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Things to do in Grau du Roi what to do and what to see in the town

Things to do in Grau du Roi what to do and what to see in the town

Le Grau du Roi is an idyllic Mediterranean seaside resort on the edge of the Camargue Regional Park. It offers visitors and residents beautiful sandy beaches in one of the most picturesque places on the Mediterranean coast. You shouldn’t miss visiting Le Grau-du-Roi and its famous aquarium during a stay in the region!

At the gateway to the Camargue, the resort is divided into two sites: Port Camargue and Le Grau du Roi. The Port Camargue marina is the ideal base for docking. With its sheltered entrance and its many nautical services, it is the largest marina in Europe welcoming nearly 5,000 boats all year round. The port is located next to the old fishing port of Grau du Roi, and its canal is lined with fishing boats, old buildings, hotels and cafes. It can be reached from the marina on foot or by bike path.

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the Camargue is the land of black bulls, white horses, pink flamingos and marshes full of migratory birds. Visitors can also choose from a wide range of activities: horseback riding, 4×4 rides in the heart of the Petite Camargue, or relaxing on one of the three sandy beaches such as the Espiguette reserve with its impressive dunes. Visitors can also visit Aigues Morteswhere its historic center was once a departure point for crusaders from many nations of Europe on their way to Jerusalem.

Visit Le Grau du Roi: what to see

During a visit to Le Grau-du-Roi, you can enjoy its beautiful beaches, its canal and its fishing port… But also take the time to stroll through its streets to discover a bit of its architectural past. Here is all there is to see during a visit to Le Grau-du-Roi:

1. The city center

When you come to visit Le Grau du Roi, the first place not to be missed in town along the canal is its old lighthouse and its copper lantern (1828). It was once the entrance lighthouse to the port of Aigues-Mortes: it was in 1879 that Le Grau-du-Roi was detached from the town of Aigues-Mortes (you can find out more here). The lighthouse which was ultimately too far and too low was replaced by that of Espiguette in 1869.

Not far from the lighthouse is the superb Maison du Dauphin, near the church (rebuilt in the 1960s), in the Art Nouveau style of the 1900s. And behind the lighthouse, the tourist office is in the beautiful Villa Pary which owes its name to Ferdinand Parry who, in 1898, bought this land to build the Villa des Dunes, now called Villa Parry.

An exploration around this canal also allows you to discover its fishing port which is one of the most important on the Mediterranean coast. The trawlers return at the end of the day (5 p.m.), resulting in a colorful animation on the quays. Indeed, the port entrance has a swing bridge that stops traffic to let boats enter.

This is the most interesting and lively district of Grau-du-Roi and it is here that I advise you to take a lunch break or a refreshing break to observe the life that emanates from this place.

During your exploration of the city, you cannot miss seeing the Statue of Hope facing the sea: this work is a tribute to the women of Camargue. This bronze statue represents a woman, hair blowing in the wind, holding her granddaughter by the hand, looking out to sea. It was created by the artist Ali Salem and financed with a financial contribution from patrons who thus contributed to its acquisition.

For shopping lovers head to the pedestrian street Michel Redares, typical of seaside resorts, where you will find many clothing and other shops.

2. Port Camargue

Port-Camargue is a district in its own right, with its small marinas where many accommodations have their own pontoon). It is the largest marina in Europe (which can accommodate around 5,000 boats). Its growth has been complemented by the creation of many shops and leisure and well-being facilities.

It’s really a very, very, very large port, so I advise you to discover it by taking a short drive there and stopping at a few strategic places to take pictures or take a short walk to discover the boats!

3. The Seaquarium

The Seaquarium and Museum of the Sea was created in the Port Camargue district in 1989, you can discover many marine species there, including a space dedicated to fishing and a Center for the study of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. the Seaquarium Grau-du-Roi offers visitors, young and old, the opportunity to get closer to hundreds of rare marine species. The aquarium is divided into several exhibition spaces.

Discover an amazing world of wonderful fish and marine mammals, while learning how to protect sea turtles. The “Requinarium” (shark aquarium) on two floors, unique in Europe, is entirely dedicated to sharks, with more than 25 species.

4. Beaches

Le Grau-du-Roi has very beautiful beaches: large and sandy. If you want to take the opportunity to sunbathe a little and/or splash around in the sea, this is the perfect place for this type of activity. Near the beaches there are many places where you can eat and drink.

=> The Pointe (or reserve) of Espiguette

Unique coastal window of the Gard, with its 10 kilometers of sandy beaches, this natural space of more than 2700 hectares forms a buffer zone between the wild coast and the urbanization of Port-Camargue and Grau-du-Roi.

The Espiguette beach is a large Camargue dune massif, wild and preserved, not to be missed if you come to visit Le Grau-du-Roi. You can go there by bike taking the greenway or by car (there is a very large parking lot on site, paying in season). The Espiguette lighthouse, visible from afar, is the major building of the site, as well as its immense sandy beaches where the swell is more pronounced and the waves are greater thanks to the sea wind.

But it is also a classified and preserved natural site belonging to the Conservatoire du Littoral. A wild and protected beach that stretches over 10 kilometers with a naturist area.

You can opt for a Horse ride on the beach of Espiguette: 2h walk along this beach with endless dunes and white sand, a postcard image.

The Espiguette site has many dune and lagoon habitats offering varied conditions for more than 109 species of birds, 25 rare and protected plant species, and many insects and amphibians (frogs, lizards, etc.).

Gray heron in the Espiguette reserve

5. The Mediterranean House

Opened more than 20 years ago by local producers, this shop offers wines and regional products. Visitors will discover more than 15,000 products such as honey, pâtés, soups, casseroles, Camargue Salt, olive oils and more than 2,500 cuvées. There is an impressive array of wines and local products, but also:

  • Oenology lessons by reservation
  • Tastings led by producers during the summer period
  • Making gourmet baskets on request
  • Many events all year round

This large building is on the road leading to the Pointe de l’Espiguette, so you can stop there before or after your visit to this listed site. In front of the Mediterranean House, there is also an interesting viewpoint for birdwatching (depending on the time of year, you may see flamingos and other waders).

Visit Le Grau du Roi: activities

As you might expect, you can have access to many water activities: sailing, boat rental, fishing, surfing, paddleboarding, water skiing, jet skiing, diving, kayaking, kitesurfing, etc. You can get more information on these different activities by calling the nautical society of the municipality (04 66 53 29 47) or at the Tourist Office (04 66 51 67 70). Visit also the official website of the municipality: Let’s Grau.

On the coast or inland you have the possibility of hiking, cycling or horse riding. To discover all the marked trails, including places or remarkable points, also contact the Tourist Office on 04 66 51 67 70.

There are also many leisure facilities in the town of Grau-du-Roi: the Amigoland, Aquarama or BabyLand parks (dedicated to young children), mini-golf, Aqua-Camargue center Where Discovery Camargue which offers photo safaris (4×4, horse-drawn carriage, electric bike) or quad rides to discover the Camargue in a different light.

To discover local traditions, the Arènes du Grau du Roi often offer typical Camargue shows and races (with bulls and horses).

Discover all the activities and leisure on this page !

Events at Grau du Roi

La Vogua Monstra (May-June) : this annual traditional festival dedicated to rowing and Mediterranean culture takes place on the Ascension weekend and honors local culture (ponds, sea, horses, Camargue traditions, fishing ). There is a local food market, concerts, walks, folk music, dancing etc.

Festival of the sea and the fisherman (June) : processions, boat trips and fireworks.

Local festivals (September) : bullfights in the arenas and in the streets, water jousting, traditional local brass bands.

Shelter from the beaches : the term abrivado once referred to the driving of bulls from the pastures to the arenas by the herdsmen. But today, it has become a tradition to simulate this behavior by releasing the bulls in the streets during traditional festivals in the Camargue. The Abrivado here is different because it takes place on the beach.

Other photos taken during my visit to Grau-du-Roi

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