Hometo doHiking : Camargue horses and rice paddies

Hiking : Camargue horses and rice paddies

Le Sambuc
Route Recommend

thematic tour at the discovery of Camargue legacies. In the heart of the Camargue, near the marshes of Vigueirat, the area of the tower Valat stretches over 2600ha and includes protected areas made of temporary marshes, montilles but also large tracts of sansouires. You can, if you wish, visiting the area of ​​"La Capelière", an information and observation point located in the heart of the Camargue. You will discover an exhibition of art pieces but also a nature trail, observatory decks on the marshes and reedbeds on Vaccarès. The rest of the trip go through ponds and rice fields, discovering many endemic and iconic species such as the majestic  Camargue horses.


Along the way :

  • Rice

Rice-growing has been an important activity in the Camargue since after WWII. The paddies are irrigated with fresh water and then drained, allowing farmers to use land which is very salty. Yearly farm activities start in spring when the paddies are levelled off. The rice is sown at the end of April; by May it has grown higher than the surrounding water and will be harvested in September-October. During that period a Rice Festival (“Prémices du riz”) takes place in Arles and Salin-de-Giraud.

  • The Camargue horse

The Camargue horse belongs to a very old race only officially recognized in 1978; it may be a descendant of the Solutré prehistoric horse. It measures about 1.4m high at the withers, is brave, strong, and hardy. Its hide, dark when it is born, becomes definitely light grey around the age of 4. It is raised in the Camargue and lives on large stretches of pasture land. The horse is not only the cowherd’s companion, but also a working tool indispensable for raising bulls. It is also used by tourists for horse-back rides.

  • The "tour du Valat"

The “Tour du Valat” is a private research center created in 1954 and not open to the public. It covers 2400 ha of land and works in favor of promoting and preserving Mediterranean wetlands.

Don't miss :

- Manade Jacques Bon (ranch)
- Rice Museum – reservations necessary
- Salin-de-Badon : reservations at La Capelière

Consult and download the hiking brochure "Camargue horses and rice paddies"
Download the trail in .gpx format

How to get there ?
- From Arles, follow signs for Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, then for Salin-de-Giraud via Route D36 and stop in Le Sambuc. Park your car in the village beside Route D36.

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Mon circuit touristique


Manade Allard

Producers, artisan, local

Manade Jacques Bon

Producers, artisan, local

Manade white

Producers, artisan, local
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