The Camargue, between horses and flamingos
“The beach is lovely and the hinterland has a lot to offer.”
Despite all the warnings we have just been in the Camargue! Swarms of mosquitoes would leak us and the all-destroying mistral would level our tent.
We leave the warnings as they are and let us be enchanted by the beauty of this marshy Rhonedelta in southern France. Yes, there are mosquitoes and if they are not there the wind is to strong for the mosquitoes or the mosquito spray has actually worked. But fortunately it all dindn’t happened.
We settle in Le Grau du Roi and when entering this beautiful seaside resort we see dozens of flamingos stepping gracefully through the salt pans (etangs). Well, that already match with the picture from the travel guide. But the Camargue is more than that, it is also a beautiful white horse breed that lives here. Originally this horse was used by the ‘guardians’ to herd their bulls. Yes, real dangerous looking bulls can still be seen here. If you want to sniff everything intensely, you can make horse rides, visit a bullfarm, bullfighting, horse show or take a train through the salt pans or rice fields. So on, you won’t get bored.
And now culture; how about the Roman cities of Nimes and Arles reachable in less than an hour’s drive. The Pont du Gard or just follow in the footsteps of Vincent van Goch who wandered around here. More nearby you can visit Aigues Mortes, impressively completely walled! So if you like culture you can spend three weeks holiday in the Camargue without getting borred.
But you can also just lie on the beach sunbathing. Do you want more rest, then cycle to the more southerly situated Espiguette because there are enough cycle paths.
And what if it does rain once? Well, Montpellier has in recent years turned out to be a great shopping city, decorated with beautiful old buildings. Really recommended on a half hour drive, so let it rain.
And in the end we could not resist leaving the Camargue to visit the mountains for a while. We did this 70 km away in the impressive cauldron at the picturesque Saint Guilhem-le-Désert. We walked the Cirque de Infernet along the huge high steep chalk rocks. A wonderful change.
If you are hungry in the evening, many restaurants provide delicious fish meals with all kinds of Provençal delicacies where the Listel, the rosé from the Camargue can not be missed.