Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer is the capital of the Camargue and lies in the South of France on the Mediterranean Sea. It was once a fishing village built on a thin Peninsula just in the heart of the Camargue region, where the Petit Rhône joins the sea.
The original village of Sainte-Maries-de-mer was grouped around the Notre Dame de la Mer church and spread out around as it grew in size. The town of Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer is not really picturesque like the other medieval villages of the back country on the French Riviera, but it has been transformed throughout the years as a beautiful compact seaside resort town with numerous shops and activities for the tourists trade.
Today Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer enjoys a wonderful location on the sea and is a renowned yacht charter destination hosting a small active harbor to amble around where you will find a couple of harbor side bars and restaurants.
The Port Gardian, Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer is ideal for medium size yachts measuring up to 17m long and offers more than 370 berths. It is an ideal spot to enjoy holidays in the Côte d’Azur in a pleasant atmosphere where the summer season is festive.
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer can be visited all year round, however in summer, it enjoys the warmest weather, large crowd and offers numerous activities.
During the off-season, you will experience the feeling of the sea, with its long empty beaches, the cry of the seabirds and can enjoy a relaxing solitude. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the gathering of the Gypsies (the commemoration of Sara the Black) in May and the Toussaints weekend in November which are both exciting and famous periods with plenty of activities.
You can also visit the fortified church which is artificially lit with halogen lighting with its stone interior. Inside the church, you will see the famous statue of Sara the Black and you can go to the rear and descend the stairs and enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the entire town and the Camargue region.
As the town is completely surrounded by blue waters of the Mediterranean, you can visit the entire peninsula where you will discover numerous beaches and dunes and you can also sail in the whole Camargue region.