Nowhere else are both countryside and waterscapes more attractive. In France, amongst the spacious tributaries of the Rhone, is the romantic region of the Camargue. Once considered as hostile terrain, today, this swampy area is becoming increasingly popular, which is not surprising with the large variety of impressive locations that this fascinating region has to offer and the region’s traditional white horses that are famous throughout the world.
Bright fields of sunflowers are everywhere, yet the Camargue is more well known for its cultivation of rice.
In the high season of the summer months, of which the inhabitants of the small town of Saintes-Maries-De-La-Mer numbers around 1,000, the population increases ten fold.
The fortified exterior of the pilgrimage church of Notre-Dame-De-La-Mer that was built on the site of an early Christian chapel, is a reminder of this region’s dramatic past. Legend has it that its beach was the starting point for the subsequent spread of Christianity in Provence. In addition to its significance as a place of pilgrimage, life in the village centers around the Camargue bulls and it even contains a bullring!
Just as with Provence, the beauty of the Camargue has attracted numerous famous painters and artists who were inspired by the wild tranquility of this area. The landscape itself is like a painting when suddenly a collection of water lilies can bring to mind a famous impressionistic painting by Monet.
The region’s outstandingly beautiful and harmonious combination of water, air and earth is unique in Europe. The French poet, Daudet, was absolutely right when he described the Camargue as the ‘most beautiful swamp in the world!’