Walk the final section of the St Giles Way through Roman vineyards to St-Gilles-du-Gard, from where the first crusaders departed to the Holy Land. Then continue across costiere and along the Compostella ‘Arles Route’ and canal to the subsequent crusader port, the walled cité of Aigues-Mortes.H iking Camargue has been likened to hiking the “French Texas” due to its wild and untamed nature. Yet the comparison ends there. The Camargue is a unique and magical country, where preserved natural spaces share a fragile sanctuary with man’s economic and domestic endeavours.
Rarely has such a gentle walking holiday given up so much history!”
Hiking Camargue is a multi-faceted experience and its main themes are threefold:
1. An exceptional natural environment delineated and defined by river and sea. The Rhône is the only river in France that has a delta. This has given rise to a mosaic of environments, including salt plains, lagoons and dunes, salt and freshwater marshes and reed beds, pasture land and forest. Whilst topographically flat, varied walking is guaranteed.
2. Walking in Camargue immerses you in an area of outstanding European flora and fauna: rare plant species like the glasswort, giant provençal reeds and the summer sand lily – of the 4700 species of flowering plants recorded in France, over 1000 are found in the Camargue; yes, the ubiquitous white horses and black bulls, but also thousands of birds who breed or use it as a resting place on the great north-south migratory route, such as the white egrets (often seen sitting on the backs of horses or bulls) and the emblematic pink (great) Flamingos, who have chosen La Camargue as their only regular nesting ground in Europe.
3. Diverse economic activity has evolved as a result of local circumstances, especially the ‘water war’ between stakeholders concerning what constitutes the optimum water and salinity level at any given time: the growers of the protected Camargue rice; the winemakers of the unique ‘sand wine/vins de sables’; the producers of salt for culinary and chemical use and for the manufacture of Marseille Soap; reed harvesters, the largest in France and, last but not least, the 7000 permanent inhabitants of the Delta who require water for drinking. Add to this the tourist influx and pressures start to build.
Hiking Camargue gives you the opportunity to explore these issues on the ground and witness the splendour of this protected, but fragile, ecosystem. Binoculars are de rigeur. Enjoy this trip, andy time of year, as a self-standing mini-tour and introduction to Camargue, or as part of a longer sojourn in the territory, that is best supplemented by the dreaded car.
* Note: we do not recommend you walk this tour between 1st July and 20th August due to the intense levels of heat and tourism.
- £395.00 GBP or €460.00 Euros
[per person, shared double or twin-bedded room]
- Experience the Camargue as few other visitors do
- Stay in welcoming 2-star hotels and savour the local Mediterranean cuisine.
- Start in Roman Nimes and finish in the walled crusader-town of Aigues-Mortes on the Med.
- Hike a mix of pilgrimage route [GR700 & 653], Costiere trail and the Canal de Rhone a Sete.
- Walk a delta rich in wildlife: beaver, bull, flamingo and white horse.
- Why not combine this tour with our nearby single-centre, and light 4-night La Grande Motte Fitness ‘n’ Golf or Multi-Sports programme? The perfect complement and we’ll transfer you there for free!
- 4-night, light self-guided tour across western Camargue.
- Start any day all year round
- Tour starts in Nimes and finishes on Mediterranean Aigues-Mortes
- Best access from Nimes airports or SNCF/TGV station
- Good quality accommodation.
- Average 5 hours walking and 11 miles/17½ kms a day. .
- We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
- 4 nights B & B and all hotel taxes
- One evening meal in St-Gilles – options exist from which you can choose on the other nights
- Luggage transfers and a people transfer on Day Two.
- Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
- Emergency telephone help-line service with native-English speaking local backup.
Not included: remaining meals, entrances to any cultural events or arrival and departure transport.
- Excellent level of character and comfort.
- Choice of restaurants to suit different budgets and tastes – information provided in dossier
- One night in Nimes: 3-star hotel
- One night in St-Gilles: 2-star hotel
- One night in Vauvert: 2-star hotel
- One night in Aigues-Mortes: 2-star hotel
- Nearest airport or SNCF station is Avignon [3.5 hrs on TGV from Paris or Lille] with onward journey to Pont St Esprit by bus or transfer – please ask for details.
- Next-best access is via Nimes airport or SNCF station [4 hrs on TGV from Paris or Lille] with onward journey to Pont St Esprit by bus or transfer – please ask for details.
- Alternative convenient options are via Lyon or Montpellier airports, with onward TGV to Avignon – 30 and 60 minute journeys, respectively.
- Hot, dry summers; warm and sunny spring & autumn
- Undulating Mediterranean lowland and Garrigues punctuated by historic villages & hamlets and the Ardeche and Ceze valleys
Hiking Camargue – Tour Itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival in Nimes. and check in. Early arrivals can enjoy a short urban hike around this fine Roman town. Night in Nimes.
Nimes to St-Gilles.
[10 miles-16 kms, 5 hrs.]
Chateau de Tuiliers
Collection from Nimes and transfer to the start of the day’s walking. Enjoy a hike through one of Europe’s oldest wine domains, with vines being foremost on the day’s agenda. Celebrate your arrival in the sacred town of St-Gilles with a bottle of its finest red – Costieres de Nimes.
Night in St-Gilles.
St Gilles to Vauvert.
[10½ miles/16½ kms, 4½ hrs ].
A chance to savour a section of the Arles Route or Chemin d’Arles, the GR 653, and one of the four trails in France that lead to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.
Night in Vauvert.
Vauvert to Aigues-Mortes.
[13 miles/20 kms, 5½ hrs].
Canal du Midi a Sete
A gentle day’s walking across some fine Petite Camarguaise countryside comprising costieres, shaded river bank, ranch, celebrated watch tower and the Canal de Rhone a Sete.
Night in Aigues-Mortes.
Day 5: Departure day – End of your Camargue walking tour after breakfast and onward journey by bus or train. Bon retour et a la prochain!
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- Delight in the many splendours of the 'French Texas' - bulls and Camargue horses - plus pink flamingos
- Walk the final stage of the St Giles Way as well as a section of the Arles [Camino] route
- Visit Roman Nimes, Saint Gilles and the magnificent medieval walled town of Aigues-Mortes.
- Too hot to handle from July to late August and with an excess of tourist - best in early-to-late spring and from September to mid-November
- No evening meals included - but local options abound to suite your tastes and budget
A light-walking trip across France's only delta. Experience the unique ambiance of this fragile biosphere along a mix of trails from Roman Nimes to the Medieval Med."
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