La Camargue encompasses the Rhone River delta in the southeast of France. One of the best places in Europe for birdwatching; also great for biking and horse riding.
There are numerous hotels on way from Arles to Saintes Maries de la Mer. Some of them worth considering include:
- Les Arnelles, (450m outside of the St-M-dl-M, on the left side of the road just after Le Pont Des Bannes hotel). Bar 8am to 11pm
Local specialty foods
Specialty foods of the Camargue include:
- Anguilles au four
- Gardiane de Taureau
- Salade Camarguaise
- Aubergines aux anchois et aux capres
- Barbouillade d'artichauts
- Brandade de Morue
- Canard aux figues
- Moules en Brasucado
- Hachis camarguais
- Fougasse d'Aigues Mortes
- La Broufado
Finding a good dinner
When staying in a touristy city like Saintes Maries de la Mer, it can be difficult to impossible to find a place for a good dinner with anything beyond fried chips and over-grilled meat.
However, if you have a car to drive out, and ideally an Internet connection to perform a research, here are some tips for finding a good place with a cuisine close to genuinely local. Even if listing of specific places in your guidebook gets out of date, these tips will last longer (at least until restauranteurs decide to counterfeit them). Neither will guarantee anything, but at least improve your chances:
- a place should be remote enough to require a dedicated trip. The only reason anyone should eat there is because the food is good. In this case, don't be put off by lack of customers.
- menu lists most local specialties, and even better nothing from outside the region
- ferme auberge, an official government program. Members usually show good fidelity to local cuisine, though limited menu selection.
- member of Conservatoire des Cuisines de Camargue, society for the preservation of true Camargue cuisine
- table d'hote (guest table)--most of the time offered by BnB, but sometimes completely separate from a BnB. It is like eating in somebody's home--which is usually many times intensely local. Expect limited or no menu selection, and by-reservation only. Don't confuse it with table d'hote in a regular restaurant in a big city where it is more for solo diners to share a communal table--and more common at lunch.
Basing on the above recommendations, here are some restaurants that look promising (although not tried hands-on by Wikitravelers yet):