Réserve Nationale de Camargue


One of the oldest nature reserves in France (first delineated in 1927 and given official protected status in 1975), it covers 132 sq km of wetlands, lagoons, islands, peninsulas and the vast 600-sq-km Étang de Vaccarès. There's an information centre at La Capelière and the website has useful maps detailing recommended birdwatching areas and balades naturalistes (nature walks).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Camargue attractions

1. Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue

6.38 MILES

Enclosed by the Petit Rhône and Grand Rhône rivers, most of the Camargue wetlands fall within the 850-sq-km Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue, established…

2. La Digue à la Mer

7.84 MILES

This 2.5m-high dyke was built in the 19th century to cut the delta off from the sea, making the southern Camargue arable. A 20km-long walking and cycling…

3. Musée de la Camargue

8.58 MILES

Inside a 19th-century sheep shed 10km southwest of Arles, this museum evokes traditional life in the Camargue, with exhibitions covering history, culture,…

4. Les Alyscamps

9.61 MILES

Testament to the significance of Roman Arles, this grand processional avenue of tombs and sarcophagi holds more than 1500 years of corpses (which Roman…

5. Musée Départemental Arles Antique

9.67 MILES

This striking cobalt-blue museum perches on the edge of what used to be the Roman chariot-racing track (hippodrome), southwest of central Arles. The…

6. Fondation Luma

9.68 MILES

Arles' already-bulging cultural landscape avidly awaits this new cutting-edge gallery and arts centre, rising inexorably at a defunct railway depot in the…

7. Espace Van Gogh

9.84 MILES

The 16th-century hospital where Van Gogh had his ear stitched on and was later locked up hosts the occasional exhibition (which attracts an entry fee). At…

8. Église St-Trophime

9.87 MILES

Named for Arles' semi-mythical first archbishop, this Romanesque-style church, built over a 5th-century basilica, was a cathedral until the bishopric…