The Camargue in Provence: a nature lover’s dream

05th May, 2016
Located between the two arms of the River Rhône and stretching down to the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Camargue in Provence is the largest river delta in Western Europe. With over a third of the Camargue’s area being made up of lakes and marshland, the area has become a haven for wildlife and highly popular with those who love nature and the outdoors. Among the activities you can enjoy within the Camargue are birdwatching, hiking, riverboat trips, visits to remote beaches and horse riding on the area’s famous white horses.

The Camargue Natural Park Area contains a large UNESCO designated biosphere reserve, indicating that the area is notable for its wildlife. If it’s a variety of birds you’re looking to find, spring and autumn are the best times to visit, as hundreds of thousands of birds head here during their migration. The Camargue’s most associated bird, however, is the flamingo. Thousands of these pink birds can be seen living in the park’s many shallow expanses of water, though one of the places you’re definitely bound to spot them is in the ornithological park. As you walk the park’s several kilometres of trails, you’ll also find other kinds of waterfowl including egrets and herons.

As well as the flamingos, the Camargue region is also famous for its white horses, who have lived in the unique environment of the Camargue’s wetlands for thousands of years. Believed to be one of the oldest breeds in the world, they can be seen living and grazing in semi-wild conditions, working for the area’s traditional cowboys, who use them to round up black bulls, or giving visitors to the region treks across the fields or over the salt marshes.

The wildlife is just one main draw of the area, as the Camargue has also been well-known for its production of rice and salt for centuries. With over 20,000 hectares of rice paddies, the Camargue produces 5% of Europe’s rice, with its unique red rice being a popular souvenir. West of the banks of the Rhône, you’ll also find miles of salt pans, marked further by the large salt mountains. Located near our holiday villas in Provence, you’ll be spoilt for choice with stunning scenery and wildlife, which makes the Camargue perfect for a day trip or even as the main location for your holiday.

Image: Wolfgang Staudt, available under Creative Commons