Camargue horses, bulls and flamingos roam around. The bird watching is extraordinary in this area. The ornithological park de Pont de Gau is fantastic as is the Centre du Scamandre natural reserve.
Last weekend the days were warm and sunny and the evenings mild with a light breeze; I didn’t see a single mosquito. I keep hearing that they are everywhere but in all my visits I seem to have been extremely lucky and haven’t had any problems with mossies.
We spent an evening in the beautiful village of les Saintes Maries de la Mer, which is just outside of Occitanie, in PACA. It is a very pretty village, famous for the Gypsy pilgrimage in May which sees different gypsies from around Europe meet up to worship their Saint, Sara the Black, and carry her into the sea. Her statue is otherwise located in the crypt of the beautiful church, in the centre of the village.
We were advised by Axele to book a table in advance and have dinner at a somewhat legendary restaurant called El Campo. It was a long drive from Toulouse on a Friday afternoon but we arrived, starving, at about 20h30. From the time we turned off the motorway heading south the scenery was spectacular. I love places where the sky seems huge and the Camargue is one of those places, combined with an unbelievably striking sunset it was supernatural. I was too lost in the moment to even take a photo. Sorry! Truth be known we were trying to find the place before nightfall and I just didn’t have time. You will have to come and see it for yourself. I spent the rest of this visit with my camera in hand; there are fewer words than usual in this article because the Camargue has to be seen to be believed.
Soy Gypsy is the group you will be listening to if you clicked the music icon. They play all the time at El Campo and they are wonderful, as is the food. Do yourself a favour and fit it into your visit. They serve good traditional food. The service is great and the music and ambience are fantastic!
Soy Gypsy at El Campo
Bonnes vacances en Camargue! Follow my journal and join me on my travels around beautiful Occitanie
A bientôt Christina …………..