vacances en famille BOUCHES DU RHONE

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

A big village that has managed to remain quiet and unspoilt...out of season! Capital of the Camargue, les Saintes Maries de la Mer is a great place for the family to walk, cycle or ride: it’s in the country, it’s safe and it’s.........flat!

Kayak on the Petit Rhône river
Kayak on the Petit Rhône river
Starting from the Sylvereal bridge (in the Gard department) you go down the Petit Rhône and a minibus picks you up in the evening. Nice peaceful day, you can stop for a picnic and pull the kayaks ont...
Camping le clos du rhône ****   camping
Camping le clos du rhône ****
Possibly more of a family site than the Camping de la Brise: fewer pitches (420 including mobile homes, canvas bungalows and standard pitches) but more space. It’s in a magnificent conservation area...
La maison de Jeanne  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
La maison de Jeanne
Lovely setting and particularly warm welcome. It’s safe here for your children, just opposite the church, granted it’s beside a little road, but one where no vehicles are allowed, motorised or otherwise. So you can have a worry-free lunch or dinner while the children run around. And the children’s meal is only €5.50, which is a real plus for you too. Restaurant/tea-room
Church  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Fortified roman church dating back to the 9th and 11th centuries. Take a tour of the church, which contains the relics of Marie Jacobe and Mary Salome. While you’re there, make a little pilgrimage to the crypt to see the statue of Sara, patron saint of gypsies (and servant to the two St. Marys). And if you go up to the top of the church you will have an amazing view, stretching from the Alpilles to Mount Ventoux! (Closed when windy).

Easter Week-end  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Easter Week-end
Easter in the Camargue: all sorts of events involving bulls

May 24th and 25th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
May 24th and 25th
Gypsy pilgrimage: gypsies from all over the world gather in honour of St.Sara. Our advice: it’s not really a good idea to go to Saintes Maries with children at this time, far too crowded

June 18th – 23rd  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
June 18th – 23rd
Village fête: funfair plus events involving bulls and horses, bull racing and mounted parades in the streets

July 12th – 14th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
July 12th – 14th
Horse Festival: Equestrian displays in the arena

July 27th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
July 27th
Festo vierginenco: Traditional festival during which 16 year old girls dress as Arlesiennes; honour is also paid to the statue of St.Mireille

August 15th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
August 15th
Féria du taureau: ‘bull festival’, held in the arena

September  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Camargue bull races every Wednesday Admission free

October 18th and 19th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
October 18th and 19th
Pélerinage des saintes (Pilgrimage of the saints): to commemorate the arrival by sea of the 4 saints, statues of the saints are put out to sea on a boat

November 11th  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
November 11th
Abrivado Festival: bulls let loose on the beach; a thousand horses, fifty or so bulls and 11 ranches all take part

  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Christmas celebrations: Christmas market and lots happening in the streets

Tourist office
All the tourist info about the town. 5 avenue Van Gogh (on the sea-front). Open daily 9am – 5pm in the winter and 9am – 8pm in the summer.

Bike hire
Le vélociste: all kinds of bikes from 16 inches; child seats; half wheeler bikes, trailers (mind you remember to book in advance!). At the shop they have lots of ideas for family bike rides. ‘Le vélociste’ also organises family sunset cycle rides.

Provencal market
On monday and friday mornings - Place des Gitans