Forests cling to the rugged scenery and deep river gorges of the Cevennes rising around its highest peak, Mount Aigoual (1567m).
Once a remote and inaccessible Protestant stronghold, the area today has its wildlife and heritage protected by the Cevennes National Park. Visitors can enjoy the stunning scenery and explore marked routes for walkers, cyclists, canoeists and horse riders.
Follow the ‘Stevenson Trail’ chronicled by the nineteenth century Scottish writer in his ‘Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes’ over 130 years ago. Stevenson walked from Monastier to St Jean du Gard with Modestine, his four legged companion. The entire route is 220km long and is on the GR70.
Europe’s largest river delta formed where the River Rhone meets the Mediterranean, the Camargue is a 930 sq km major wetland area of windy, reed-fringed marshes and salt ‘etangs’ (lagoons), a haven for wildfowl and seabirds including marsh harriers, bitterns and pink flamingos.
Nowhere is more than 4.5m above sea-level. In drier areas, sea lavender and tamarisk grow, small native white horses and the famous black bulls graze, herded by ‘gardians’ or Camargue ‘cowboys’.
Gypsy traditions are strong and human influences are seen in rice paddies, drainage ditches and salt pans. This unique environment is protected in neighbouring Provence as the Parc Naturel Regional de Camargue, while the western wetland plain in Langedoc Roussillon around Aigues-Mortes is know as the Petite (Little) Camargue.
Walking, cycling and horse riding are the best ways to get close to nature here. The ‘De la Camargue a la Crau’ cycle trail from Aigues-Mortes passes through the park as does the GR653 walking trail from Montpellier to Arles.