The wind, blue, green, birds, horses and rice fields make this a place like no other. If you want to take a stop along your cultural and gastronomic journey, La Camargue is ideal. This huge park formed in the natural estuary of the Rhone has plenty of trails and paths for walking and cycling. There are plenty of places for horseback riding, and don't forget to visit the Pont de Gau ornithological park (7.5€ per person from April to September).
This is one of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean and although the park is now well prepared for visitors with well-marked trails, a toilet area and numerous observatories, it doesn´t change the fact that the park has a lot of charm. In April 2012, the ticket price was 7.5 € per person. The tour is by foot but it´s very easy to do, even with children. If parents do bring children, remember that this natural park has flamingos, herons, ducks and other birds that appreciate the tranquility. We had a nice visit. Two hours was enough time. Be careful not to leave valuables in the car as there are posters all over warning against this. The park is open from April to September.
Saintes Maries is a beautiful white village surrounded by water: On the one hand, the Mediterrànean and on the other side, marshes. It owes its name to a "pseudo-history" that has pervaded southern France and become one of the most unique stories in Europe, the arrival of the three marias: Martha, Mary Magdalene and Sara , fleeing from Palestine after the death of jesus . In May the gypsy party is the largest in Europe. Many gypsies come to worship their patron saint: The Black Madonna Sara. Unmissable!!. Are you depressed?, Did you leave your wife?, Do not worry, this picturesque town in the French Camargue can give you back joy in living. Admittedly, I am in love with this small fishing village located in one of the most fascinating places in the south of France. Saintes Maries is the twin brother of our Rocio. White horses, marshes, rumba, flamenco, and in particular a culture that has preserved knowledge of how to enjoy life, as well as a respect for nature which has personally moved me. During the week we spent in Provence, this town has been the venue for our "General tour", from here we have done all the routes and exits. We happily wandered the streets full of pace, sangria, paella, of bulls, and an infinite feeling of joy and happiness that we could recharge the batteries each night we went out. What a party!. Capital of the Petite Camargue, the starting point for many outdoor activities: Horseback riding, fishing, migratory bird watching, for us, we found what we loved most was the chance to recapture what we had lost, enjoyment of pure nature, as we had not found it for a quite a while. For those that wish for golf courses, or apartments, or luxury developments with all amenities provided. This is not such a place. Here is peace, quiet, pristine beaches, farmhouses hidden between incredible vegetation. Pure, 100% natural and extremely cheerful. Without doubt one of my favorite spots ;)
The magnetism of this church lies not only in his curious and original structure, but it's symbolic for Camargue people and gypsy towns worldwide. Talking about this place would mean hours and hours of stories, one of my biggest hobbies: The Story of Mary Magdalene. Saintes Maries de la Mer is a charming seaside village in Camargue and is supposed to point of arrival of Mary Magdalene and other companions (hence the name "The Holy Marys of the Sea"). There are different relics that echo this inside the church, but I was more impressed by the crypt dedicated to Our Lady Sara patron saint of gypsies. I was personally overwhelmed. Moreover, the church is in the center of a charming Camargue place and full of life. The construction is very simple and terribly pretty. If you can, climb to the top from where you can see some stunning views. In my travel blog you can read more about the unofficial history of this place, I hope you like it. ;)
On our journey through the Nature Park of the Camargue, we decided to get into the D-37 and follow its course, without a specific destination, just letting ourselves be guided by the pleasure of discovery and enjoy this breathtaking scenery. The road makes a turn to the south to enter the vast Etang de Vaccarès, the heart of the Camargue, which is the largest space available in the area. I was really amazed, speechless, at the vastness of nature there. Everything is so careful, so protected, giving you the feeling that you're being "bothersome". We decided to stop the car and walk around the sights, the incessant Mistral following us through southern France. The heat was oppressive, but the wind carried a refreshing mist, cooling the atmosphere. This is the undescribable feeling of living. There are times when the road narrows, the water almost touches you, and the lonesome feeling is everywhere. Occasionally, another car appears and it's difficult to pass eachother at the same time. In the lower areas and near the shore, flamingos show themselves, giving the landscape more beautiful brushstrokes. It's near the mouth of the Rhone, in the department of Bouches du Rhone, and the purest nature is everywhere. Saintes Maries de la Mer and the Camargue keep love in our hearts and are, without doubt, special places. By the way, I discovered that this population was included in a new classification: "Les plus beaux detours de France" (most beautiful destinations in France), here's the website: www.plusbeauxdetours.com.