Amazing Camargue Experience

Experiencing Camargue All Around & Visiting Scamandre Nature Reserve

Going for holidays down to the South of France to Languedoc-Roussillon area, I havent even dreamt what I will see & experience and discover. Not to sound too silly but honestly I didn’t know and realize that the Camargue type of nature exists. Oh well, it is never too late to learn…

Camarague amazing landscape
Camarague amazing landscape

So, can you imagine lots of water separated by land with wild birds and animals just next to you? Can you imagine loads of this land, surrounding big towns and villages, the land filled with beautiful landscapes, fields full of grapes trees, supporting the production of top class wine? Oh well, I have been enchanted! I felt in love! I felt like watching those documentary programs about birds and exotic places. And all of this was just next to me, I have been admiring when driving, I stopped for a photo, I visited it properly (well just a part as the whole Camargue is huge!) with the Scamandre Nature Reserve for a proper wander around…

Entering Scamandre Nature Reserve
Entering Scamandre Nature Reserve

But let’s start from the beginning. Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing Camargue just in case you haven’t heard about it before or in case you have already known it and you would like to recall it with some more info and pretty photos…I hope you will like them…

The Camargue is located in southern Provence, south of Arles, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. Few towns of any size have developed in the Camargue. Its “capital” is Arles, located at the extreme north of the delta where the Rhône forks into its two principal branches. The only other towns of note are along the sea front or near it: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, about 45 km to the southwest and the medieval fortress-town of Aigues-Mortes on the far western edge, in the Petite Camargue.

Camargue Map
Camargue Map

The Camargue is now a regional Natural Park and has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

But what’s the Camargue is it exactly? It is a large, flat area of over 930 km2 (360 sq mi) and it is the western Europe’s largest river delta. Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The landscape in Camargue is characterized by the double influence of water and salt : irrigation water is diverted to the north of the delta while the sea water introduced for the production of salt increases the salinity of the ground in the south. There are several types of environments: dunes, pools, marshes, saltwort, grass, grasslands and forests.

Nature in the Camarague
Nature in the Camarague

It is also home to wide range of wildlife, including semi-wild bulls and the Camargue horses, and more than 400 species of birds. Other wildlife includes wild boars, badgers, flamingos, tree frogs and water snakes. There are also more than 40 species of mosquitoes living in the area and annoying visitors…

Camarguais
Camarguais

I was amazed by white horses so I learned that they are famous Camargue ancient horse breed, called Camarguais. They have been recognised in 1978 by the French national breeding association. The Camargue horses are small horses, sturdy, tough and intelligent. As they need to be to survive the harsh climate here – very hot in summer, but frequently very cold in winter. They are actually born with the brown coats which turn light grey when they are about five. They are essential for the gardian (cowboy) due to their work in the “manade” (livestock of bulls and horses).Driving-the-bullsThey are ridden by the gardians (cowboys), who rear the region’s cattle for fighting bulls for export to Spain.

Camargue bulls
Camargue bulls

Bulls, with their dark brown coats, have existed in Camargue since ancient antiquity. They are bred for Camargue bull runs. The guardians of the Camargue – the ‘cowboys’ who look after the horses and bulls live in the small simple whitewashed cottages whose particular architectural feature adds so much charm to the landscape of the region.

Gardian House
Gardian House

Another most representative and loved by me species of the delta are the pink flamingo since the delta is its unique place of reproduction in Europe….someone has told me once that they come to France to reproduce as France is such a welcoming & happy country and it helps those beautiful birds to get together and multiply…this someone was a cheeky person indeed 😉Provence-Flamingos-Parc-Regional-de-Camargue

So wow, I went for a walk to the Scamandre Nature Reserve. It was stunning up there – with the amazing sunny weather and not that amazing wind, I enjoyed and felt a bit dizzy on a wooden path on the water, scared to fell inside it…Impressed by the view, landscape, birds and blue sky…

There are actually many organized trips to the Camargue to choose from. Each from the near by towns offers many attractions to experience Camargue. If I would have to choose one I would go for a trip on horseback, but there are less adventurous ones offered to tourists, so plenty of options to get a proper Camargue experience. But definitely this is a place that has to be visited!

jadorelyon

I am a Polish girl who felt in love with Lyon from the first sight! Jadorelyon is my way of exploring France, the French way of life, their cuisine, sharing the experience from visiting beautiful places in France. Jadorelyon is my new way of adding some Polish influence into French lives and watching on how they like it...