La Digue à la Mer


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 track runs along its length, linking Stes-Maries with the solar-powered Phare de la Gacholle (1882), a lighthouse automated in the 1960s. Footpaths cut down to lovely sandy beaches and views of pink flamingos strutting across the marshy planes are second to none. Walking on the fragile sand dunes is forbidden, as is driving.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Camargue attractions

1. Église des Stes-Maries

5.66 MILES

Built on the potential first site of Christianity in the Camargue, this fortified church is of uncertain vintage, but probably hails from the 12th century…

2. Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau

7.29 MILES

Flamingos are a dime a dozen in the Camargue, but this park is one of the best places to see the many other migratory and seasonal species that thrive in…

3. Réserve Nationale de Camargue

7.84 MILES

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,…

4. Manade des Baumelles

9.79 MILES

Located on the Petit Rhône, this manade (bull farm) lets visitors enter the world of the gardians ('cowboys'), watching their strenuous work from the…

5. Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue

10.06 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…

6. Musée de la Camargue

11.94 MILES

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

7. Domaine de la Palissade

14.59 MILES

This remote nature centre, 12km south of Salin de Giraud, organises fantastic forays through 702 hectares of protected marshland, scrubby glasswort,…

8. Musée Départemental Arles Antique

15.74 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…