In the South of France to watch bullfights or to visit a natural landscape with flamingos?
Both – From Arles to Camargue – outstanding combination of History and nature.
Arles is a small and quite discrete town in Southern France, Provence. It lays on a very important Roman road which means that already in the 1st century Romans managed to build a fantastic theatre, even for today’s criteria. Mostly the Arènes Romaines, which was built for gladiator battles for app 25,000 inhabitants!! Truly colossal and well-kept buildings still give you an imposing feeling today. You almost hope that you will catch sight of match preparations just like in the famous movie Gladiator.. Today, the city is organising another kind of interesting seasonal show for visitors- bullfights (the animals don’t get killed like in the neighbouring Spain)! Animals, torres, black bulls are bred all around the area.. This otherwise calm little town offers comfortable seating area under the plane trees with a glass of pastis. In addition, outside of the bullfights, seasonal musical and theatre festivals, we can also see the original drawings of Picasso in the Museum Reattu, because the artist liked to visit this place… This town loaded with light and History was also a blow of heart for another artist- Vincent Van Gogh! Here, he painted some of his canvas, cut off his ear … and became “immortal”.
To be in this part of France and not to visit Camargue that is surrounded by sand beaches and private resorts would be a real pity! The unique ecosystem is only a few kilometers away in the direction of the South. The river delta of Rhône has created beautiful water meadows filled with amphibians and waterfowls, as well as pink flamingos- their colour is influenced by a peculiar kind of mollusks that they consume.
The most comfortable option is to accommodate directly in the village of Maries-de-la Mer and to buy an afternoon boat trip to observe herons, freely pasturing white horses or herds of black nulls… simply splendid. In the evening, it’s good to taste some local specialty in the Basque style or fresh seafood, in small local restaurants. In the morning, I recommend to get up earlier and head to the ornithology reserve where colonies of pink flamingos await…