Medieval Town By A Bubblegum Pink Lake: One Of The Last True Hidden Gems In France

Medieval City By A Pink Lake In Aigues-Mortes, Camargues, France

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France is the most visited country worldwide, simply surpassing Spain, Italy and Mexico.

Final yr alone, it hosted over 100 million company, who flocked from everywhere in the globe to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night time or marvel on the regal opulence of palaces like Versailles.

I reside right here, in Paris particularly, and I can inform you it has been an absolute gong-show, however as broadly well-liked as France is, one factor I’ve realized touring throughout the territory is that giant swathes of it stay largely undiscovered.

Medieval City By A Pink Lake In Aigues-Mortes, Camargues, FranceMedieval City By A Pink Lake In Aigues-Mortes, Camargues, France
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As a majority of overseas vacationers will sometimes examine off Paris and, if time allowing, go to a few summery cities within the French Riviera earlier than shifting to the subsequent nation in line, they are going to usually miss out on among the most awe-inspiring, fairytale spots (un)recognized to most.

In a latest journey to the Camargue area, I stumbled upon one in all these hidden gems, a medieval metropolis resting on the banks of a bubblegum pink lake, and I nearly could not imagine my eyes—and the actual fact there have been only a few foreigners in sight:

Is This The Final True Hidden Gem Of France?

House In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropeHouse In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

Aigues-Mortes just isn’t the everyday city that may function on the journey brochure displayed at your resort entrance desk when you’re coming to France.

Not like Good, Avignon, St Tropez and the like, the French would very very like to maintain it a secret.

It’s a small settlement within the historic Camargues, a coastal space of France finest recognized for its huge wetlands, and a UNESCO-protected reserve vacationers are principally bypassing altogether when touring up the N113 on the best way to Montpellier.

I may dedicate a complete stand-alone article to the nationwide park, in all probability probably the most fascinating bird-watching and wildlife-spotting web site in Europe––look forward to finding elegant pink flamingos and majestic wild horses prancing about––however let’s follow Aigues-Mortes.

Old Town Aigues-Mortes In Camargues, Southern France, Southern Europe.jpgOld Town Aigues-Mortes In Camargues, Southern France, Southern Europe.jpg

It’s positioned on the junction of two channels, the Rhône and the Maritime, making it a pure transit hub for boats touring backward and forward the coast; evidently, Aigues-Mortes was a vastly vital heart of commerce within the Center Ages, when it amassed most of its cultural wealth.

I did not know what to anticipate pulling up with the automotive earlier than the imposing medieval ramparts, however as I’d quickly discover out, this offbeat city tucked away within the salines of Camargue is without doubt one of the best-preserved medieval treasures nonetheless surviving in France as we speak:

What Makes Aigues-Mortes So Particular?

Medieval Ramparts In Aigues-Mortes Framed By Flowers, Southern France, Southern EuropeMedieval Ramparts In Aigues-Mortes Framed By Flowers, Southern France, Southern Europe

I do know Dubrovnik gets all the praise, and even in France, Mont St Michel citadel is much extra simply acknowledged, however the square-shaped Aigues-Mortes can be surrounded by intact metropolis partitions and defended by a sequence of towers and fortified gates.

Chivalric romance stuff, you already know?

Strolling the charming Outdated City, a grid-like maze of cobbled lanes lined by an identical stone homes, distinguished by their flower preparations and colourful window shutters, it is nearly as when you’re transported again in time.

House In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropeHouse In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

You could possibly spend hours on finish exploring at leisure, and also you’re positive to seek out one or two secret courtyards with a centuries-old nicely on the heart and loads of memento retailers the place you should buy pure Camargue salt, lavender merchandise, and distinctive craftwork.

Essentially the most hanging function right here, and one you’ll be able to’t simply miss when you’ve been to a justifiable share of castles earlier than and also you’re already numb to the artifical wonders of Europe, is the vividly-pink lakes that border the historic ramparts.

Properly, I need to add they don’t seem to be lakes correct, however saltpans which might be naturally salmon-colored because of the presence of a microscopic algae that proliferates within the setting.

Pink Lake In The Salines Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropePink Lake In The Salines Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

Briefly, do not try to go for a swim as it is from being… hem, protected.

Both means, it isn’t each day you get to see a medieval citadel straddle a pink physique of water, and what a sight, my buddies!

Prime 3 Greatest Vacationer Actions In Aigues-Mortes

Go to The Salines

Certainly one of my favourite issues to do in Aigues-Mortes is visiting the Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, the city’s landmark saline, residence to the most important salt marsh in the complete Mediterranean basin and the place about 500,000 tons of salt per yr are produced.

Medieval Town Of Aigues-Mortes In The Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe.jpgMedieval Town Of Aigues-Mortes In The Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe.jpg

Apart from shopping for different-flavored salt, you’ll be able to hop on a vacationer practice rattling up the slim lanes between saltpans, and when you’re hoping to snap the traditional postcard image of the pink lake with the Aigues-Mortes townscape for backdrop, I might counsel you sit on the left aspect.

There is a small, somewhat attention-grabbing museum on web site, too, and you may even climb up a salt mound for a wide ranging panorama of the everyday Camargues panorama.

The Petit practice go to lasts simply over an hour, and tickets value $13.90 per particular person (or the equal in euro).

Stroll The Ramparts
Historical Ramparts Of Aigues-Mortes, Southern France, Southern EuropeHistorical Ramparts Of Aigues-Mortes, Southern France, Southern Europe

On the town, the must-do attraction is accessing the ramparts and their adjoining Constance Tower: sure, you’ll be able to stroll the complete 1.8-mile extension of them, and ensure you convey a bottle of water, and an influence financial institution for that limited-battery cellphone, as you will in all probability be taking photos each step of the best way.

There are many actions in and round Aigues-Mortes that ought to hold you busy for a few days, so I counsel you propose at the very least an in a single day right here––I stayed myself at Resort L’Escale (check out the Google reviews here), within the coronary heart of the ‘Interior Metropolis’, or the walled Outdated City, and a double room value $56 per particular person.

Medieval Town Of Aigues-Mortes In The Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropeMedieval Town Of Aigues-Mortes In The Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

On common, room charges in Aigues-Mortes vary from $113 to $160 on Booking, a much more affordable ask than Paris’ jaw-dropping $208 to $342 on the peak of Olympics season.

Pattern Some World-Class French Meals

Should you’re eager on experiencing French culture—and by that I imply sampling each kind of cheese underneath the scorching solar and sipping a Sable de Camargue Rosé —the Major Avenue main from Porte de la Gardette to the Notre-Dame des Sablons Church is flanked by conventional brasseries.

For rustic, wood-fired meals that screams historic custom, head to Chez Coco.

They serve freshly made pizza and pasta for the weak of abdomen, and for the extra adventurous sort like me, the perfect andouillette sausages and probably the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder you will ever strive.

A Plate Of Andouillette, Traditional French Dish Served In France, EuropeA Plate Of Andouillette, Traditional French Dish Served In France, Europe

Should you’re vegan, Le XIII is the place to go: not solely have they got a beautiful secluded outside seating space, shaded by unique bushes, however their refreshing Bergère salad, accompanied by chèvre-et-miel toast tastes heavenly on notably sizzling summer season days.

Aigues-Mortes is well-known round France for its seafood, notably its mussels, and Casa Toro is the place you will discover the perfect mussel à la Aigues-Mortaise on the town, salted to style, and do not forget to order an anchovy-based anchoïade dipping sauce for the bread, if obtainable.

One Of The Most Welcoming Locations In France

House In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropeHouse In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

The worth vary for eating places is a suitable $30-35, when you’re ordering a small entrée, a foremost dish and a glass of wine or similarly-priced drink, and the service is often impeccable—residing in Paris myself, I’ve misplaced depend of the variety of occasions I’ve needed to cope with ill-tempered waiters.

Aigues-Mortes has not one of the massive metropolis fast-paced residing, site visitors, nor hustle and bustle, and as I perceived it, persons are simply in a greater temper than Parisians typically: it is no surprise Aigues-Mortes was lately ranked by Reserving the most welcoming town within the area.

Medieval City Gate In Aigues-Mortes, Camargues, Southern France, Southern EuropeMedieval City Gate In Aigues-Mortes, Camargues, Southern France, Southern Europe

Apart from the cultural worth and the friendliness of locals, Aigues-Mortes is without doubt one of the most original locations I have been in France (and boy, have I obtained round…) and I simply cannot imagine it is but to be overrun with worldwide vacationers.

Methods to Attain Aigues-Mortes

Should you’re questioning easy methods to get right here, the closest airport is in Montpellier (MPL), serving the namesake metropolis, and internet hosting seasonal low-cost flights from numerous colder European locations, like London (Gatwick), Copenhagen, Berlin and even Paris.

House In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern EuropeHouse In The Inner City, Old Town Of Aigues-Mortes, Camargues Region Of Southern France, Southern Europe

Should you’re already in Southern France, nonetheless, getting right here is even simpler, because the city is served by a practice station with direct hyperlinks to the town of Nîmes: the SCNF-TER service takes roughly 53 minutes to finish the journey, and tickets value as low cost as $1.

Should you’re touching down in Montpellier, you’ll be able to journey from Montpellier to Aigues-Mortes, however it’s going to require one change in Nîmes, tickets for the complete journey costing from $7.48, at a complete journey period of 1h28 for the shortest switch occasions.

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Opinions expressed listed here are the creator’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, authorized or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the submit.



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