Discovering Vaccarès by bike
Discovering Vaccarès by bike

Discovering Vaccarès by bike

A lookout, a viewpoint
Waters and rivers
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A walk through market gardens and rice fields to soak up the unique atmosphere of the Camargue!

Located in the center of the Camargue Regional Natural Park, the Vaccarès pond offers the opportunity to admire many migratory birds and flamingos. Its 6600 hectares make it the largest pond in the Camargue and has a rich diversity both in terms of its fauna and flora. Place of rest and feeding of many birds, you will appreciate its natural setting. To achieve this, you will discover Camargue wildlife, between marshes and rice fields!

8 points of interest

  • Patrimony and history

    The wooden arenas of Gimeaux

    6 km from Arles is Gimeaux, a small Camargue village where fighting bulls are parked in corrales before the bullfights. Generally attached to the arena, these corrals are located in Nimes and Arles, located outside the city. Bulls can be seen by visitors and aficionados (bullfighting enthusiasts) before the show. They are then brought by truck to the toril, a room adjoining the arena where the bulls are locked before the start of the race or corrida.

  • Patrimony and history

    The domain of Sainte-Cécile

    In the heart of the rice fields and near Arles, close to the Vaccarès pond, the farmhouse of Sainte-Cécile is one of the oldest farmhouses in the Camargue. Dating from the 15th century, the farmhouse has the buildings necessary for the proper functioning of the agricultural domain : the main dwelling, the workers’accommodation, a dovecote, a henhouse, a sheepfold, a shed, cellars and a chapel. This chapel was built in the 11th century. and would be the starting point for the construction of the farmhouse of Sainte-Cécile.
  • Water and rivers

    The Grand Mar swamps

    From the roadside of the Mas d'Agnon, it is possible to observe the the Grand Mar swamps. They are located north of the Vaccarès pond, which is nicknamed "The Grand Mar" since it is surrounded by the Rhone and the Mediterranean. These freshwater and rice swamps are home to many nesting birds such as herons, stilts, but also water warblers and terns. This is the area of ??Camargue most important for nesting Purple Heron.

  • Water and rivers

    The Vaccarès pond

    The Vaccarès pond, brackish water, is located in the center of the Camargue National Nature Reserve and the Rhone delta. Because of its depth, 1.50 m and its area, about 6 600 ha, it is the deepest pond in Camargue but also the largest. Depending on the time of year and the weather, the light changes and the colours vary. Surrounded by the Petit Rhône, the Grand Rhone and the Mediterranean Sea, it is nicknamed "the Grand Mar".

  • Panorama

    The Camargue National Nature Reserve

    The Camargue National Reserve was created in 1927 by the National Society for Nature Protection (association) to protect animal and plant species. True heart of the Camargue, the Reserve covers 13,117ha, much of which is formed by the Vaccarès pond. The reserve offers many accomodation possibilities and tours: the Capelière, Salin-de-Badon and the lighthouse of Gacholle. The Capelière is the welcome point of the Reserve. You will find exhibitions, documentation, discovery trails. Entry authorizations for the observatories in Salin-de-Badon are issued at La Capelière.
  • Panorama

    Cultivated environments

    The Camargue is both an extensive breeding ground (bulls and horses) but also a field crop area (rice and wheat). Cereal and oilseed crop growing areas occupy the uplands. The strong natural constraints that weigh on these productions require important investments in terms of irrigation and drainage. On the other hand, extensive rangeland systems are spread over natural environments (pastures, reed beds, marshes).

  • Produits du terroir

    Rice fields

    Rice farming has been present in the Camargue since the post-war period. Complex, this culture follows several stages: lifting, tillering, bolting, return and flowering. The land is flooded to promote the germination of rice grains and prevent the proliferation of fungi. Rice farming therefore requires freshwater irrigation and extensive drainage to develop the saltiest land. Huge amounts of water between the two arms of the Rhône (400 million m3 per year) are needed.

  • Patrimony and history

    The domain of Bouchaud

    The Domaine de Bouchaud is an old 16th century country house. acquired in 1679 by the family of the same name who restored it in the 18th century. Since 16 July 1975, it houses the Priory of Notre-Dames fields where a community of monks of the order of the Benedictines lives there and cultivates the vine and the rice. 10 ha on the 85 ha of the estate are vineyards. The Priory has developed the activity of bed and breakfast. The estate has retained a rich heritage : stable, chapel, bread oven.


Back to the Arles Tourist Office, turn left on boulevard des Lices then turn right on Gambetta street towards Trinquetaille. Cross the Rhone via the Pont de Trinquetaille and continue towards Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer by the streets of the Camargue and the Verrerie. Continue for 1.5 km on the Avenue de la Camargue. At the roundabout, take the C108 direction Gimeaux. Continue on the road to Gimeaux for 3 km.

1- Turn left towards the arenas. Turn left on the C112 after passing the arenas.

2 - Take a right onto the D570 and continue for 250 m. Head to the left on the Dougue road (C125). Continue straight for 1.5 km.

3 - Turn right on the C154, then at the junction, continue on the small path of Sainte-Cécile. Continue towards the Vaccarès pond

4 - Take a right on the intersection with the D37. Continue for 250 m to the observation point of the Mas Neuf Vaccarès set up by the Camargue Regional Natural Park. Go back to step 4. Stay on the D37 towards Arles, for more than 6 km. In Villeneuve, continue straight.

5 - Turn left in the bend, 500 m after the restaurant "Chez Bob", on the road to Romieu (C132).

6 - Continue on the left at the intersection with the Azegat road (C133) for 2 km. Then turn left towards Gageron. At Gageron, continue on the C130, for 8 km

7 - At the junction with the path (C131) of Sainte-Cécile, keep right on Route de Bouchaud and continue straight for 3 km to point 3. Join Arles by the D570 then by Gimeaux on the same route as the outbound.

  • Departure : Tourist Office, Arles
  • Arrival : Arles
  • Towns crossed : Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer


Altimetric profile


On the D570 and the D37, caution, dangerous passages!

Information desks

OT Arles

9 Boulevard des Lices, 13200 Arles (0)4 90 18 41 20

the Camargue museum

Mas du pont de rousty, 13200 Arles (0)4 90 97 10 40

Remember to visit the Camargue museum! It is located next to the administrative centre of the Camargue Nature Park.

Find out more

Access and parking

Tourist Office of Arles, Boulevard des Lices.

Parking :

Stationnement gratuit Boulevard Emile Zola, Arles


Hybrid bike
Emergency number :114

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