The city of le Grau du Roi was established in the beginning of the thirteenth century on both sides of a grau, a point where waters communicate; in this case the étang du Médard and the Mediterranean. The historic center, built around the canal joining Aigues-Mortes with the sea, has kept its original style. The northwest shore (usually referred to as rive droite, meaning “right bank”) hosts numerous holiday residences in the Boucanet district, and Port Camargue is in the southeast shore (or rive gauche, meaning “left bank”). You can see very interesting monuments, while walking around in the city, such as the Maison du Dauphin representing the architecture of 1900, the church Saint-Pierre restored in 1960 and the old lighthouse covered with a copper’s lantern.
The Grau-du-Roi is my favorite seaside of the region. I often visited the city with my friends and family, and many Nîmois and Nîmoises, inhabitants of Nîmes, keep a holiday flat there. During the summer they try to leave the beach to the tourists; they prefer to come more often in May, June and September.
The things I really like about the Grau du Roi are first the charm of the town and then the different activities that you can do. For example when you are in the mood to stay all day long at the beach, you can go at the boucanet and lie down on the sand. You can also visit one of the private beaches on the coast, such as La Plage des Artistes (€20 per beach chair + day meal ) or Le Bichu Plage (€9 per beach chair).
But if you don’t feel like getting burnt under the sun from the morning until the afternoon, you can also go to the beach next to the center and when you start to feel too warm, you can buy an ice-cream in the narrow streets of the Grau du Roi or a shop. You are also really close to the restaurants. Le Galion, Quai Colbert, is a very nice one, serving fresh seafood platters and fish with an efficient and friendly service. The locals find refuge there, away from the other summer restaurants plenty of tourists. Do not forget to book a table!
Finally, when you do not want to go to the beach, you can visit the seaquarium (€9,50–€12,50), the huge Aquarium of the Grau du Roi with a sharks’ tunnel!
Sun tip: If you do not want to go back home red like crayfish, do not forget to have with you plenty of suncream (minimum SPF 30)! Remove also your sun glasses, if you do not want to look like a bee, like I did last year!