As the mighty river Rhône approaches the Mediterranean west of Marseille, it splits into the Grand Rhône and the Petit Rhône to form one of the largest deltas in Europe, and top French producer of rice and salt. This is the ‘Camargue’, an enticing place unlike anywhere else in France, where marshlands and lagoons glisten in the sun, fringed by broad windswept sands to the south and in the middle and upper reaches, paddies, orchards and wheat fields. The only town of any size is Arles at the head of the delta. On the banks of the Grand Rhône, Arles is a city of history and art. Arles is indeed the ‘Gateway to the Camargue’ as seen in its year round celebrations, ‘Rice Festival’, ‘Gourmet Camargue’, ‘Horse Festival’ or the flamboyant ‘Fête des Gardians’ when cowherds on horseback gather to display their skills.
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