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Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

Seattle, Washington
10 posts
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Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

I have 2 nights / days sandwiched between a week in the Luberon area and another in Paris, and would like to spend that time in Camargue.

Our party of five includes our 8 year old who just wants to play on a sandy beach, as well as my parents who are incapable of taking it easy (their idea of fun is kamikaze sightseeing), so I am anticipating that we will have to split up into two separate groups with different objectives.

With this in mind, I'm having some difficulty accumulating information on the Camargue and Aigues-Mortes area. Some of the questions I have:

1) Is it easy to find a good beach in Camargue and are there any facilities (bathroom, showers, etc.)?

2) Where to stay: Specifically Is there enough in Ste-Maries-de-la-Mer and Aigues-Mortes to keep my parents occupied? Or conversely, if we stayed in Arles, would it be inconvenient to drive out to Camargue for a dip?

3) What other activities do you recommend in the Camarague area (We have a car)?

4) Please share any good seafood places you know of as my girlfriend is a crazy fish lover.

Thank you very much for your assistance!

Sydney, Australia
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25,173 posts
60 reviews
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1. Re: Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

Sts Maries de la Mer is a real holiday town with a gorgeous boardwalk and a sandy beach, rather segmented by groines going out into the sea. Lots of seaside shops selling buckets and spades, plenty of cafes, a defensive church and so on. Can't comment on facilities. Many beaches in France are private and have their own facilities. I don't "beach" so I am not sure re Sts Maries. The bits of beach I saw seemed to be public.

There is very close horseriding, on "ranches" or over the sands. Some history too, especially round the "Maries" legends and the Gypsy saint Sarah.

Aigues Mortes is fascinating, an afternoon visit perhaps, history, walls, an ex-prison a delightful church and many shops. Close by are the castles of Tarascon (intact, beautiful) and Beaucaire (ruined, through lovely gardens, has a falconry display)

There are Provencale bull fights from time to time, not ones with death to the bull normally but capturing a cockade from between the horns.

The Camargue has salt pans, flamingoes, bulls and horses, rice fields and Gardian cabins. The bird sanctuary is worth a visit.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

Thanks for the reply, lynn. Gave me a good idea of the locale :)

provence
Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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1,978 posts
105 reviews
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3. Re: Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

I am not a great fan of St Maries preferring Aigues Mortes every time!

I might consider staying in Arles where there is certainly enough to keep people occupied.

The drive to Aigues Mortes takes you through the Camargue so you can see the bulls, white horses and Flamingoes.

There are some fantastic beaches in the Camargue but because they are public they have few facilities on them - just miles of sandy beach!

A lot depends when you are going as just down the road from Aigues Mortes is the Plage des Espigette (sorry if spelling wrong). Its about half an hour in total from Aigues Mortes and in peak season at certain points along the dunes are simple restaurant/snack bars. The major advantage is that the car park is patrolled by security guards.

For restaurants we wander round the towns and select the ones most popular with the locals,

Edited: 28 March 2011, 10:08
4. Re: Camargue: Beach, Hotels, Activities, Food

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