Camargue is a small region in the south of France, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the two forks of the Rhone River. The region, once home to Cistercian and Benedictine monks, is largely agricultural to the north. However, the southern part of the region holds some of the most untouched and pristine land in western Europe.
Fun facts about Camargue
Not familiar with Camargue? Don't worry. We have a slew of fun facts for you to get acquainted with the area.
- The Camargue region is western Europe's largest river delta.
- Approximately one-third of Camargue is made up of lakes or marsh land.
- Much of western Europe's industrial salt is mined in this area.
- Camargue's unique landscape has intrigued script writers and novelists for years, and the region is featured in such diverse works as the children's film, "The White Mane" and C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novel, "A Ship of the Line."
Things to see and do in Camargue
Visitors to Camargue will find a myriad of unique and fascinating things to see and do.
- Visit the wild white horses. Camargue is home to a special breed of white horses that bear the region's name. Little known outside of France, these horses are believed to be one of the oldest breeds of horses still in existence. They are known for their stamina and agility and are the traditional mount of the area's cowboys (called gardians) who herd the Camargue bulls that are raised there for bullfighting.
- See the birds. Camargue is home to more than 400 species of birds, including flocks of pink flamingos. One of the best places to view this colorful aviary array is the 820 square kilometer Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue. This wildlife refuge, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also has a museum with interactive displays illustrating the history and the different birds, plants and animals of the region.
- Savor the regional food specialties. The food of Camargue combines some of the classic dishes of Provence and the Mediterranean region, such as bouillabaisse (seafood stew) and broufado (braised beef with onions) with dishes unique to the delta, such as gardiane de taureau, a dish made with the meat of the indigenous bulls. Of course, you'll also find a good selection of wines, from the dry roses of Provence to the full-bodied reds of the Rhone Valley.
Visiting Camargue on a barge cruise
One of the most convenient and most serene ways to visit Camargue is on board a barge cruise. These unique floating hotels cut through the countryside quietly without disturbing the flora and fauna on the river banks. In addition, a barge cruise lets you visit multiple cities without the interruption and hassle of packing and unpacking and checking in and out of hotels. We offer five-day voyages on the 18-passenger "Le Phenician." The itinerary includes calls at Avignon, Arles and Aigues-Mortes in the heart of Camargue. In addition to enjoying this wild and wonderful part of France, guests are treated to gourmet meals with wine every evening, complimentary bicycles to help explore the region and a variety of shore excursions included in the cruise price.
Barge Cruises with the Barge Connection
The Barge Connection, a specialist in barge cruises since 1998, offers a variety of barge cruises throughout France, including several in Provence and "Le Phenician" in Camargue. The California-based Barge Connection has been creating memorable barge cruise vacations since 1998 and has grown to be one of the leading barge cruise companies in the United States. We excel at matching you with the perfect barge cruise to fit your interests and your budget. One call to us takes care of everything, from the cruise to any pre- or post-cruise arrangements.