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Camargue: a naturalistic oasis for flora and fauna

This article is also available in: Italian

The Camargue is a natural region of southern France, it is located in the Rhone delta and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, it is a flat area of about 1,000 km² for about a third formed by lakes, marshes, ponds and marshy areas (Étang de Vaccarès, Le Salin-de-Giraud) and for the rest from areas suitable for pastures or for the cultivation of rice and vines.

The Camargue is included between the two arms of the Rhône (Grand Rhône and Petit Rhône), and is part of the French administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), west of the Rhône is the Petite Camargue which administratively is part of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region (Languedoc-Roussillon).

The center of the region, around the Étang de Vaccarès is a regional natural park (Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue) which includes an area of 856 km² (including 343 km² of marine park), it protects the natural humid ecosystem of the area and the adjacent marine area.

The park museum (Musée de la Camargue) is located 10 km south of Arles and traces the history of man in the region, from prehistory to the present day, the short path which allows the discovery of the landscapes of a sheepfold of the Camargue.

The Camargue is a site of great importance for the conservation of local and migratory bird species, among the most common gulls, ducks, terns, herons, flamingos, but other animals such as bulls and horses are also found in the area , the vegetation is made up of reeds, glasswort, daffodils, euphorbias, rushes, tamarisks, junipers and pines. Along the coast there are extensive salt marshes.

Among the places to visit in the Camargue we find Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the capital of the Camargue; Saint-Gilles, with a beautiful Romanesque abbey church (Abbatiale de Saint-Gilles-du-Gard); and Aigues-Mortes, a village completely surrounded by a medieval wall.

In Pont-de-Gau is the Ornithological Park (Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau), which allows the observation of birds in their natural habitat. For those who want to get to know the gypsy traditions of the region, the Gypsy Museum (Musée Tsigane) has been set up in Pioch-Badet. Every year in May, gypsies gather in the village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer to celebrate their patron saint, Santa Sarah.


This article is also available in: Italian


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