France is more than the bright city lights of Paris. It is home to one of Europe’s teeming wetlands through the Camargue. Located south of Arles, the Camargue offers a different take on an adventure with its flamingos, lovely beaches, and unique wildlife.
Tourists who wish to explore the Camargue have several options to get there. By air, the closest airport is the Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes Airport, which is 23 km from Arles, France. Arles is also well-connected to the railways. If you are from Paris, you can take the TGV high-speed railway from Paris Gare de Lyon station to Arles. From Arles, you can take a taxi to the Camargue. You can also drive to Camargue by taking the A26 route to Lyon, and the A7 to Arles.
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit. Autumn brings migratory birds so birdwatchers all over the continent go to the Camargue to witness this event. Apart from the annual bird migration, the Camargue is also known for its pink flamingoes. If you want to see the birds and flamingoes up close, make sure to include the Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Grau in your places to see in Camargue. This bird reserve is open all days of the week and has an entrance fee of 5 euros. The reserve is not only home to the flamingoes and migratory birds, but you can also observe birds of prey, owls, eagles, hawks, marsh and sea birds.
Along the flat marshes of the Camargue is another spot that you should definitely visit: the Aigues-Mortes. It is a walled town whose architecture of ramparts and towers is that of the 13th century. Its main attraction is the main square which is the Place Saint-Louis which is a great spot for photos with its fountain and Saint-Louis sculpture. The earliest structure in the area is not the walls though but the Notre-Dame-des-Sablons which is originally constructed in the gothic style. The town is populated so you will see many local shops and restaurants where you can buy souvenirs or even indulge in a gastronomic experience.
Another town in the Camargue is the Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The town has charming views of the sea and exploring it takes you back in time with its authenticity. From the roof of the Les Saintes Church, you can relax and enjoy the panoramic views and sea breeze.
Espiguette Beach is a long stretch of white sand popular among locals and foreigners alike. There are no shops or houses near it so bring your own food and beverage if you plan to stay long. The beach is close to Aigues-Mortes so you can head there to relax after spending a day in the beach.
Still, other tourists engage in more active activities like horseback riding or hiking. Riding stables can be found in the Camargue and they offer day-treks to everyone regardless of riding experience. Usually, the treks include riding across the salt marshes and fields. There are three hiking trails or walking trails that you can also explore. Other activities include fishing, rice paddy walking tours, adventure forests and kayaks, and quad bikes or jet ski riding.
The Camargue has so many things to offer the tourist that you will surely enjoy a trip there.
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