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Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

Vancouver, Canada
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Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

I apologize for the French version. I did not realize I was on the English side of trip advisor.

I am travelling with a 7 year old child and an elderly person to Camargue this July. I was wondering if someone could let me know which place is better for staying over; stes Maries or aigues Mortes. I would prefer not to use the car unless for excursion. My son is very active so I was thinking beaches, biking, walking, horse riding.

I am also thinking to spend some time in a ''mas'' . If anyone has some recommandations, it will be much appreciated. thank you.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

Thanks Nathalie...

More people can learn more here from your question.

You really NEED a car in this region....you really need to re-think if you want to explore the area To rent a mas / gite / villa you really need to be in the area for a week....Saturday to Saturday.......that is pretty standard practice for vacation rentals.

Edited: 02 January 2014, 08:33
Antibes, France
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2. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

I agree a car is almost 100% essential in the Camargue. Also the place is basically a large flat marsh and unless you are very avid nature lovers indeed IMO opinion a week is overkill.

However, may I suggest you choose Arles as your base which will give you far more variety including Roman antiquities, mediaeval churches, a choice of good restauants - not to mention places associated with van Gogh and other artists. And , without a car, you can take 4x4 tours of the Camargue from here - several companies offer them from Arles.


Le Bugue, France
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3. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

I don't know how you'd ever even get to Ste-Marie or Aigues-Mortes without a car! Or why you'd want to, as there is little to do there on foot; it's all about driving around and seeing the wildlife and refuges and rice paddies and sand wine vineyards and seascapes. Without a car, the Camargue is not a viable destination. Either rent a car and find a place in Aigues-Mortes (there aren't any mas there - it's a town), or base in Arles and get the tourist office to connect you with tour operators.

4. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

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Pittsburgh, PA
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5. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

I visited both towns in Oct. (same day, short visits), and preferred Aigues-Mortes. There is a very old Romanesque church in Stes. Maries that is interesting, and we attended Les Courses, but the rest of the town was very touristy, IMO. Of course, the sea-side location is very pretty.

St. Saturnin d'Apt...
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6. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

Hi Nathalie,

As others have mentioned, I think a car would be pretty much essential for a stay in the Camargue. Given that outdoors activities (beach,biking) seem paramount, I'd recommend staying near Les Saintes. We once did a short 3 day trip and stayed at a manade/small hotel about 5km from town (Hôtel de Cacharel) which while certainly not chic but was very much authentic and relaxed with a nice poool and very friendly owners. As a plus, you could leave right from the property for a horseback excursion. You'd need to take the car into town and the beach, but it's really not a big deal. Plus, keep in mind that July will be very crowded, so being a bit away from the "zoo" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

While I find Aigues-Mortes fascinating, I'd still say Les Saintes will be better for you primarily because of the beach. Sure Les Saintes is touristy, but I find it strangely refreshing since it's nearly 100% French tourists in the summertime and mostly families on beach vacations. You can also do a great bike ride along the digue de la mer, which I highly recommend. By all means, go for an afternoon to Aigues-Mortes - your kid can burn off tons of energy touring the medieval walls if nothing else !

Also, do plan a day trip to Arles - you're so close, it would be a shame not to.

- Kevin

Edited: 03 January 2014, 07:47
7. Re: Stes Maries or aigues-Mortes?

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