The many faces of Camargue
Art of living - Off the beaten tracks
See the many faces of Camargue on a tour that promises a refreshing change of scenery away from the usual tourist sites! Visit the Langlois Bridge, made famous in several paintings by Van Gogh, before exploring the ecosystem in Le Vigueirat. Then make your way to the Tour Saint-Louis and onwards to Napoleon beach where you can try your hand at kite surfing. In the afternoon, head to Domaine de la Palissade, an ideal destination to observe Camargue's wildlife. La Chassagnette in Arles is our recommendation for dinner where the original menu is prepared by a top chef.
Arles: visit the famous Pont Van Gogh
Pont Van Gogh Canal d'Arles à Bouc 13200 Arles
Start the day in the fresh air by visiting the famous Pont Van Gogh or Langlois Bridge painted many times by the artist. While it's not the original bridge, it has been reconstructed to be a faithful copy of the painter's model and home made famous by his artwork. Anyone with an interest in civil engineering will be fascinated by this drawbridge made mainly from wood. The movable structure is made up of two sections each measuring more than eight metres in length. An Historic Monument worth a detour.
Arles: Marais du Vigueirat, a fabulous ecosystem
Les Marais du Vigueirat Cabanes de l'Etourneau 13104 Arles
Venture onwards to the Marais du Vigueirat, a marsh situated at the point where Camargue meets the Crau Plain. This wild oasis is a habitat for over 200 species of bird, a multitude of plants and, of course, herds of Camargue horses. Want to know more? You can visit this beautifully natural region which supports sustainable tourism on foot along the Sentier des Cabanes trail or in a horse-drawn carriage!
Port Saint-Louis: Napoleon beach, a long strip of nearly-deserted sand
Explore further by driving or cycling along the bike path opened in 2006 to Plage Napoléon. This beach of fine sand is 10 km long and has a number of seaside leisure amenities. Patrolled swimming in summer. It's an ideal spot to get to grips with wind surfing or kitesurfing.
Arles: a visit to Domaine de la Palissade
Domaine de La Palissade 13129 Arles
From Port-Saint-Louis, take the Barcarin ferry across to Arles. Once on dry land, make your way to Domaine de la Palissade, 702 hectares of nature reserve stretching from the Rhône to the Med. On foot or horseback, the guided tours will introduce you to the local flora and fauna and let you explore the rich Camargue landscapes which include dunes, reedbeds, bullrushes, marshland and more. You can even take a free tour of the solar power station set in the reserve. Something for everyone!
Arles: dinner at the gastronomic restaurant, La Chassagnette
Chassagnette Mas de la Chassagnette Route Du Sambuc 13200 Arles
For dinner, book a table at La Chassagnette (1 Michelin star, 3 Gault & Millau toques and Tables 13 certified). In the heart of Camargue, chef Armand Arnal welcomes you into a converted sheep barn surrounded by a vast vegetable garden. Your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised with dishes like tomatoes marinated in garum and mint oil, prawns with vegetables and broth or a trio of peach, redcurrants and verbena served with an almond milk emulsion. Absolutely delicious!
- Learning from enthusiastic guides all about how a fragile ecosystem functions
- Picnicking on sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see
- Visiting La Palissade for an opportunity to go horse-riding
- Experiencing the wild beauty of Camargue at a nature reserve
- Feeling like you've stepped into a painting by a great master by visiting the iconic sites immortalised by Van Gogh
The best time to visit
- Early May to attend the Camargue and Delta du Rhône festivals
- In October for the bullfighting events in Port-Saint-Louis (Course Camarguaise and Roussataio)
Art of living, Off the beaten tracks
Arles, Port Saint Louis du Rhône
All year round
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