Adventures Ashore: Aigues-Mortes, France

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Enter the fortified city of Aigues-Mortes through imposing gates that were built in the 13th century.

Inside the walls, Aigues-Mortes has all the charm of a French village. You’ll find restaurants where you may be tempted to sip a glass of rose and shops featuring the best of French fashion – all set within a wonderful historical context. Your guided walking tour will take you along the narrow streets to learn about the history of the region.

I stepped into the beautiful Church of Notre-Dame-des-Sablons a Gothic-style church that was built during the time of Saint-Louis. Saint-Louis, or Louis IX, came here in the 13th century because he had wanted a fortress with direct access to the Mediterranean. This was to become the base of his Crusades.

Louis left the city twice to follow the cause of the Crusades, once in 1248 and again in 1270, where he died of dysentery at the age of 56 in Tunisia. I reflected that the the ninth king of France probably had no idea that he would not see the fortified walls of Aigues-Mortes again. Inside the church there is statue of Saint-Louis.

My lasting impression was that the fortified city of Aigues-Mortes, with its beautiful salt flats and flamingos and with its storied legends of a king and his crusades, mark the perfect ending to a day in this region of the Petit Camargue.


An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.

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