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“We came for Vincent, stayed for the Romans, wild horses & circus.”

Camargue Nature Park
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Small-Group Guided Day-Trip to the Camargue from Avignon
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Private Provence Tour: la Camargue, Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and...
Ranked #3 of 74 things to do in Arles
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed June 1, 2013

Years ago, I'd spent six of the most wonderful weeks on a year's travel sabbatical in Arles, France. At the time, I was- among other pursuits- researching the possibility of yet another in a near countless number of tomes, on the work and life of Vincent Van Gogh. might I add, to very little loss of the world at large, one which finally went unwritten. Clearly with so much of his mark on everything about me, V. would be the primary focus. I had no clear idea there would be so many and so varied other sources of pleasure in that stay touching upon a vast array of experiences such as multiple Roman remains everywhere. Also I smile at recall of the local amazing ever so slightly effervescent white wine, available in the town centre only on Saturday mornings, and poured directly from the barrel, into one's own five litre plastic containers, incredibly cheap for the quality because it didn't travel well over distances without the missing costly preservative processes.

A further wonderful awakening occurred when friends introduced us to the Camargue, getting me out of town on the afternoon of my later evening's surprise birthday party, one which would feature thick steaks seasoned for hours and then seared in an open centuries old dining room fireplace, a technique fancifully and beautifully French. The perfect prelude to that perfect night was filled with mistral winds, gaucho looking cowboys, boleros, horses, colorful birds, prairies and impressive cattle reminiscent of the nineteenth century American or Canadian West.

This was not a show, but the real thing with real people living real and working hard in this choice of lifestyles. The experience was inordinately different from anything I'd ever imagine finding in France or anywhere across the Atlantic, and altogether pleasing and memorable for it. Another unique Arles cultural surprise of sort involved the day we too our kids to a travelling one ring circus which had stopped in Arles for a day or two. We paid for four first row seats, inexpensive as they were, and wiped the horse and elephant mucus from our faces in sheer delight while..., ah, but that's another story, isn't it?

3  Thank preglad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 - 217 of 635 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

While staying near Aix-en-Provence, we took several day trips, one being to this interesting and wild area of Mediterranean shores. We saw the bulls, the horses, the birds, but then something very unexpected, naturists! We were driving down the beach, like other cars, heading toward a spot where we would be alone, when we got stuck in the sand. I was on my stomach, raking sand out from under the car when I looked up, oops! Didn't realize this part of the beach was more empty because it is the nude beach section. Well, 3 very nice men helped my husband and I get the car unstuck and onto more stable ground, and we had a lovely afternoon on the beach.

Thank Mitzucat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We had never heard of wild horses in France. The Camargue Reserve which is the Rhone River delta area is fascinating and our visit there was the highlight of my trip to Arles. We saw the the wild, white horses, the black bulls raised for bullfighting, and hundreds of flamingos. The area is also known for rice growing and salt marshes. We had a wonderful lunch of the Camargue red rice at a little open air restaurant in the town of St. Bertrand. You will need to rent a car or take a tour of the Camargue... I am not sure if there is bus service to the area... there aren't very many people living in the area.

3  Thank AlamoGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Marvellous place to visit. Within 5 hours we saw 5 species of herons, 3 species of hawks, wild pigs, beaver, fox, white horses and black bulls among other exciting animals. Remember to have good binoculars!

3  Thank Jarkko65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

By Zoran Slavic

My experience with Camargue Nature Park is at least three layers. I experienced it an emerging, the three locations, but each time the great interest. First I saw this natural compound, staying in Arles, from the highest point of the amphitheater Arena. In it initially fought gladiators, now used for bullfighting, and believe it or not, and opera stage. The story begins more than Caesar who crashed Marseilles because the city was moved to Pompey's side, and Arles declared to the local capital.
I climbed the stairs to one of the sunken medieval towers, which were added to enhance the arena. From stone cells on the top of the tower I looked through the little window down, the roofs clinker-built, streets without trees, because it only grows in the area, and by River Rhone. Through the southern windows saw is one spot of the sheet of water - Camargue. It was an opportunity to inform you about the famous and incredible Rhône River delta.
The restaurant "La Gueule du Loup," and where, because the waiters are moving encyclopedia, find out how the delta exploited and maintained by the Romans. The Romans, however, have one day left, with '' Wind and barbarians and Christians'', Rhone has showered its sludge lagoons, the Camargue, the Gulf, has become pestilential swamp; roads collapsed and ceased to be used. The city declined. On the Camargue salt grass swinging wind, came a herd of wild white horses, by which this region famous. Barbarians have it, later, finished off and only had Charlemagne restored. Later, they come much later, in the same place appeared oil refineries, nuclear power plants, chemical factories. In short, is the history of the delta.
For lunch was served, what a coincidence, a filet of Camargue bull! In an intimate setting, with views of the kitchen and smiling cooks, Rhone delta, the Camargue, at me even prettier. Another encounter with Camargue occurred when I came from continental France in Marseille. Throughout Rhone, and how else, I descended from mainland France to the Mediterranean. This river that only Seine in this country can be put into the background. Rhone, which from the Swiss Alps, with glaciers, travels 813 kilometers to the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, the Gulf of Camargue, that's an impressive blend of marshes, sand dunes, diverse aquatic plant mediates between the rivers with historical symbolism, but very contemporary tasks, and the largest Mediterranean port - Marseilles. From April upstream heading to Avignon, Arles and Nimes, the mouth of the river became bluer,
as the sky above it. And the smell of the coast this month absence seemed more intense. Now I know, as the ship carefully maneuver through mixed meander this salty-sweet water in the delta, I actually channel of the Rhone leads to the sea. One of those who, from the source all the way almost to the mouth, reach the Rhine, the Seine and the Loire. Marseille is shining east of where the river flows into the sea. City of a million, the second largest in France, full binding traces the history and extremely active present. A port which cans also be reached by land and sea.
The third meeting of the Camargue was perhaps the strangest. At least the personalities that are indirectly involved in the story of this picturesque delta. I went from a town near Arles, Saint-Remy, where he was the asylum Vincent Van Gogh. Saint-Remy is known for being born there Nostradamus. Prophet and astrologer who predicted the ''almost'' all the world. For visitors to the Van Gogh
last asylum I heard a story that the famous Provence poet Frederic Mistral was born in Camargue complex. In the small town of Maillane, the confluence of the River Rhone. A Mistral is a Camargue wrote numerous verses in Okitan language, which today serves classically educated residents of this part of France. Aside from what I wrote at the Faculty offprint of this poet. Thus, the direction Maillane. By the way a lot of water, plants, birds. All over the Rhone river and its backwaters, oxbows, ponds, lakes. White horses and bulls this time we have not seen. However we met the gypsies, who was long here found a place of respite. I'm going to the museum Frederic Mistral.
There, just as I expected, but also something unexpected - photographs and documents from the winter in 1905. when, here in Camargue, took an unusual meeting Provencal troubadour Frederic Mistral, and Buffalo Bill, the famous North American buffalo hunter, pony riders Express
and the sheriff. Which, of course, was not just an admirer of poetry written by the French Nobel laureate, because he was a semi-literate, but therefore intelligent enough to accept Mistral invitation to visit him in his native land. Then the great poet came to watch him on'' Buffalo Bills' Wild West'' show, in nearby Tarascon, story to us Mistral curator at the museum, Daniel Cody - aka Buffalo Bill - gave the poet a dog who was called Frederick Pan Pardeau. Contemporaries of the meeting noted that the two major contemporary physical looks a lot like each other, and that Cody expressed great respect for the famous Frenchman.
In return, on one fork of at the River Rhone, the immense flock of pink flamingos as if it wished that I in due course return to Camargue.

2  Thank TravelerZrenjanin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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