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.

Last 12 months alone, it hosted over 100 million friends, who flocked from all around 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 let you know it has been an absolute gong-show, however as extensively widespread 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, France

As a majority of international 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 may usually miss out on a few of the most awe-inspiring, fairytale spots (un)identified to most.

In a latest journey to the Camargue area, I stumbled upon one among 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 very fact there have been only a few foreigners in sight:

Is This The Last True Hidden Gem Of France?

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

Aigues-Mortes shouldn’t be the standard city that might characteristic on the journey brochure displayed at your resort entrance desk if you happen to’re coming to France.

Unlike Nice, Avignon, St Tropez and the like, the French would very very like to maintain it a secret.

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

I might dedicate a whole stand-alone article to the nationwide park, most likely essentially the most fascinating bird-watching and wildlife-spotting website in Europe––look forward to finding elegant pink flamingos and majestic wild horses prancing about––however let’s persist with Aigues-Mortes.

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

It is positioned on the junction of two channels, the Rhône and the Maritime, making it a pure transit hub for boats touring back and forth the coast; evidently, Aigues-Mortes was a massively vital heart of commerce within the Middle Ages, when it accrued most of its cultural wealth.

I did not know what to anticipate pulling up with the automobile earlier than the imposing medieval ramparts, however as I might quickly discover out, this offbeat city tucked away within the salines of Camargue is among the best-preserved medieval treasures nonetheless surviving in France as we speak:

What Makes Aigues-Mortes So Special?

Medieval 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 way extra simply acknowledged, however the square-shaped Aigues-Mortes can be surrounded by intact metropolis partitions and defended by a collection of towers and fortified gates.

Chivalric romance stuff, ?

Strolling the charming Old Town, a grid-like maze of cobbled lanes lined by similar stone homes, distinguished by their flower preparations and colourful window shutters, it is nearly as if you happen to’re transported again in time.

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

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

The most placing characteristic right here, and one you possibly can’t simply miss if you happen to’ve been to a fair proportion 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.

Well, I have 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 atmosphere.

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

In quick, do not try to go for a swim as it’s miles from being… hem, secure.

Either manner, it isn’t day by day you get to see a medieval citadel straddle a pink physique of water, and what a sight, my pals!

Top 3 Best Tourist Activities In Aigues-Mortes

Visit The Salines

One of my favourite issues to do in Aigues-Mortes is visiting the Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, the city’s landmark saline, dwelling to the most important salt marsh in the whole Mediterranean basin and the place about 500,000 tons of salt per 12 months are produced.

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

Other than shopping for different-flavored salt, you possibly can hop on a vacationer practice rattling up the slender lanes between saltpans, and if you happen to’re hoping to snap the basic postcard image of the pink lake with the Aigues-Mortes townscape for backdrop, I’d counsel you sit on the left aspect.

There’s a small, somewhat fascinating museum on website, too, and you’ll even climb up a salt mound for a panoramic panorama of the standard Camargues panorama.

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

Walk The Ramparts
Historical Ramparts Of Aigues-Mortes, Southern France, Southern Europe

In city, the must-do attraction is accessing the ramparts and their adjoining Constance Tower: sure, you possibly can stroll the total 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 may most likely be taking photos each step of the best way.

There are numerous actions in and round Aigues-Mortes that ought to maintain 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 Hotel L’Escale (check out the Google reviews here), within the coronary heart of the ‘Inner City’, or the walled Old Town, and a double room price $56 per particular person.

Medieval 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 cheap ask than Paris’ jaw-dropping $208 to $342 on the peak of Olympics season.

Sample Some World-Class French Food

If you are eager on experiencing French culture—and by that I imply sampling each kind of cheese beneath the scorching solar and sipping a Sable de Camargue Rosé —the Main Street 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 type like me, the perfect andouillette sausages and essentially the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder you may ever attempt.

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

If you are vegan, Le XIII is the place to go: not solely have they got a stunning secluded outside seating space, shaded by unique timber, 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 may discover the perfect mussel à la Aigues-Mortaise on the town, salted to style, and remember to order an anchovy-based anchoïade dipping sauce for the bread, if obtainable.

One Of The Most Welcoming Destinations In France

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

The worth vary for eating places is an appropriate $30-35, if you happen to’re ordering a small entrée, a foremost dish and a glass of wine or similarly-priced drink, and the service is normally impeccable—dwelling 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 huge metropolis fast-paced dwelling, site visitors, nor hustle and bustle, and as I perceived it, persons are simply in a greater temper than Parisians normally: it is no surprise Aigues-Mortes was not too long ago ranked by Booking the most welcoming town within the area.

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

Other than the cultural worth and the friendliness of locals, Aigues-Mortes is among the most unusual locations I’ve been in France (and boy, have I obtained round…) and I simply cannot imagine it is but to be overrun with worldwide vacationers.

How to Reach Aigues-Mortes

If you are questioning the way to get right here, the closest airport is in Montpellier (MPL), serving the namesake metropolis, and internet hosting seasonal low-cost flights from various 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 Europe

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

If you are touching down in Montpellier, you possibly can journey from Montpellier to Aigues-Mortes, however it can require one change in Nîmes, tickets for the whole 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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