When stopping over at the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes, I realised this treasure merits a much lengthier visit. However, I thought a couple of hours would be enough to see it all. Definitely not, as I absolutely loved walking around this beautiful picturesque and historic site. An official Grand Site of France no less. I am already planning my next visit once the lockdown is over!
I started my discovery of Aigues-Mortes by strolling through the shopping street Rue Jean Jaurès. Whilst having a cup of tea (it was 10 o’clock in the morning…) on Place Saint-Louis, I made my plan of action under the watchful eye of Saint-Louis himself. Aigues-Mortes has a history that spans more than 2,000 years, and it was King Louis IX who created the inland port in the salt marshes and swamps of “La Petite Camargue” in the 13th century.
Aigues-Mortes is a relaxed town, situated in the heart of the Camargue Gardoise. Well, it was relaxed when I visited it in June. I can imagine that Aigues-Mortes attracts a lot of visitors during the high season and that its narrow, medieval streets can get quite cramped by tourists in summer. Nonetheless, it’s worth a stopover. La Tour de Constance and the impressive 13th-century city walls are still fully preserved. And, if you explore the lovely side streets instead of the main shopping street and the popular place Saint-Louis, you will undoubtedly get that stepping-back-in-time feeling.
I don’t do maps very well, so I like to wander around and go where the little streets take me. And this is the perfect way to discover Aigues-Mortes, as the ramparts kept me inside the medieval town and I didn’t even get lost. This is also how I found some great shops with handmade and local products. Plus I stumbled upon this gorgeous square flanked by tall palm trees and the charming Chapelle des Pénitents Gris.
View from above
Walking around Aigues-Mortes made me want to see it from above. The cool thing is that you easily can, by climbing the ramparts. You can buy a ticket a few steps from the main entrance gate La Porte de la Gardette, and it includes a climb of the Tour de Constance. Here you can read my blog post about the ramparts and la Tour de Constance. As I said before, Aigues-Mortes is definitely worth a visit and I still have so much more to discover!