l'histoire et les traditions camarguaises
The Camargue, located in the Rhône delta in Provence, is fascinating for its biodiversity and unique landscapes. Known for its wild expanses, pink flamingos, white horses, and black bulls, it is steeped in history. Let’s explore the history and traditions of the Camargue together.

Origins and Antiquity

The Camargue has a history dating back thousands of years. The first traces of human occupation date back to prehistoric times. The Romans left their mark on the region by building roads and developing agriculture. Arles, at the gates of the Camargue, became an important city of the Roman Empire.

The Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Camargue became a disputed territory. The Franks, the Saracens, and the Byzantines left their mark. During the Middle Ages, abbeys and monasteries drained the marshes and cultivated the land. The Abbey of Montmajour, founded in the 10th century, is a notable example.

The Renaissance and Modern Times

During the Renaissance, the Camargue continued to evolve. The kings of France undertook development projects to control the waters of the Rhône. The Rhône to Sète canal, begun in the 17th century, is an example of this.

Contemporary Times

In the 19th century, the Camargue underwent major transformations. New agricultural techniques and improved infrastructure were introduced. The cultivation of rice radically changed the landscape and the local economy. Camargue traditions, such as the breeding of bulls and horses, became established.

The Camargue Today

Today, the Camargue is a protected region with numerous nature reserves and national parks. It preserves its unique fauna and flora. It is also a major tourist destination, attracting visitors for its landscapes, traditions, and historical heritage.
The history of the Camargue is a saga of transformation and adaptation. From Roman times to the present day, this region has preserved its identity. The Camargue remains a symbol of France’s natural and cultural richness. It is a place where history and nature harmoniously converge.

The Camargue Traditions

The Camargue is much more than a spectacular landscape; it is a land of living traditions. Its customs reflect the soul of the region and its inhabitants. We will explore the Camargue traditions, from colorful festivals to ancient practices.

The Transhumance Festival

Every spring and autumn, the transhumance enlivens the Camargue. Sheep and bull herds traverse the lands to change pastures. This event is celebrated with parades and local festivities.

The Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

The Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. In May and October, Gypsies from around the world gather there to honor Saint Sarah, their patron saint. The festivities include processions, songs, and dances.

The Guardians and Their Culture

The guardians are the Camargue cowboys, guardians of the bulls and wild horses. Their way of life revolves around breeding and protecting the herds. The guardians take pride in their equestrian culture and traditions.          

Camargue Bull Racing

Camargue bull racing is a local sporting tradition. Unlike the Spanish bullfight, the bulls are not killed. Participants, called “raseteurs,” attempt to grab attributes attached to the bulls’ horns. This practice highlights agility and courage.

Camargue Cuisine

The gastronomy of the Camargue is rich and diverse, reflecting the diversity of its landscapes and cultures.

Bull Guard

Bull guard is an emblematic dish of the region. This stew of bull meat, slowly cooked with red wine, is flavored with Provencal herbs. It is usually served with Camargue rice.

Camargue Rice

Camargue rice has been cultivated in local rice fields since the 19th century. This unique, often organic rice is appreciated for its quality and taste.

Arts and Crafts

Camargue traditions are also reflected in local arts and crafts. Artisans produce works inspired by the region’s nature and culture.

Traditional Costumes

Traditional costumes are worn during festivals and special events. Women wear long, colorful dresses, often accompanied by lace and embroidered shawls. Men wear white shirts, dark pants, and typical hats.

Music and Dance

Music and dance are at the heart of Camargue festivities. Traditional dances, such as the farandole, are accompanied by joyful music played with local instruments. The Gypsies also bring a unique musical influence with their songs and guitars.
Camargue traditions reflect a rich and vibrant culture. They embody the spirit of the region and its inhabitants. By preserving these customs, the Camargue maintains a strong connection with its past while embracing the modern world. These traditions are an integral part of the Camargue identity and an invitation to discover the richness of this unique land.
Embark on a journey to discover this magnificent region by booking one of our accommodations and learn more about the history and traditions of the Camargue.