ADVICE FOR TRAVELLERS
BEST TIME TO GO Spring and early autumn are best. Avoid August, when France is on holiday. Late May is when the festival of St Sara is held at SaintesMaries-de-la-Mer. GETTING THERE Ryanair flies from Luton to Nîmes and Rail Europe has returns from London St Pancras to Arles or Nîmes. There is a local train from Nîmes to Le-Grau-du-Roi.
The central nature reserve is inaccessible by car, but Arles Tourism has advice on tours by bike, and many stables in Saintes-Maries run horseback treks into the Camargue. WHAT TO PACK Sunglasses and a hat, as there is little shade under that arching sky. Also take insect repellent: the marshes have been sprayed with a largely environmentally friendly bacterium, but mosquitoes still lurk in places. WHAT TO BRING BACK Fleur de sel (salt from the Salins du Midi, AiguesMortes); Vins des Sables de Camargue – the best are the rosés; Camargue red rice, herbs, spices and olives from the markets; sweets – crystallised fruit – and marzipan confectionery in all shapes (the little olives are especially realistic).