The Story of Sainte Sara

Video Of The Pilgrimage Of Saint Sarah 2009

A Gypsy Pilgrimage


VIDEOS

Les Vagues - La Rumba

Les Vagues - Los Jovenes Gitanos II

Les Vagues- Rumba in White

Les Vagues - Nino Baliardo

Les Vagues - Los Jovenes Gitanos

An Afternoon At L'église

An Evening Around L'église

Les Vagues - Ricardo Bissiere et Manitas De Plata

Rumba Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

PHOTOS OF THE FETE

Year 2012

Year 2011 - Part I

Year 2011 - Part II

Year 2010

Year 2009

Year 2008

Year 2007

Year 2006

Year 2005

Year 2004

Year 2003

Year 2002

ARRIVAL IN LSMDLM

MAPS

BY CAR
There is the direct route into town which you will go via the round about with the Camargue Croix or two others, Par Cacharel via Pioch Badet or the other one on the right, whose name I don�t know.
Take the Par Cacharel route, its GORGEOUS. It�s a nice way to begin the Camargue Adventure. Note that you should allow for extra travel time if you arrive on the day of fete as you will be on the road with the other bizzillions people trying to get into town and veering for a parking spot.
Or you may not even be allowed into town (Gendarmes may stop you) and you will have to park along side the route coming into town and hoof it on it. It�s a nice stroll into town though.

PARKING
Good luck! Parking on the side walk is allowed, just don�t block a driveway. There are a few parking lots in the town, one at Place Mirelle with about 20 stalls. Check the city map, it has details on parking areas.

BY BUS
The most central stop is the Razeteurs stop. The first stop within the city limits of LSMDM It puts you about 200 yards from the church. It�ll stop just short of a gas station (you�ll see the official bus stop across the street). If you walk 50 yards past the gas station in the direction of the church (south) you will be at Place Mireille. It�ll have the statue of a lady suffering from a migraine. Well, that�s what I kinda look like when I have one.

LOOKING FOR LODGING

Our Recommendations

Brigitte & Paul Mistral

4 rue Audibert
13460 Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Tel : +33 (0)4 90 97 99 63
Port : +33 (0)6 09 08 44 41
Fax : +33 (0)4 90 97 70 01


mistralp@aol.com

contact@provencecamargue-locations.com

http://www.provencecamargue-locations.com/

http://www.mistral.camargue.fr/

http://www.mistral.alpilles.fr/


Patrick Guyot

Tél : +33 (0)4 90 43 33 26
Tél : +33 (0)6 25 17 78 87

Email : oceane@camargue.fr

Pictures of the Apartment can be found at
http://www.oceane.camargue.fr

Shop the web, and drop the hotel an email in French. Begin the adventure from home! Or pass on the weblinks to your travel agent. In SMDLM, we rent an apartment that is within a 30 second run from the church if we're in need of a toilet and can easily hear if there's music playing outside the church.
Location, Location, Location. There are hotels, rooms, apartments located throughout the town. Its all a matter of what you require. There is also the option of renting outside of SMDLM and driving (or walking) into town. Many beautiful Mas-Type hotels are located throughout the Camargue region. There are some that base themselves out of Arles or even further out. If you don't mind the drive and the search for parking, then hey, you're set! Prices range in accordance to type of facility. As an example, we rent an apartment for 4 people at 350 a week. There are loads of other tips which don't seem to surface at the moment.
If you've got any more questions ... just ask your travel agent. Have a blast! And for pete's sake, keep an eye on your belongings!
Happy Travels!

HOW TO GET THERE?

The only direct route to Saintes Maries De La Mer is via Car or Boat. All others will require transfers. Flying? Rental Car/ Bus/ Train. Transfer in Arles to a Bus.
Walking? Start now...

BY PLANE

Via Montpellier
http://www.montpellier.aeroport.fr/
If you�re flying into Montpellier and plan to rent a car (highly recommended), its pretty much a straight shot into SMDLM. It's about a 30-40 minute beautiful drive into the Camargue if you take the "back roads".
No rental car? Then it�ll be a shuttle or taxi to the Train Station, a train ride into Arles, then a bus to Les Saintes Maries De La Mer. Get your timing right, read the schedules correctly or you�ll be sitting at the Train Station or Bus Stop just a wishing you got the rental car instead.
There are no buses from Montpellier to Les Saintes during the Fete period. You must travel via Arles. How to do it? Take the airport shuttle bus (approx. 5 Euros, located directly outside the terminal) or Taxi (about 16 Euros) to the Montpellier Train Station. The ride time is about 15 minutes. Trains to Arles from Montpellier run about every hour, ranging from 40 minutes to 1:40, depending on the train you take.
There are two options: a direct to Arles, or a transfer in Nimes. Tickets cost about 12 Euros. Last train departs at 23:30 and will get you into Arles a few minutes after midnight. If you get into Arles after midnight, just go to bed, there�s nothing open. Take the bus into Les Saintes the next morning.
BTW, if you�ve got at least an hour on your hands in Montpellier, check your luggage into storage and stroll through the town and have a drink at one of the cafes on the Place de Comedie. It�s a 1-minute ride via trolley or a 5-10 minute walk.

Via Marseille Airport
http://www.mrsairport.com/
The Marseilles Airport is not really in the town of Marseilles; it's in a town whose name I�ve forgotten. The city of Marseilles is about 30 minutes further away. Got a Rental Car? Hey you�re catching on quick. Follow the signs towards Arles, should take you about 40 minutes, then the signs to the Camargue.
This is your best bet to avoid logistical headaches, that is, unless you get caught in one of their transportation strikes, then you�re pretty much screwed. Hope you brought extra batteries for your CD player.
No Rental Car? Haven�t you learned yet?? Okay, you�re gonna have to take the airport shuttle (located outside the terminal on the left as you exit) to the Train Station in Marseilles. Its called Marseilles-St Charles. The billet will cost about 8 Euros and will take about 25 minutes. If you are unable to get the shuttle as you arrived in the wee hours of the morning, the costs is about 50Euros
Once you arrive at the Train Station, get in quick, especially if you arrive at night. The train station area is kinda scuzzy. Get a ticket for the next train to Arles, which I believe also runs at least every hour or maybe even more frequent. I�m guessing at the cost being about 12 Euros.

TRAIN SCHEDULES

http://www.sncf.com
Yes, it's in English too. Don�t forget to validate your ticket in the orange machines (located throughout the train station) before you get on the train. Validate with magnetic strip up.

 

RENTAL CAR

Hertz http://www.hertz.com
Budget Rent a Car http://www.budget.com
National Car Rental http://www.nationalcar.com/
Avis Rent a Car http://www.avis.com

All these companies have rentals in Europe. Its very easy to reserve online. It helps if you can drive a standard as they are cheaper to rent. You don't need any special license, just a US one will do.
If you have car insurance in the states, you can use it to cover the rental. What class car to rent depends on your needs. I always rent a compact or intermediate. Make sure to rent a car that seats at least 5, you can never tell who might be needing a ride around the Camargue and you do want to have room for the guitars.
At the Marseille airport, the rental offices are right outside the door after you pick up your luggage, you can't miss them. In Montpelier, the offices are in the main terminal. In Arles you can rent a car 1/2 block from the train station.
As far as worrying about all those pesky signs in a foreign language, no problem. Symbols are used on most of them. Just figure out the Interdict signs and stay out!!! Driving through the center of Arles is a fascinating way to check your nerves of steel and depth perception.
Be sure to bring plenty of Gypsy music with you, it really sounds better there. Nothing quite like driving around the Camargue, checking out the white horses, taureaus, flamants and of course the people, with music blasting.
This year we got fooled by getting a car with a CD player, usually we've gotten only tape players. Bring tapes and one cd for the drive from the airport. If you have a CD player you'll easily find music to buy from Catherine's shop, vendors on the streets, and from many of the groups directly. Bon voyage!!!!

 

BUS
Getting to SMDLM by Bus from Arles

The fare is 4,60 Euros and will take about an hour. There is a web link to the bus schedule, but it appears to be lost somewhere in my computer.
From memory, M-F there is a bus at 0750, 1050, 1250, 1550 and the last one at 1750. Of course, I could just be making this shit up. The weekend schedule has only three buses going into Les Saintes, early morning, noon and the 1700 ish bus. Be aware on the return trip to Arles via bus, the 1700ish bus M-F functions also as a school bus. Plan on adding at least another 15-20 minutes to your travel time if you�re planning a train connection.

RESTAURANTS/ CLUBS

There are many restaurants around LSMDLM but our all time favourite is the FLAMENCO BAR, where one can enjoy GREAT music, EXCELLENT service and WONDERFUL food...

El Campo
13, Rue V. Hugo 13460 Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
T�l : 04.90.97.84.11 Fax: 04.90.97.84.11

Those who would like to party until wee hours of the morning can check out the below DISCOTHEQUE

Le Purple Sarl Purple
Mme Bonnet Magali Route d'Arles
13460 Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer
T�l : 04.90.97.82.40 / 06.22.47.29.00 Fax: 04.90.97.82.40
http://www.lepurple.camargue.fr
epurple@camargue.fr

USEFUL ADDRESSES

(Here you can find info on the tourist office, police, local buses, post office, etc)

OTHER INFO SITES

http://www.saintes-maries.camargue.fr/
http://www.provenceweb.fr/e/bouches/stmaries/stmaries.htm

http://www.camargue.net/index.php


Special thanks to my Swing-mates, Juliet Batalon and Cathy Woolsey for helping me compile the above information


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