This area of marshland on the Provence region's Mediterranean coast is a wild corner of France. Teeming with wildlife, it boasts pink flamingoes, native Camargue bulls and also native Camargue rare breed grey horses, manned by troupes of traditionally dressed "gardiens" (much like cowboys). Book in to the Mas de la Fouque hotel for an impressive stay in stylish surroundings, right in the heart of the wetlands.
The Camargue, a triangular area of flat land between Arles and the Mediterranean coast, is western Europe's most expansive river delta.
It is a dreamscape of ever changing light and mesmerisingly shifting perspectives, comprising shallow lagoons, pastures, salt marshes, dunes, beaches, and saline lakes (called étangs in the Languedoc). It is best explored on horseback or by bicycle.
The area is famous for its Camargue black bulls; the indigenous Camargue white horses; and spectacular flocks of pink flamingos.
The Camargue bulls have been bred for Course Camarguise, a traditional sport where young rasateurs chase a Camargue bull and compete to remove the cockade or rosettes pinned between its horns.
The Camargue horses, one of the oldest breeds in the world, are coloured dark brown or black at birth, but turn white after about three years. Used in rounding up Camargue bulls, they are particularly suited to surviving in the wild.
"I heard a sudden harmony of hooves,
And, turning, saw afar
A hundred snowy horses unconfined,
The silver runaways of Neptune's car
Racing, spray-curled, like waves before the wind."
From 'Horses on the Camargue'
by Roy Campbell
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