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the camargue

Posted by calcalino - Created: 14 years ago
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can anyone please advise me the best time to visit the camargue (and also the worst)....i've heard that in a particular season it is overrun with mosquitoes (can't recall when it was)- look forward to input from you lovely anglo-info people

thanks

calcalino

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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 11 years ago

Someone has emailed me asking for information about the Camargue, I thought I may as well post my reply to them here so that anyone else who is interested in this lovely place can benefit from this too. I'm not really an expert on it, it just happens to be a place I like very much. We've been a few times, we've stayed in Aigues Mortes (Hotel Victoria) and Arles (don't remember the hotel name), and in Les Ste. Maries (again, don't remember the name) and also on a ranch just outside Les Stes Maries, and whilst I would be able to find it, I can't remember the name. Most of the ranch/estancia places welcome - and I mean welcome rather than tolerate - children, so your little ones will be fine. The people there are really kind. One of our party was ill and they went to endless trouble to make sure she was comfortable, offered to call a doctor, cook special food, and so on - very typical of the area. I suppose for a long weekend you might want to book, but the place is so relaxed that whenever we've been we've just driven around, found somewhere we like the look of, and got a room. By the way the overnights aren't cheap - I seem to remember the last time we stayed in an Estancia it was about €100 a night - but that was inclusive and it was well worth it. I only mention this as some people expect to find it all at around €20 a night! I can't tell you a lot more than that, but if you drive around and take in all the scenery, you'll have a lovely time. It's a very special place, it has a tranquillity and a backwardness that makes it a delight. It's like going back 30 years in time.

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Posted by calcalino - 14 years ago

thank you kind people for your replies...october it will be

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 14 years ago

It's one of the most beautiful areas of France, if not the whole of Europe.  It is still unspoilt despite its proximity to the Cote D'Azur (one of the most desecrated areas of the the world) and to the oil refineries and shipping industries of the Marseilles region. 

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer,  the main 'town' (pop. about 2500!), is busy during the summer, but not unpleasantly so, and once you get outside there are dozens of estancias where you can stay inexpensively and comfortably and enjoy the regions tranquillity, superb food, and hospitality.  The small villages where the way of life hasn't changed for many years are probably the most rewarding parts of the Camargue, but Arles and Aigues Mortes are well worth a day or two each.

I have had enjoyable visits at most times of the year, including winter, and the worst problem, as mentioned, is the mozzies in the summer.  Because, by its nature, a visit to the Camargue is an outdoor holiday,  there is little you can do to avoid these pests other than choose a better time to go.  During the day it isn't too bad but in the evenings when you want to sit outside with a drink and a meal - you can't unless you are covered from head to foot in repellent and protective clothing.  Of course you can stay inside in airconditioned sealed rooms but then you may as well stay at home!

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Posted by Carolebay-180697 - 14 years ago

Hi There

Most definitely, Legend is quite correct, wait until September, and re-visit next spring. You'll see the migration, and hopefully miss the mass of holiday makers.

In the meantime.... stock up on repellant, brush up your knowledge of the wildlife, the history of the Camargue and villages, towns and cities that aren't too far away.

It is a wonderful area. You have to see it to believe it.

  

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 14 years ago

For 2 reasons you have just missed the best period to visit the Camargue.

The mosquitoes are prolific from about now until October but you can always overcome that issue with permanent repellant cream.  However, the thing that you'll miss now is the return migration which has just completed.

My advice - wiait until end September (for outward migration) or till March-April for the return.  The temperatures are more moderate then as well.  The wind can often be an issue but that blows just about all year round.