Le Grau-du-Roi is a city in the Gard in the Occitania region. Located about 30 km east of Montpellier and 45 km south of Nîmes, it is the only coastal locality of the department, bordering La Grande Motte (Hérault) to the west and Saintes-Maries-de- (Bouches-du-Rhône) to the east.
Le Grau-du-Roi appeared in the 16th century, at first a hamlet of fishermen, after a flood of the Rhone having created a sea passage between Aigues-Mortes (6 km) and the sea (a channel linking hitherto the fortified city to the Mediterranean, By which Saint-Louis had embarked for the Crusades). Stone moles were built and the new coastline was able to accommodate new inhabitants.
Le Grau-du-Roi has grown thanks to tourism and its maritime activities (fishing and marinas), with more than 8,500 inhabitants (compared with 1,200 at the beginning of the 20th century). Viticulture has also been preserved (wine from the Gulf of Lions sands country, protected geographical indication).
On the margins of the Camargue, enjoying an exceptional environment, it is a renowned and lively seaside resort.
In terms of built heritage, you will discover with pleasure the picturesque and lively downtown, built around the canal that connects the inland ponds to the sea.
In addition to the old lighthouse and its copper lantern (1828), one will linger at the Maison du Dauphin, near the church (itself rebuilt in the 1960s), typical of 1900's architecture and The Villa Paris, of the Belle Epoque, with a balcony in the form of terrace that support columns in cast iron.
The other districts are newer and residential with many seasonal housing, the Boucanet to the west and the whole of Port-Camargue and its contemporary buildings to the east (around the marina).
A discovery of the Grau-du-Roi also happens through its ports. The fishing port in the city center is one of the most important on the French Mediterranean coast, with some 25 trawlers returning at the end of the day (17h), which gives rise to a colorful animation on the quays. Especially since the entrance to the port is marked by a turning bridge that stops the traffic to let the boats pass. For more information about the fishing port, please call +33 4 66 53 54 55.
As for Port-Camargue, which has become a district as such with its marinas (buildings with pontoons), it is the most important marina in Europe (nearly 5,000 boats). Its development has been accompanied by the creation of numerous shops and leisure and wellness establishments (thalassotherapy). Any information at the harbor master's office on +33 (0) 4 66 51 10 45.
The Seaquarium and its Sea Museum are located nearby, where you can discover numerous marine species in the aquarium, a museum dedicated to fishing, and a Marine Turtle Research and Rescue Center Of the Mediterranean. Open all year. For further information, please call +33 4 66 51 57 57.
A stopover or a stay at Grau-du-Roi obviously include walking, lazing around or nautical activities on its beautiful beaches.
The most emblematic is that of the Espiguette, to the east of the commune: dotted with dunes (which move with the wind), 10 km long and wide over 500 m, it is a protected natural protected space But open to the public.
White sand also on the beach of Boucanet which extends to La Grande Motte (3 km) and to the approaches of Port-Camargue (two beaches).
Many clubs or private companies offer sailing (initiation or rental of boats), fishing, surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, diving, sea kayaking throughout the year or from April to October. To audiences of all ages and levels. Information at the nautical company (+33 4 66 53 29 47) or at the Tourist Office (+33 4 66 51 67 70).
On the coast or inland (landscape of the Camargue), many hiking, cycling or horse riding are possible. For marked trails including remarkable sites or points, please call +33 4 66 51 67 70.
Tourists will find many recreational facilities in Grau-du-Roi.
These include the Matraqua Park and its slides (join +33 6 12 25 15 22), the BabyLand leisure park dedicated to young children (contact +33 4 66 53 30 03), the AquaCamargue Center and its leisure and well- (Tel: +33 4 66 35 74 89), the Camargue Loisirs park, which offers quad bike rides (Tel. : +33 6 21 06 11 50).
In different registers, the vineyard and the local land are presented and highlighted at the Mediterranean Wine House (Tel: +33 4 66 53 07 52) and the Arenas regularly schedule shows and races typical of the Camargue (with bulls and horses): Inquire at +33 4 66 51 12 12.
To better understand local products and local crafts, many markets take place all year or in season.
Traditional market all year round Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning Place de la République and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at the Boucanet.
A special organic market is also organized every Friday from 8h to 12h avenue de la gare.
A fish market is also available in the morning on the docks of the fishing port.
In summer, from mid-June to mid-September, market on Wednesday morning in Port-Camargue and in the evening every day from 18h to 23h opposite the center Camargue 2000.
In April, during the Easter weekend, the Nautics of Port-Camargue combine the boat show and numerous animations on the theme of sailing.
On the second Saturday in April, the Graulinades celebrate regional gastronomy: chefs cook on the beach near the port. Gourmet and friendly atmosphere.
At the end of June, the feast of Saint-Pierre and the Fishermen makes it possible to conjugate during a weekend tradition (parade of boats) and fun and folkloric animations (jousts, balls, fireworks, race Camargue in the arena).