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The research I did before going to Arles led me to believe that you need a car to visit the Camargue. Luckily this is not the case!

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Camargue is a region close to Arles. It is where the Rhone meets the Mediterranean, creating interesting flooded areas with lots of wildlife.

Following the recommendation of my host in Arles, I decided to visit Pont the Gau, a bird reserve at the heart of Camargue National Park (ticket 7.50€).

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It is a good place to get a taste of what the region has to offer, as it has a little bit of everything. But the main attraction are definitely the flamingos, which are everywhere and spend their time looking like Giacometti statues dancing an awkward ballet. You can even spot them flying from time to time!

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You can also spot lots of other birds, many dragonflies and the occasional horse. And you can catch great views of the surrounding area too.

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To reach Pont de Gau, you can take bus L20 from Arles (ticket for 1€), which leaves every few hours. The trip takes about 40min.

Alternatively, the same bus also goes to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, which is the main town in the Camargue. There are many walking routes around there. Horse-riding and renting bikes are also popular.

Another option is to head to Salin de Giraud, where you can follow other walking trails. Bus n. 10 from Arles goes there a few times per day (timetable available here).

The links above as well as information centres in the region are all full of detailed information on how to reach the different areas, so it was actually fairly simple to see some of the Camargue just taking the bus. The only thing to be aware of is that the bus can get quite busy, so it’s best to go early.

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