Étang Salé, Courthezon

Between Orange and Avignon, in the heart of the most beautiful and prestigious vineyards of the Vaucluse, in the south of France, the Étang Salé de Courthézon is a favourite stopover for many migratory birds. This wetland, with its exceptional biotope, is a delight for walkers, birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. Come and discover the Etang Salé de Courthézon, located in the Provence region, its incredible animal population, the unique view it provides and the beauty of the landscapes evolving depending on the weather and the month of the year.

A paradise for birds

In the Middle Ages, salt marshes were established here by salt workers. They harvested a high quality salt. Today, the Étang Salé is a protected area and a unique natural site covering some twenty hectares.

More than 160 species of sedentary and migratory birds have found refuge on the banks of the Étang Salé de Courthézon. Experienced ornithologists will be able to recognise the Little Bittern, the smallest heron in Europe, the Western Marsh Harrier, with its characteristic reddish breeches, the Great Reed Warbler (a species of marsh warbler), or the Reed Nightingale. It is the perfect occasion to take your best pictures of this incredible fauna.

But to summarise the biodiversity of the Étang Salé to the birds would be misleading. The water and land are teeming with life, with different species of amphibians, small mammals and insects.

When the herds of horses visit the neighbouring meadows in summer, the place definitely takes on an air of the Camargue, helping to create a special atmosphere, unique in the Vaucluse.

 

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A place for family walks

The Étang Salé has been the subject of numerous developments, fully integrated into the environment, to enable visitors to appreciate its treasures in the best possible conditions.

A 2 kilometre discovery trail has been laid out, with numerous educational panels. They make walkers aware of the fragile and precious ecosystem of the Étang Salé de Courthézon, while helping them to recognise the different species of birds. Observation areas have been set up so that the birdlife can be observed without disturbing it.

A pontoon leads into the heart of the Roselière. It houses a hut specially designed to encourage discreet and respectful observation of the animals.

Picnic tables welcome you for a gourmet break and a moment of relaxation in the middle of nature.

L’Étang Salé has been specially designed for the visually impaired and people with reduced mobility.

Practical information

The Étang Salé is easily accessible from Courthézon, by taking the D92 departmental road towards Châteauneuf-du-Pape. About three kilometres after leaving the village, take a road on the left following the sign “Espace naturel Sensible / Étang Salé”. You can park in the car park provided.

You can obtain more information by visiting the following websites

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