DISCOVERIES & TRADITIONS
- The 11 November Abrivades
- The Courses Camarguaises
- Festival of the Camargue and Delta
- The Ferrades
- The Festival of the Horse
- Gypsy Pilgrimages
LEISURE & SPORTS
- The hotel tennis court
- Nearby golf
- Boat trip on the Rhône
- Canoeing on the Petit Rhône
- Sailing and windsurfing
- Bicycle rides
BIRDS & THE ORNITHOLOGICAL PARK
Like all humid areas, the Camargue welcomes and provides sanctuary to innumerable animal species, and particularly birds.
The geographical location of the Camargue provides a natural stopover for a large number of birds during their migration.
Open all year, the ornithological park offers the opportunity to discover and get close to the numerous species in the Camargue… pink flamingos, common cranes and egrets….
A number of observation points for have been created in the park.
It’s a great pleasure to observe them in the intimacy of their natural habitat where they have complete freedom.
BEACH & RESERVE
The Camargue covers 145,300 hectares between the Gulf of Aigues-Mortes and that of Fos, in the form of a triangular delta for which the sea represents the base with 80 km of sandy shoreline in an east-west direction. Its central artery, the Rhône, divides into two distributaries : Le Grand Rhône into which flows 85%, with the remaining 15% flowing into Le Petit Rhône, which tends to silt up at its mouth next to Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer. These two distributaries divide the Camargue into three sectors :
- le occidental (western) sector or “Petite Camargue”,
- le central sector or “Grande Camargue”, also called “l’île de la Camargue”,
- le oriental (eastern) sector or “Plan du Bourg”.
UNDERSTANDING THE CAMARGUE
A unique ecosystem
Situated at the mouth of the Rhône, the Camargue is a vast delta of 1400 km² which is noted in Europe for its biologic riches and accompanying ecosystems. It is crucial for the avifauna for which it has been internationally recognised. The Camargue National Reserve was created in 1927.
The Camargue horse
The Camargue horse is present in the Rhône’s delta since the beginning of time. You will appreciate its qualities : Its tolerance, honesty and rusticity. It is also easy to handle, which combined with its gentleness and vivacity under the saddle makes it a versatile horse suitable for both sport and leisure.
The Camargue Bulls
It wears a shiny black coat and its horns are in the shape of a lyre, or an upswept goblet. It is the only European breed which is today still considered wild, or “brave”. The “Manadiers”, the breeders, survey their herds assisted by the “Gardians”.
Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, as it has been called since 1838, takes its name from a legend. Shortly after the death of Christ, Marie Jacobé, a sister of the Virgin Mary, Marie Salomé and her servant Sarah were abandoned without provisions in a small boat without a sail nor pilot off the coast of Judea. Divine winds blew their boat with its passengers safe and sound onto the coast of the delta.
The Camargue by Mr NYSSEN
She’s a difficult mistress, especially as she’s no-one’s mistress…. There is nothing more deceitful than a flat country, and the Camargue is no exception to that rule. Because some odd things happen in the Delta. Held in place by the clench of the thighs of the Rhône descending from the alpine glaciers, the Camargue gives of itself to the river, but it won’t surrender to the sea. And the winds interweave, the Mistral, the Tramontane and the Marin, together they derange dress and petticoat but remain inconspicuous. But the Camargue, with her manners and her tantrums, her light and her shade, with her courtyard of white horses, of black bulls and of pink flamingos; she excites some and angers others because everyone thinks she’s their prey. She sets those who believe they have a hold on her, against those who pretend to want her, the bone grubbers of profit against the ignoble new-age philosopher kings, the sedentary mannequins in uniform against the four-wheeled nomads, the barrow boys of politics against the prophets of ecology. And sometimes the etymologists between themselves; insula Camarigas against Camarticas. Land of erotic delinquency and sentimental infractions, the Camargue is also the theatre of mysterious tumults which the photographer has attempted to surprise.