Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

From 40 km of Arles, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer lies at the mouth of the Petit-Rhône river.

GPS : Longitude : 4.429444 E - Latitude : 43.450832 N
Altitude : 4 m
Population : 2509

A very popular seaside resort and a pilgrimage site for the gypsy community. It is on this beach that the boat of Sainte Marie-Jacobé and Sainte Marie-Salomé landed, giving the town its name of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. In 1448, the saints' relics were discovered alongside those of their servant, Sara, known as Black Sara. Every May since then, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer has been a pilgrimage site for the gypsy community. From the 24th to the 26th of May, many activities take place. Visitors travel to the church to take advantage of its superb rooftop views over the entire area, shop in the narrow cobbled streets, have their fortunes told by gypsy women, and participate in the various festivities and férias, where Arlésiennes dress in their traditional costume, appearing alongside the gardians, as horse-drawn carriages parade through the village. Bullfighting aficionados will be especially delighted!

Sight-seeing and tourist hotspots:
the Regional Nature Park and its museum, the Pont-de-Gau Bird-Watching Park, the church, Avignon castle, Arles, Aigues-Mortes, Nîmes and the Nîmes arena
Activities on offer: swimming, fishing, visiting the marshes, bird-watching, discovering local fauna and flora, visiting manades (Camargue horse farms).