It was purely by accident that I found out about Camargue but am so glad I did. Having fallen asleep in front of the TV one night, I awoke at about 2am to become fascinated by a program covering rare natural sites around the world. It spoke of wild horses, bulls and flamingos with a land mass of nearly 820 square kilometres. It is a large river delta and home to hundreds of bird species: a bird lover’s heaven. To my surprise, this exotic haven/heaven was not in Africa or Australia but, lo and behold, right next door in France. France? Yes. France.

Camargue is located a mere 27 miles/ 43 km south of Avignon. But if you are a European, I guess I do not need to tell you this. It seems once I began asking others around me if they had ever heard of Camargue, it seemed everyone had but me! A new friend of mine even had a poster of the wild Camargais horses hung on her wall. She loved Camargue. And an American friend who recently celebrated her wedding anniversary had been there, too. Cultural awakenings are just so exciting. This home of white horses released this spirit of adventure in me. I had to go.

Luckily, my husband thought it was a great idea and even agreed to do all the driving. It’s over a 7-hour drive from Zurich to Camargue. We left at 11 am and arrived at “Mas de Sylvéréal” just as the sun was setting. Equipped with my first Nikon camera, this was an opportunity to try my hand at taking pictures on vacation. No more unclear pictures taken trying to capture moments and vistas with a smartphone. Oh no. I had my very first “real” camera.

We didn’t have much time in Carmargue, unfortunately. Only 2 nights to be precise. But if you have never been there before, this is what I can recommend:

1) Stay at one of the many “Mas” available in close vicinity to the “Parc naturel regional de Camargue”. If you need to unwind, being close to the nature reserve will help take your mind off work. I promise.

2) Visit the bird sanctuary where you can watch hundreds of flamingos in their natural habitat as well as herons, ducks, and many other bird species as well as beavers and carp. Go if you can in the early morning to catch them during their feeding time and to avoid the heat of the midday sun. (Hannah – we wish you were there with us!)

3) For the more active and adventurous amongst you, consider taking a canoe trip or horseback riding on the famous white Carmargue horses. It’s surely to make your trip memorable. I am afraid I wimped out. It was during the

heat spell of 37C/ 98.6 F and I had been on a horse only twice in my life many, many moons ago.

4) Venture to the coast and visit the towns of Les Saintes-Marie de la Mer and Le Grau du Roi Port. Go swimming at the Epiguettes Beach or Plage Epiguettes. They are 2 separate beaches, both worth visiting.

By pure chance, we had arrived on the festival of Saint Peter, “Fête de la St Pierre”, taking place next to Epiguettes Beach in the fishing port of Le Grau du Roi Port and enjoyed an evening of seafood dining and even some late night fireworks. What great timing!

Here’s a video promoting the area.

I would definitely go again and hope I’ll have the opportunity to do so. If you are interested in hearing about our next stop to visit the famous lavender fields of France, then be sure to read our next article “Lovely Lavender” next week.

And don’t forget to try out our free vocabulary and reading comprehension quizzes!

B2 Vocabulary Quiz: Trip to Camargue

Please match the words with its synonym or phrase closest in meaning relevant to its use in the article "Trip to Camargue".

Check your reading comprehension

These reading comprehension questions test your ability to “read between the lines”. See if you understand the writer’s voice and implied message by completing this true or false quiz.

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