The Camargue is a natural region located on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, in the departments of Gard (Occitania) and Bouches-du-Rhône (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) and formed by the Rhône delta (France).

Although the true urban center of the Camargue is Arles, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is generally recognized as being the capital of the Camargue, due to its relatively central coastal position.

The Camargue is a paralic wetland of 150,000 hectares that is home to numerous animal and plant species. It has been classified as a regional natural park since 1970 and recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1977. Since the 19th century, it has been the subject of major hydraulic developments.

With an area of over 930 km2 (360 sq mi), the Camargue is western Europe’s largest river Rhône delta. It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes. These are, in turn, surrounded by a large, cultivated area.

Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. Since 1927, the central area around the shoreline of the Étang de Vaccarès, has been protected as a regional park, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds. In 2008, it was incorporated into the larger Parc naturel régional de Camargue.

The Camargue territory involves a specific economy:

Agriculture, in addition to wine production, has developed a unique cereal and cattle sector in mainland France – that of rice and Camargue AOC bull. The agricultural sector is centered around herds.

Tourism is focused on summer activities, as the entire Mediterranean coast is complemented by green tourism, thanks to the Camargue Regional Natural Park.

Industry and commerce have long been present in the Camargue, particularly through the exploitation of natural resources, such as sea salt, at Aigues-Mortes.

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also Andorra travel guide

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