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If you are a true committed nature lover, venture into the inner sanctuary of the Camargue, the Reserve nationale de La Camargue. This very intensely protected area contains the central pond called Le Vaccares, mostly used for scientific research. The wildlife- birds and fish – is naturally undisturbed here, and you won’t come across the cabins and herds of bulls and horses that most people expect from the Camargue. When you arrive you can pick up maps and information at the center of information of the natural Parc of La Camargue (04-90-97-70-82), April through September., daily 10-6 and October through March, Saturday through Thursday 9:30 – 5. To explore this area you will have to go by foot, bicycle or bike paths.Also you won’t be able to diverge from marked trails. If you keep going north you will come across the converted sheep -ranch – now museum, Le Musee Camarguais ( Mas du Pont de Rousty, D570. April through September, daily 9:15 – 5:45, October-March daily 9:15-5:45. Lying between Arles and Saintes Maries de La Mer, it explains the region history, produce and people, also a good place to get information on nature trails.

Where to find the bulls

Near the northern shores of Vaccares, one of the larger ranches in the Camargue has been turned into a show place of all things Taurine. Bullfights, ferrades, horse rides, and spectacle taurine ( bull- baiting) are some of the activities offered at the domaine de Mejanes Paul Ricard. People learn about the history of the unique regional species of bull-fighting, the Cours Camarguaise, in which bulls are not killed in the arena but simply taunted by runners, who try to pluck off a red cockade and two white tassels mounted on the bull’s horns. http://www.mejanes.camargue.fr . At the easternmost point of the Etang du Vaccares, another good visitor center is found at La Capeliere. Center of information of la Reserve National de Camargue. The  center has maps, exhibits on wildlife  and three sentiers de decouverte ( Discovery trails, 3 ml south of Villeneuvel Romieu.

Anne Suire

http://www.luxurytravelconsultant2.com

Domain de Mejanes, Camargue

Domain de Mejanes, Camargue

Le musee Camarguais

Le musee Camarguais

The Bulls of La Camargue

The Bulls of La Camargue