I hope to be able to go to the Romany festival at the end of May this year and would very much like to hear from others who have done this, both in terms of the questions below but also your experiences of it.
I have been to Marseiles and Arles before but not to
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The easiest and cheapest place for us to fly to is Marseilles, and I was thinking of staying there first, as I love the city; any particular recs for travelling on from there? I would prefer to go by public transport, but would consider driving. If driving a hire car, is it very difficult to get near the town, for other traffic at that time?
I know that hotel accommodation will be booked up by now, and am considering camping at
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer anyone done this? It sounds as if 'rough' camping (ie. not in a campsite is tolerated during the festival) - is that right? And any campsites you would recommend?
Thank you for your prompt reply - however, I am aware of that website, and am sure it is vey helpful as a source of hotel accommodation. However, I am not asking about hotel accommodation in this case. My quetion is about camping and about travel to the town and also to hear other VT members' accounts of their trip.
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is a pretty small place and as far as I know has only a few campsites. You'll see some listed at www.saintesmaries.com I would be inclined to book a campsite place, rather than camp rough. The town is surrounded by marsh - I'm sure you could find space, but you might well be sharing with numerous mosquitoes. I am also told that the crime rate soars during the festival (though I admit that's hearsay) which might be another reason to opt for a campsite, rather than camping rough.
There are buses from Arles, but I'm not sure about Marseille. The town can be pretty congested and the roads in and out are few and small. Parking is not great, so bus might be an easier option than a car.
Thanks for that - helpful. Just a plan in early stages at present. now thinking about driving through France and ending up there, but think that it may be hard to get to by car during the festival, so will look at going to Arles and going on by bus. Thanks again. Any other tips very welcome!
It is very busy, hectic crowded and the whole area comes to a stand still. I found it claustrophobic, but I know of people who found it enlivening, it depends on your point of view. Sleeping rough is not a good idea in the area, it is swarming with mozzies, again I was badly bitten and ended up in bed for a couple of days. But don't let that put you off!! It is an event worth seeing and experiencing, the colour, the people, the horses, the parade everything. Why not stay in Arles, there are cheap hotels there and a Camping Municipal (which can also have a serious mozzie problem, depending on the weather) and get the bus down to Sts Maries, the trip there is worth it through the Camargue. By the way, this area of France is on of my favourite, you will love it there! Have fun.
Sue, thanks - that is good advice and I think the Atles idea sounds good for accommodation. Thanks to everyone for some really helpful information
Route du petit Rhone
Route du Petit RhÃ?ne, , Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Route d'Arles, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Route d'Arles aux Saintes Maries de la mer, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
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Address: Route du petit Rhone