Hometo doHiking : Pink flamingos and salt pans

Hiking : Pink flamingos and salt pans

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Address:
Salin-de-Giraud Tourism Office , mairie annexe, boulevard de la gare.
Postcode:
13129
City:
La Camargue
Document(s): 
Route Recommend


The thematic route "flamingos and salt" raises its starting point at the village of Salin-de-Giraud, at the south-east of the Camargue delta where it occupies a small part of the right bank of the Rhone. This singular town will surprise you with its organization and dominance  exercises by its main activity: the exploitation of salt. Today, the vast area drawn by the salt with colorful shades presents an ecological and amazement interest. The development of a small number of invertebrates (brine shrimp) offers to endemic and migratory birds abundant food generating a unique nesting in Europe. Through ancient vestiges like the ruins of Tourvieille between Salin-de-giraud and Beauduc gulf, you can see several species of birds including the emblematic flamingo. Don't miss the Fangassier pond  ! For over 20 years, the Camargue  Regional Nature Park is monitoring and pursues a mission to preserve species living here, making the site the largest colony of flamingos in western Mediterranean area during the nesting period.


Along the way :

  • Pink flamingos

The pink flamingo is the emblem of the Camargue. It owes its color at least partially to the carotene contained in the shellfish it feeds on. In the spring the flamingos nest in colonies. The male and the female take turns keeping warm their single egg laid in a nest of mud. The baby flamingo will be grey when it hatches, will be able to fly at an age of about 10 weeks, and will become pink around the age of 3 years.

  • Salin-de-Giraud

The town of Salin-de-Giraud was created at the end of the 19th century to house the workers from the Pechiney and Solvay factories. Its architecture is thus characteristic of factory towns. Each company built its own quarter, including roads. The work was done by foreign workers from Italy, Armenia or Greece.

  • Salt production

Salt has been harvested in the Camargue since Roman times but it became an industry in the 19th century when Pechiney built a factory here. Today the salt production is owned by the Salins du Midi. Sea water is pumped from March to September and flows across different salt flats before arriving in the salt pans. By then it is saturated in salt, and the water is evaporated by the sun and the wind so that the salt can crystallize. It will then be harvested between late August and early October before being used on winter roads or for industrial products.

Don't miss :

- The village of Salin-de-Giraud
- Guided tour of the Fangassier pond from April thru September
- The salt production observation platform

Consult and download the hiking brochure " Pink flamingos and salt pans "
Download the trail in .gpx format

How to get there ?

Starting point in Salin-de-Giraud. In the village at the red light go straight ahead then take the first right toward the city center. The Tourism Office is located on rue Tournayre, 150 m before the arena.

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