Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Allison Price
You can visit France to see the Camargue’s beautiful white horses in their natural habitat or take a ride on a domesticated horse through the stunning wetlands.
The wild horses of Camargue are a popular attraction on the French Mediterranean coast. Dramatically beautiful and historically famous for its wild white horses, Camargue is located in the south of France, in the Provence in the Alpes Cote d’Azur and the Languedoc between Arles and the mouth of the Rhone near Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
Camargue Natural Park is a protected area of wetlands, natural lakes, and marshes that lies at the Mediterranean Sea. It also includes a large UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the park, as thousands of migrating birds pass through its wetlands. Bird-watchers love the pink flamingos that can be found throughout the park.
The Camargue horse, considered one of the oldest horses in the world is believed to have lived in Camargue marshes for thousands of years. The horses are accustomed to living in semi-wild areas in the marshy regions of the region.
Since 1978, the Association des Eleveurs de Chevaux de Race Camargue has officially recognized the Camargue as a breed. The horses are no longer bred wild and are now bred according to strict guidelines set by the French government. The Camargue, which typically stands between 13-14hhh, is sturdy, stocky and levelheaded. They make excellent mounts for work and herding. Camargue horses are the traditional mount of “gardians”, Camargue cowboys who tend to the Camargue bulls for bullfighting in southern France.
The Camargue horse has a long history of connection to the local community. For generations, families have been working with it. Horse culture is unique in this region, and gardians will gather at exhibitions and events to show their horses’ bloodlines as well as their abilities for herding.
Horseback is the best way to see Camargue’s horses. There are many riding stables that can take you on a trail across the salt marshes, to get a look at the horses, particularly around Les Saintes Marie de la Mer.
To see Camargue’s diverse landscapes, ride with Promenade La Fadaise. You can see the Camargue’s marshlands and flora, as well as the wild beaches and the Camargue bulls.
Les Arnelles are open all year. A one-hour ride takes you through the marshes to view wild birds and flamingos, followed by a two-hour ride to the beach and marshes. For more experienced riders, a three-hour ride can be taken that includes long gallops along beaches.
Riders have the choice of a one-hour, two-hour, three-hour, or full-day ride at Les Arnelles
Two, two-hour sessions are included each day. This tour will take you to 10 locations within the wetlands area at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. Participants will be able to capture sunrises or sunsets on beaches, beaches, sand dunes and salt flats. Participants will have the opportunity to photograph horses running through the water, foals and mares, as well as stallions sparring.