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 12 months alone, it hosted over 100 million visitors, 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 inform you 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 enormous 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 transferring to the subsequent nation in line, they’ll typically miss out on a few of the most awe-inspiring, fairytale spots (un)recognized to most.

In a current 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 Final 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 everyday city that will characteristic on the journey brochure displayed at your resort entrance desk in the event you’re coming to France.

Not like Good, Avignon, St Tropez and the like, the French would very very similar to 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 largely bypassing altogether when touring up the N113 on the way in which to Montpellier.

I might dedicate a complete stand-alone article to the nationwide park, most likely 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.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 massively essential middle 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 might 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 right this moment:

What Makes Aigues-Mortes So Particular?

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 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 realize?

Strolling the charming Previous 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 in the event you’re transported again in time.

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

You possibly can spend hours on finish exploring at leisure, and also you’re certain to search out one or two secret courtyards with a centuries-old properly on the middle and loads of memento retailers the place you should purchase pure Camargue salt, lavender merchandise, and distinctive craftwork.

Probably the most putting characteristic right here, and one you possibly can’t simply miss in the event you’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.

Effectively, I have to add they don’t seem to be lakes correct, however saltpans which are naturally salmon-colored as a result of presence of a microscopic algae that proliferates within the setting.

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

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

Both manner, it is not each day you get to see a medieval citadel straddle a pink physique of water, and what a sight, my pals!

Prime 3 Greatest Vacationer Actions In Aigues-Mortes

Go to The Salines

One in every of my favourite issues to do in Aigues-Mortes is visiting the Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, the city’s landmark saline, house to the biggest salt marsh in all the 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

Apart from shopping for different-flavored salt, you possibly can hop on a vacationer practice rattling up the slender lanes between saltpans, and in the event you’re hoping to snap the basic postcard image of the pink lake with the Aigues-Mortes townscape for backdrop, I might recommend you sit on the left aspect.

There is a small, moderately attention-grabbing museum on web site, too, and you’ll 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 price $13.90 per particular person (or the equal in euro).

Stroll The Ramparts
Historical 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 possibly can stroll the whole 1.8-mile extension of them, and be sure to carry a bottle of water, and an influence financial institution for that limited-battery cellphone, as you may most likely be taking footage each step of the way in which.

There are many actions in and round Aigues-Mortes that ought to preserve you busy for a few days, so I recommend you intend at the 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 ‘Inside Metropolis’, or the walled Previous City, 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.

Pattern Some World-Class French Meals

In case you’re 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 Principal 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 historical 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, one of the best andouillette sausages and probably the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder you may ever strive.

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

In case 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 significantly sizzling summer time days.

Aigues-Mortes is well-known round France for its seafood, significantly its mussels, and Casa Toro is the place you may discover one of the best 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 out there.

One Of The Most Welcoming Locations In France

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

The value vary for eating places is an appropriate $30-35, in the event you’re ordering a small entrée, a major 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 large metropolis fast-paced residing, site visitors, nor hustle and bustle, and as I perceived it, individuals are simply in a greater temper than Parisians generally: it is no surprise Aigues-Mortes was just lately ranked by Reserving the most welcoming town within the area.

Medieval 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 bought round…) and I simply can’t imagine it is but to be overrun with worldwide vacationers.

Easy methods to Attain Aigues-Mortes

In case 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 plenty of 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

In case you’re already in Southern France, nevertheless, 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 price as low-cost as $1.

In case you’re touching down in Montpellier, you possibly can journey from Montpellier to Aigues-Mortes, however it would require one change in Nîmes, tickets for all the journey costing from $7.48, at a complete journey length of 1h28 for the shortest switch occasions.

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Opinions expressed listed below are the writer’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, permitted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included inside the put up.

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