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Coordinates: 43°32′N 04°30′E / 43.533°N 4.5°E / 43.533; 4.5

The Camargue (Occitan: Camarga in classical norm or Camargo in Mistralian norm) is located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône.

Administratively it lies within the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, the appropriately named "Mouths of the Rhône", and covers parts of the territory of the communes of Arles - the largest commune in Metropolitan France, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer - the second largest - and Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. A further expanse of marshy plain, the Petite Camargue (little Camargue), just to the west of the Petit Rhône, is in the département of Gard.

Camargue was designated a Ramsar site as a "Wetland of International Importance" on December 1, 1986. The area was also the inspiration for naming Operation Camargue during the First Indochina War.



With an area of over 930 km² (360 sq. miles), the Camargue is western Europe's largest river delta. It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes. These are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area.

Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The central area around the shoreline of the Étang de Vaccarès has been protected as a regional park since 1927, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds. In 2008 it was incorporated into the larger Parc naturel régional de Camargue.

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