Almost 1500 km square of lagoons, reedbeds, marshes: is the Rhône delta that is located in the Regional Natural Park of the Camargue, and that is a real haven from the naturalistic point of view.
1500 km square of lagoons, reedbeds and marshes
They are home to over 400 species of birds, over 300 those “pitch,” that is, who come to spend the winter in the pond Vaccarès during their migrations between Europe and Africa. It also lives in the Camargue the last spontaneous population of beavers in Western Europe and, above all, wherever you meet its animal-symbol: horses, bulls, pink flamingos, which over time have added those imported as otters and cattle egret.
But the Camargue is also a land of nomads and gitanes, a fascinating territory, beyond the white dunes, bordered by the sea and the sea came in 48 A.D. Maria Maddalena and Maria Jacobé who landed in the place where today stands Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer along with their black servant, Sara, Martha and Lazarus and Maximin.
And just Sara, also known as “Sara the Black” or “Marie the Egyptienne” was chosen by gypsies as their patron saint, and in May the nomads from all over the world gather here to carry her in procession at sea.
The Camargue name in German means “island” and this land the island really remember, surrounded by the confluence of the two branches of the Rhone (Petit Rhône and the Grand Rhône). One of the best ways to discover the natural landscapes of the area is on board a boat that brings to mind those moving on the great American river Mississippi and it takes an hour and a half to do the full tour.
If the trip has put you hungry, stop at Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, famous not only for its architectural beauty and its magnificent fortified cathedral, it is also for its tasty cuisine as they occur dishes like the guardianne de toreau, a kind of beef stew, and soup of cockles that are collected through a big rake plowing the sand of the seabed. To be combined with a glass of gris, which is not a gray wine, but tends to pale pink and is obtained with the same oenological procedures for the whites, pressing the grapes and removing the skins during the maceration.
Great atmosphere even as you breathe in Aigues-Mortes, the golden stone city museum which is reflected in a populated swamp of flamingos and monuments that bear witness to its interesting past, beginning with the 1640 meters of the fortified walls built between 1272 and 1300. We recommend that you climb and make the rounds on the walls that guarantees a magnificent view of the nearby salt marshes and swamps surrounding the fortified citadel.
Hence king Louis IX of France sailed twice to participate in the Crusades, and here at the end of 1600 were imprisoned Huguenots between the mighty walls of Constance Tour.
From the top of the tower the view sweeps over the Rhone delta lagoons that can be followed on the edge of ancient barges and the “camelles”, the typical snow-white clusters of salt which is obtained in low and wide tanks where the seawater flows slowly and evaporation favors the formation of the crust high about six centimeters.