The Bouches-du-Rhône region is well named (bouches means mouths), for here the broad channel of France’s most important river splits into several separate streams, flowing into the Mediterranean via lagoons and grassy plains. This is the Camargue, a unique wetland partly protected by conservation areas. The Rhône is Provence’s western boundary and for centuries the river was the region’s highway. Hence, some of its most important towns grew up along its banks, while villages and medieval abbeys are tucked away in the hills. On the coast, windswept beaches fringe the Camargue, but east of the delta the landscape becomes rocky, with ...

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