The Golden Triangle of Biodiversity

Paysage de la Crau

Paysage de la Crau

Lionel Roux - Canopée
Attention - protected areas! Welcome to Provence Pays d'Arles, a 100% Natural Tourism Area. Thanks to the wealth of its environments, one particular characteristic of Pays d'Arles is that within just a few kilometres you can find the natural parks of the Alpilles and Camargue and the nature reserve of La Crau, the last steppe in Western Europe.

 

The meeting point of these three geo-territories is fascinating. It is called the 'Golden Triangle of Biodiversity' and is representative of the fauna and flora of the Mediterranean. Those who love green tourism will be plunged into a unique experience, travelling on nature routes such as '100% Camargue', 'Pays d'Arles: Views from Above' or 'Nature Visits between Alpilles and Camargue'. The family-friendly route, 'Crazy Grass, Frogs and Water Lilies', includes sweet-scented nature discovery paths, an aquatic garden, a bamboo plantation, a nature house and children's routes for playing at being a young explorer.


Camargue

The biosphere of Camargue, classified as a Natura 2000 zone, is a site of major European importance. It is home to at least 350 species of bird, or 60% of the species which can be seen in France. 140,000 birds and a large number of migrating species live there every winter, the most fascinating of which is the famous pink flamingo. The colony in the Delta is exceptional, as it houses 10 to 15,000 pairs of birds. The species and the protected wet zones of Camargue can be seen all year round thanks to sites and routes managed by professionals, including the ornithological park of Pont-de-Gau, the Marshes of Vigueirat and its elevated play-and-learn route, the Domaine de la Palissade, the Camargue Museum and the Domaine de la Capelière.

La Crau

To the east, a few kilometres from Arles, the extraordinary world of the La Crau nature reserve, the last steppe in Western Europe, invites visitors to stop time and take a moment to discover its ancient orchards, its transhumance festival and its Eco-Museum. In summer, your adventure can continue as far as Aulnes Lake so you can enjoy the excellent summer programme and concerts.

The Alpilles

 

To the north-east of the Delta and the city of Arles, the Rhône is overlooked by the Alpilles Massif, which is protected and safeguarded by the Regional Natural Park of the same name. It is a different world, one with the colours of Provence. Take some time to stroll between the olive trees and enjoy a nature visit, as the villages of the Alpilles jealously protect an exceptional built heritage dotted amidst the valleys and crests. You will find a wide variety of environments, including the classical Mediterranean arboriculture consisting of olive, fig and almond trees, together with the typical Provence birds of prey and 250 species of bird.

From Fontvieille, Les Baux-de-Provence, Maussane-les-Alpilles, Mouriès and Saint Rémy-de-Provence, your gaze can wander southwards to the vast expanses of La Crau and Camargue, where the horizon merges into the Mediterranean. In clear conditions, you can see the three geo-territories of PROVENCE PAYS d'ARLES from the many viewing points of the Alpilles, which peak at an altitude of 500 m at the Signal des Opies. 

Be careful, as access to the Massifs is regulated in summer. Please contact the Tourism Offices or the 'Want to Walk' Service by calling 811 20 13 13. The Regional Natural Park is a responsible destination and offers a variety of nature activities and many sign-posted hiking trails which encourage soft means of transport, such as horses, walking or bikes.

The Quarries of Lights above Les Baux-de-Provence, the ancient mills of Fontvieille, Daudet's windmill, the archaeological site of Les Caisses de Jean-Jean in Mouriès, the Towers of Castillon south of Maussane-les-Alpilles, Saint-Sixte Chapel in Eygalières and the Glauges Valley in Eyguières are all heritage sites with exceptional panoramic views over the many different landscapes of the Alpilles.

 

Provence: between the Rhône and the Durance

 

Between the Rhône and the Durance is a verdant agricultural area dotted with copses and canals; Val-de-Provence has seven hiking trails and several cycle paths so you can discover the marvellous fauna and flora of Provence. For example, take the time to follow the poetic route through the garden of the Mistral Museum in Maillane, or in Graveson stroll through the Museum of Aromas followed by the Aux Fleurs de l'Eau Gardens and the 'Les Quatre Saisons' Gardens.

To the west of Val de Provence is the La Montagnette Massif, with its typically Mediterranean scents and landscapes. The little sister of the Alpilles offers many possible excursions, including walks and bike rides. Restricted access from July to mid-September. Contact the 'Want to Walk' Service..

Some of the species which can be seen in PROVENCE PAYS d'ARLES include the heron, laro limicolae, slender-billed gull, Mediterranean gull, egret, little tern, avocet, teal, mallard, wigeon, shoveler duck, pochard, Northern gannet, eider, smew, diver, Bonelli's Eagle, falcon, harrier, eagle owl and bustard.

 

Circuits associés

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Outdoor activities (15)
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Plage Olga

Plage Olga

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Sandy beach of 180 m x 70 m. Road sign. Panel identification on site. Close to the beach and not pay parking area. Capacity of the area: 40 vehicles. Bars, playground, garbage cans, telephone booths.

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Plage Napoléon à Port-Saint-Louis du Rhône

Plage Napoleon

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Beach of fine sand monitored on weekends from June 15 to July 1, and July 1 to August 31. Beach 10km x 120 m.-Road sign. -Identifying the site Panel.-Free parking outside the range (before the toll station)-Parking on the beach, fully equipped and pay area.

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The beaches of Arles

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Arles, the largest commune of France, includes a large part of the Camargue and extends between the arms of the Rhône to the beach located 45 kilometres from the city centre: the Piemanson beach or beach of Salin-de-Giraud (naturist area at the eastern end), the amazing architecture of Northern c

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Digue à la mer

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Twenty 20 km long, the dyke was built in the last century to isolate the Rhone delta water inputs from sea water. The sea dyke (prohibited to motorised vehicles) provides access to 20 km of walking and cycling trails from the Gacholle car park.

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Forêt de la Castelette

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Since 1988, Aulnes Lagoon estate is the property of the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhone, which is responsible for the restoration, management and protection of this unique place.

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Steppes des Coussouls de la Crau

Les coussous de la Crau

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In 2001, more than 7,400 hectares of Coussouls de Crau were classified as a Natural Reserve. It is co-managed by the Conservatory of Southern Alps - Provence Ecosystem Studies (CEEP), and the Chamber of Agriculture of Bouches-du Rhone.

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Plage de Carteau

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500m x 150m beach. Ground type: sand. Road sign. Identification sign on site. Dedicated, free car park near the beach. Car park capacity: 30 vehicles. Equipment: refreshments, toilets, bins, telephone booths. Water activities: windsurfing, sailing, sailing competitions.

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Capelière - National Nature Protection Society - Camargue national reserve

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An information centre and a nature observation site in Camargue: reception, library, Camargue natural environment exhibition, a trail of 1.5 km equipped with information boards, four observatories of the marshlands and two observation decks over the Vaccarès reedbed.

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La Capelière - C 134 de Fiélouse,
13200
04 90 97 00 97
http://www.reserve-camargue.org
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Jardin aquatique "Aux fleurs de l'Eau"

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At Graveson lies a magical place born from the imagination of a man fascinated by water and plants. Mr Stroppiana, in his spare time, imagined and built his garden with ponds, waterfalls, plants and fish.

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579, Road, De Saint Rémy, 579 route de Cassoulen,
13690
04 90 95 85 02
http://www.auxfleursdeleau.fr
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Les jardins de l'alchimiste à Eyaglières

Jardin de l'alchimiste

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Enter into the first garden of the Third Millennium... A few kilometres from the home of Nostradamus, at the foot of a true 16th century alchemist house classed as a historical monument, enter the secret garden of the Alchemist.

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Mas de la Brune,
13810
04 90 90 67 67
http://www.jardin-alchimiste.com
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Field of the palisade

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On 702 hectares outside the dikes, La Palissade evokes the original Camargue. Discover the natural environment: fauna and flora. Guided tours for groups. Interpretation and discovery trail, and bird observatories. Discover the mouth of the Rhone and the traditional fishing techniques.

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13129
04 42 86 81 28
http://www.palissade.fr
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Arboretum le Jardin de Gaston à Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Le Jardin de Gaston

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This 49,000 m² garden is named after its designer, Gaston Therras.
The Gaston Garden arboretum is a green gem that extends over four hectares. Since June 2004, it offers visitors a tranquil and natural setting conducive to botanical discoveries, relaxation and walks.

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Avenue, De Plaisance,
13310
04 90 47 98 40
http://www.saintmartindecrau.fr
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Jardin des Quatre Saisons

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Designed as a transition between the Montagnette hills and the village of Graveson, it combines relaxation (maze games area for children), animation (round and spacious entrance to accommodate shows) and four parts representing the four seasons where you can stroll or rest.

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Avenue, De Verdun,
13690
04 90 95 71 05
http://www.graveson-provence.fr
1

Parcours VTT Trial

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This dedicated area offers a perfect space for the good practice of mountain biking.

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Vallon de la Roquette,
13160
04 90 24 38 35
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Museum of the Camargue : Work of Tadashi Kawamata

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Installed at the Mas du Pont de Rousty, where is the seat of the Camargue Regional Nature Park and the Museum of the Camargue, Horizons is the first stage of the project Paths of water, an event Marseille Provence 2013.

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Mas du Pont de Rousty
13200
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Art and culture (3)
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Musée des outils agraires

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In the heart of this old centre located in a house made of exposed stonework, the Museum of Agricultural Tools recounts the development of agriculture in our region thanks to irrigation.

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31 bis, Street, Jentelin,
13838
04 90 90 11 59
1
Musée des arômes et du parfum à Graveson

Musée des Arômes et du Parfum

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Between Alpilles and La Montagnette, near Les Baux-de-Provence and Saint Rémy, the Museum of Aromas and Perfume in Graveson-en-Provence welcomes you to the land of scents.

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Road, Du Grès,
13690
04 90 95 81 72
http://www.museedesaromes.com
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Musée des Alpilles

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Museum of the Alpilles in Saint Rémy de Provence

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Square, Favier, Musée des Alpilles,
13538
04 90 92 68 24
http://www.musees-mediterranee.org/