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Videos / Pics
DISCOVER THE ‘SEA OF BERRE’Extending over 15,500 ha, the lagoon and its 80km shoreline are delightful. Surrounded by low limestone hills, it is connected to the sea by the Caronte canal. It has a surface area of 155 km², making it one of the largest inland ‘seas’ in Europe.
A RICH AND UNIQUE HISTORYThe etang de Berre has always attracted people, as evidenced by the excavations at Saint-Blaise, the Flavien bridge, the medieval town of Miramas-le-Vieux and the 17th century enclosure at Port-de-Bouc. From the end of the 19th century, the traditional economy based on vines, olives, fishing and salt production was upset by industrialisation. The break between the north and south is clear: The south and south east have sacrificed a lot for industrialisation, while the north and west, (where Istres is located) have retained a more familiar character, with alternating pine forests and cultures.
Long known for its pollution levels due to industrialisation, the etang de Berre is gradually returning to its former glory. The efforts undertaken over a number of years, in terms of the environment and ecology, such as the creation of an interest group for the rehabilitation of the etang de Berre, are bearing fruit. Indeed, the increase in salinity and the improvement in water quality have allowed the return of many noble fish (sole, sea bream, bass...) and the opening of many beaches.
FULL OF ACTIVITIES: BEACHES & HIKES
MAKE THE MOST OF THE BEACHES AT THE ETANG DE BERRETwo magnificent, equipped beaches are perfect for swimming or a refreshing dip in Istres, the Romaniquette and Ranquet beaches.
The beaches are supervised and have all necessary facilities, from June to September. The water quality is monitored all year round.
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MARINA AND WATER SPORTS
A dynamic lagoon and an incredible playground for anyone who loves water sports! On this vast body of water, you can try lots of different activities. Istres has a marina with 200 mooring rings and a water sports centre on the same site, which add to the energy on the etang. So, you can experience the joy of the water, with windsurfing, dinghy, catamaran, jet ski, water ski, rowing and live aboard boats.
Each summer, boat trips are organised by the Tourist Office to help you discover this lagoon’s complex history in more detail. View the complete programme of boat trips and activities during the summer. For more information, contact: +33 (0)4 42 81 76 00
MaoraJet Gliss, located on Romaniquette beach, offers water sports for thrill seekers: donuts, jet ski, stand-up paddle…
You can also hire a boat from a sailing club to discover the largest inland ‘sea’ in Europe. For more information, contact: +33 (0)4 42 56 16 50
HIKES & WALKS ALONG THE COAST
The banks of the etang de Berre are also a lovely place for a stroll. You can admire the largest inland sea in Europe and the marvellous landscapes, particularly on the ‘Istres: between town and country’ trail or the GR2013. You can walk along the shore in the shade of the pines and discover unspoilt coves.
> All the walks and hikes in Istres.