Visit the Fortress of Aigues Mortes near Provence
Across a country border and 800km from its glacial source in Valais, Switzerland the Rhône River gasps as it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. Like a wide yawn the Rhône’s two branches; the Grande Rhône and the Petit Rhône empty their cargo at the mouth of the river. This area of Provence known as the Camargue, part of the Bouches du Rhône (mouths of the Rhône) is Europe’s largest river delta (930 sq km) and a wetland of significant size.
Continue reading here to find out why you should plan a road trip to visit Aigues Mortes (the dead waters) and the fortress that was built under the direction of King Louis IX. The fort is an important piece of the history of Southern France. It is well worth taking the self-guided audio tour of the ramparts.
Visit the Salt Flats
While you are in the area make sure to visit the salt flats – Les Salins d’Aigues Mortes. Generally, sea salt is more expensive than table salt. Foodie connoisseurs tend to prefer sea salt arguing that it has a more pleasurable taste, despite the added cost and neutral health benefit. As such, many regions compete energetically for the consumer’s salty dollar.
One such area is the marshy, coastal Camargue, this part of Provence is quite literally the Bouches du Rhône (Mouths of the Rhone). This is the place where the long Rhone River yawns lazily into the salty Mediterranean, 813 kilometres from its source. The salt flats or salins in the Camargue generate over two million tons of sea salt per year. From April until October, water from the Mediterranean is let into a series of channels and evaporation pans that run some 60km. Over the course of the summer months, the water changes from a salt content of 26g to over 260g.