Visiting Le Grau-du-Roi for Seafood and More
On a warm Saturday last summer, we headed seaside to Le Grau-du-Roi, a fishing port and beach resort, with cousins Jean-Marc and Christine. We figured we would find cooler temperatures near the Mediterranean Sea, and bonus, we could try out a new restaurant I had read about.
Le Grau-du-Roi is a commune in the Gard Department about 1 1/2 hours south of our home in Sablet, which we also rent. Le Grau-du-Roi is the only commune in the Gard Department to have frontage on the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, Le Grau-du-Roi is the second largest French fishing port in the Mediterranean. Continue reading here to learn about their lunch and the entertaining water jousting (joutes nautique) competition.
Why Visit Le Grau-du-Roi?
This town of 8400 inhabitants benefits from its fortunate position on the Mediterranean sea. Le Grau-du-Roi (lo Grau dou Rei in Provencal) is both a fishing port and beach resort. In the early 1960s, the Languedoc-Roussillon department initiated a program called the “mission Racine” to build mass tourism. If you visit Le Grau-du-Roi or any beach in the Camargue in July or August, you will determine that the program was successful.
Port Camargue – Constructed in the 1960s, this marina with 5,000+ moorings is an attractive destination for fishing boats and pleasure craft (including sailboats).
Camargue bulls and horses – Le Grau-du-Roi honours the local agricultural heritage with annual festivals surrounding the traditional white horses and black bulls of the region. Well worth seeing are the abrivados (arrival of the animals), bandidos (return to the manades) and the athleticism of a Course Camarguaise. Here is some essential reading for understanding the work of the gardians of Provence.
Lighthouses – There are two historical lighthouses in Le Grau-du-Roi. Phare du Grau d’Aigues-Mortes (1828) a round tower, and Phare de l’Espiguette (1869) a lighthouse with a square base. Both towers are historical monuments.
Beaches and Sand Dunes – At 10km long, the Espiguette beach is a wild and protected area with excellent swimming.
Markets – Le grand marché (Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturday mornings), le marché des producteurs & Bio (Friday mornings) and a daily fish market le marché au poison.
Wine – la Maison Méditerranéenne des Vins has a large selection of wines (2,500+) from the Gard for sampling and purchase, along with regional products.
Where to eat in Le Grau-du-Roi
Le Vivier Restaurant (website)
7 Rue du Commandant Marceau
Telephone: +33 (0) 4 66 53 23 36
The menu is primarily fresh seafood and shellfish, with options to eat there (sur place) or take away.
Le Grau-du-Roi Tourism Office
Office de Tourisme (website)
Rue du Sémaphore
30240 Le Grau-du-Roi
Telephone : +33 (0)4 66 51 67 70