The Petit-Rhône dike
The Petit-Rhône dike

The Petit-Rhône dike

Waters and rivers
Embed this item to access it offline
Take the dike and follow the Petit-Rhône along the water, one of the two arms of the Rhône
A walk full of charm along the Petit-Rhône ! During this hike, you will see a parade of rice fields and farmhouses. Along the way, Camargue horses can also enjoy the tranquillity of the Petit-Rhône. A course punctuated by the Cours du Petit-Rhône !

6 points of interest

  • Water and rivers

    Le Petit-Rhône

    The Petit-Rhône is an arm of the Rhône delta which marks the administrative boundary between the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Occitanie regions, between the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard, and more symbolically between the Camargue gardoise and the great Camargue. It separates from the Grand Rhone north of Arles to reach the Mediterranean Sea near Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The Sauvage ferry, the Sylvéréal bridge and the Fourques bridge ensure the crossing of the Petit-Rhône.
  • Patrimony and history

    The Avignon Castle

    On the edge of the Petit-Rhône, the estate covers about 21 ha. While he was a farmhouse in an area hostile to the eighteenth century, Francis Joseph of Avignon d’Arlatan had built the first building. The estate underwent significant agricultural development during the industrial era and in the 19th century became a major center for irrigated viticulture. Louis Noilly Prat, a rich merchant from Marseille, brought his touch of modernity in the 1890s: electric lighting, central heating, running water.
  • 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.
  • Water and rivers

    The Catfish

    The mild climate of Camargue and the abundance of fish such as mussels, wolves, shads make the delta a great fishing spot. Catfish have developed abundantly in the Rhone, there are certainly the largest specimens in Europe. The catfish are therefore freshwater fish that average 1.5 m long but can reach 2.73 m. In the Petit-Rhône, a few kilometers from the Sylvéréal bridge, some fish exceed 2 m 60 and weigh more than 100 kg.
  • Flora

    The Camargue Biosphere Reserve

    The Camargue was classified as a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 by UNESCO. Between these folds still partly wooded, are divided lowlands occupied by lagoons lined with salt steppes, marshes and ponds. The agricultural lands are composed of wet meadows and grazers dedicated to the grazing of bulls and horses, old marshes converted into rice paddies of lagoons designed for the exploitation of salt and vegetable crops and viticulture on the dunes.
  • Water and rivers

    The Sylvéréal Bridge

    Sylvéréal means "royal forest" because there was a pine forest between Sylvéréal and Albaron. The Sylvéréal Bridge connects the Petit and Grande Camargue, between Gard and Bouches-du-Rhône. Crossing the Petit-Rhône was done through floating boats linked to each other until the construction of a bridge that was destroyed during the Second World War, a ferry then ensured the relay between the two departments until the construction of the current bridge in 1956.


From the rest area of ??Paty-de-la-Trinité, head towards the Petit-Rhône and take the dike on the left which runs along the Petit-Rhône for 12 km.
1 - At the Sylvéréal Bridge, make a U-turn to return to the rest area of ??Paty-de-la-Trinité.
  • Departure : Rest area of ??Paty-de-la-Trinité, Arles
  • Arrival : Le Paty-de-la-Trinité
  • Towns crossed : Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer


Altimetric profile


Cycling and horse riding is prohibited on the Rhone dikes.

Information desks

OT Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer - Tourisme en Camargue

5 Avenue Van Gogh, 13460 Saintes Maries de la Mer 90 97 82 55

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

18 km south-west of Arles, by the D570.

Parking :

Stationnement à l’aire de repos du Paty-de-la-Trinité

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: