This easy walk leads from the Musée de la Camargue around fields and marshes to a great bird hide looking out over a large lake.
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The Camargue Bird Walk starts from the Musée de la Camargue, about 15 minutes drive from Arles. There’s a free car park here, but it can fill up quickly in summer on the weekends.
Tips for the Camargue Bird Walk
- This walk is free and can be done anytime, but the Museum is only open Apr-Sep 9am-6pm, Oct-Mar 10am-5pm and you have to buy a ticket (€7/4).
- Bring binoculars* to look at all the birds.
- Dawn is a great time for this walk as the birds are active and it’s not too hot.
- Check out the nearby towns or Arles and Nîmes.
- For another nearby hike, walk to the Pont du Gard, or for more hikes, check out our France Hiking Page.
Camargue Bird Walk Route
From the car park, walk up the slightly strange wooden structure, meant to look like a cross between a ship and a bird’s nest. From here there’s a bit of a view, then descend on the other side to the path. There is a sign here marking the route, which is the only walk in this area of the Camargue.
Turn left, then follow the path to the right when it reaches a canal. Walk along the canal for roughly 1 km, when you have to turn right. Keep a lookout for birds on the water and wild Camargue horses grazing in the fields.
Along this next stretch, there are a couple of viewpoints at the end of little wooden boardwalks. You can mainly see many, many reeds, but can see a few birds if you’re lucky.
At the next junction, turn left to walk along the sometimes muddy track. In about 500 metres, take the boardwalk on the left. This is a short out-and-back to a wooden platform in the middle of the reeds. There’s some really nice light here in the early mornings.
Walking to the Bird Hide at the Lake
Return to the main track and turn left to continue onwards. In a short distance, you’ll reach the bird hide. Remember to be quiet when you enter. From here you have a great view of a lake spread out in front of you. There are often flamingoes here, even in winter, though you might need binoculars to be able to confirm their identity. There are almost always a few different species of geese, ducks and other waterbirds floating about on the water.
When you’ve seen enough birds, leave the hide and walk straight on down the track. Again, keep your eyes peeled for the white Camargue horses, and beaver tracks in the mud at your feed.
Keep heading straight and you’ll soon be in a muddy, marshy area, at the end of which you’ll reach a small white building designed in the architecture of the olden days. These were used by les gardians, or the cowboys, who rode around this wetland area looking after their cattle.
Turn right just after the little building, then left at the canal. Take another left to return to the car park and Musée de la Camargue. This is the end of the Camargue Bird Walk. If you want to see more birds in the Camargue, head to the Parc Ornithologique, 20 minutes further along the road. Alternatively, head to nearby Arles to explore the town.