750km (466 miles) SW of Paris; 63km (39 miles) NE of Sète; 40km (25 miles) E of Nîmes; 48km (30 miles) SW of Arles
Aigues-Mortes, the town of the "dead waters," is the main destination within the Petite Camargue. This expanse of wetlands, salt marshes, and lagoons is the smaller neighbor of the larger Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue to the east in Provence. In the middle of this marshy landscape is one of France's best-preserved walled towns, a medieval wonder that has changed little over the centuries. Aigues-Mortes stands on four navigable canals 6km (4 miles) from the sea, although it was once a thriving port that served as the departure point for one of the Crusades. Now the coast is a series of purpose-built beach resorts, including Le Grau-du-Roi and Port Camargue, which teem with sun worshippers in the summer months. As you drive south from Aigues-Mortes to the coast you pass the evocative sight of the Salins du Midi, an enormous salt works that is part of the Camargue's important sea-salt industry.