I had heard of pink lakes before and knew I had to see one for myself! I searched for a pink lake in France and I found Salins d’Aigues Mortes. However, I didn’t read any of the reviews for this place and didn’t do my research properly. I will be telling you why I wouldn’t recommend going here and where the best pink lake in France really is! Also they aren’t really lakes, they are man made salt pans made to extract salt from. We stayed in Aix en Provence during this trip to be close to Roussillon and Moustiers Sainte Marie (two stunning villages) so I’ll also be telling you what else there is to do in Provence and where to stay in Provence. Also, not only will I be telling you where to see the best pink lakes but where to see flamingos too!
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All drone shots are by @boyanoo
Read more: The most instagrammable village of Provence
What are pink lakes?
The pink colour in a pink lake is actually caused by certain algae that are present in the water. However, these man made saltpans are similar as they also have this microorganism that makes the water pink. They are not always pink, so check before you go to avoid disappointment. We actually watched the location tagged stories on instagram to see whether it was pink in people’s stories. Sometimes photos are posted well after someone has been to a place so the best way to check is to watch the stories tagged with the location of a place you want to go to.
What are salt pans?
These are man made evaporation ponds. The seawater enters them, and as it evaporates, the salt is leftover ready to harvest. The seawater is pumped here from the month of March to September over different salt flats until it reaches the saltpans. A man we met here said that the sea was a 10km walk away. The salt is then harvested between August and October.
Why shouldn’t you visit Salins D’Aigues Mortes?
We definitely did not do our research before we came here! As we arrived into the car park we were met with tonnes of cars and a huge line at the ticket office. I didn’t realise it was such a popular tourist attraction! There were signs everywhere for a train ticket. When I went to ask about visiting these saltpans, I was told that this could only be done by train. They have a limited capacity and a tour takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was 35 degrees and we had sat in a non-air conditioned car for an hour and a half to get here. There was no way I was sitting on a sticky train and being told at what point I can get off and look at the salt pans!
I then got back into the car and started to read the reviews, a little late. All of these said that it is a photographer’s nightmare! You take the train ride around the saltpans and apparently the tour is all in French. Then at certain points you are allowed to get off and take some photos.
However it is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! Boyan flew the drone and it was absolutely incredible. We knew we had to see this up close but we had no idea how to do this without getting a train with loads of other people. We tried lots of different options, but the salt-pans are guarded from every angle by a large river that you cant cross easily. In the end we gave up and drove home.
How much does it cost?
Salin d’Aigues Mortes costs around 10 Euro for an adult and 8 Euro for a child to visit these salt pans by train.
Where is the best Pink Lake in France?
Salin de Giraud!
As we were driving back from Salin D’Aigues Mortes, I saw a sign for Salin de Giraud. I don’t speak much French but I could work out that it was Salin – which could mean that we had found some more salt pans! We quickly stopped and I checked the place on my phone. We took the risk and decided to see whether these saltpans were any better! After a 40 minute detour we arrived at 6pm to a place with a fence the whole way around and two gates for cars to drive through. There were sign saying no bicycles allowed but nothing about pedestrians and no proper gate, so we were able to walk through.
A man was just driving out so in my not very good French I asked if we could go in here and he said yes of course!
What is it like to walk in the salt pan?
It is really warm, a bit too warm. As you walk into the salt-pans, the crusts of salt disappear beneath you and your foot will fall through it a bit. At first I was worried and didn’t want to walk into it. However, the next salt-pan we went into it was much less deep and felt nicer to walk through! When you get out your feet will feel really oily and as the salt dries it will feel like you have a facemask on your feet! I wouldn’t recommend getting any clothes into the salt pan for sure.
How to get to Salin de Giraud?
Salin de Giraud is 1hr 30 minutes away from Aix-en-Provence where we stayed. If you want to stay nearer the coast, Port Camargue is also a lovely place to stay and from here it is just over an hour away. There is a small road from the big main road and it is also lovely for sunflowers! Unfortunately we went in the peak of summer so the sunflowers were there but very much dead.
How much does it cost?
We went at 6pm and there really was no one around at all. We just walked straight in, and didn’t pay anything at all. There was no obvious ticket office, just some signs on the fence outside. The signs said that it was 15 Euro to enter and cycle. For a guided tour of Salin de Giraud it said it was 35 Euro for adults and 18 Euro for children. I would therefore definitely recommend going much later on when we went!
Is it dangerous?
There were lots of signs here all in French. As I didn’t have time or the internet to translate each one of those at the time, we went straight in. However, I have now translated them all so I can tall you about any dangers! And to freak myself out about what could have happened to me while I was there!
Zone exposee aux inondations – Exposed to floods
Risque de feuz de forêt – Risk of forest fires
Zone en aval d’un barrage – Downstream of a dam
Mouvements de terrains lies à la sécheresse – drought related land movement
Zone sismique faible – Low seismic zone
Subermsion marine – Again means that it could flood!
Drone photography tips for a pink lake in France
1. Make sure to shoot away from the sun
2. Set up the right white balance – don’t leave this on auto!
3. An ND filter is not really necessary as there isn’t much glare here
Where to see flamingos?
Near Salin d’Aigues Mortes there is another big lake full with flamingos! As you drive past the salt pans, you will go down a road with salt pans either side. Here, on the right hand side you will see lot of flamingos! Follow this link to help you find the place.
Best time of year to go to Provence?
If you are looking for beautiful fields of Lavender, then from June to late July! We were here in August and there were a few sunflowers that weren’t completely dead yet but definitely no lavender to be seen! However, the weather was amazing, if you like the heat! It was perfect timing to see the saltpans.
What to see in Provence?
There are so many beautiful towns here! I’ll list a few of my favourites below.
Moustiers Sainte Marie
This town is set up high and built into the side of a cliff. We went here at about 8am before all the shops opened and the small streets are really beautiful. There is also a small waterfall here coming down from the mountain that crates a little stream through the town. There is a car park just at the entrance to this town and we didn’t actually have to pay to park here either! Then for breakfast would recommend the little café right by the car park for the best pastries.
One of the most instagrammable towns in Provence! This town is also very small and has some lovely orange buildings. There is parking right in the centre of the town, but you can only park here for 45 minutes. After this time there is parking about 5 minutes walk away that costs 3 Euro for the whole day. Rousillon has lots of lovely cafes and lunch spots. We ate at Chez Nino and had a great Croque Monsieur. It is also home to an incredible walk to see the orange clay cliffs called the Ochre Trail.
This is another beautiful little town near Rousillon. It is right on top of a hill and has amazing views al around. There is one viewpoint that everyone walks to with stunning views. Wander around these streets and enjoy the French architecture. This town is most famous for its beautiful Abbey of Senanque. As at the right time it is surrounded by bright purple lavender.
I hope you enjoyed my post on the best place to see a Pink Lake in France!
Pin this amazing pink lake in France!
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Absolutely epic Hanna! So informative and interesting to hear that the best one isn’t necessarily the most famous!
I had no idea something like this existed so close! I’ll definitely have to go check it out, it looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing a hidden gem.
I had no idea either but what a nice surprise!
Really enjoyed reading your blog again!
Sounds like a good treatment for the feet?
Thank you for translating the signs for the future visitors! Important!
It was an odd feeling to walk in there, but worth it for the photo! Glad you enjoyed this post!
Also stunning pictures! Great PINK!
Thanks so much!!
Where is the link for the flamingo’s? Love ur blog!
I’ve just added it, sorry! And I’m so glad you like it!
I’m from France and had absolutely no idea we had pink salt lakes!! The pictures are just stunning and I love how informative and honest you are about why the first one wasn’t great.
Thank you! Yes we really gave up after the first one and it was such a nice surprise to find the second one!
Aah how absolutely pretty!! I never knew there was a pink lake in France! I would love to explore Provence – so many cute little towns around there it looks like
I need to go back to Provence next year for the lavender fields!
Wow the pink salt pans are unreal with that pink! Such a beautiful yet unusual things to see. I would never imagined to see pink salt lakes and flamingos in France. Would love to see this part of France one day! 😁
It was absolutely incredible, and so many flamingos too!
I can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything quite like this! I already wanted to visit Provence to see the Lavender fields and now I’d love to see the pink beaches too! Wonderfully informative post, thanks for sharing 😃
I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I’ll be back for the lavender fields for sure!
yeah was a really nice blog, thank you ! im meeting my bestie from LA in london late may, and a week in london and 8 days in france,, and struggerling on what to choose, sooo many options!! cant wait
These lakes look incredible! I’m hoping to go back to France next year so I’ll have to see if I can add these to my itinerary!
Yes do for sure! I’ll be going back to see the lavender fields in July!
The drone shots do look amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your tips on how to get the best out of the pink lakes. I will be in this area next year so will definitely keep an eye out for them.
Thank you so much! And that’s great! Can’t wait to see your shots from here. Might even see you if you’re in Provence! 😉
I’ve never seen a pink body of water and am awestruck by the vibrant colors! Now I want to kill 2 birds and go on a road trip through France and see the pink lake 😂
Yes do it for sure! I’ll be back next summer for the lavender!
Woooah the drone shots are spectacular! What a fantastic colour!!
It was a crazy colour! Had to take lots of videos to prove it was real!
OMG putting pink lakes on my bucket list immediately! I’ve heard of them before, but had no idea there was one in France – I only knew about the famous one in Mexico! Now I want to google all about the different pink lakes…
Same! I was sad that there was no lavender and this totally made up for it!!!
Niezwykle interesujacy opis nieznanych miejsc .Piekne zdjecia i informacja zachecaja do zwiedzania. Gratulujemy!!!💝
My hubby is French and we love France and have explored a lot, but did not know about this spot – AMAZING! I just showed my husband and we are definitely going to add this to a future trip! Wowza!
I’m glad! I also had no idea about this place, so so glad we found it though! It really is incredible!!
I had no idea these lakes existed in France! There’s some in Australia and the Salt Flats in Death Valley were amazing but I had no idea France had any. The pink on the first lake looks insane! But it sounds like a little bit of a nightmare to actually get to the Lake itself but maybe people will have a more positive experience after reading this post and knowing what to expect. The second one looks just as interesting as well! Thanks for the post very informative and interesting. Translates are super helpful
Thanks so much and I’m glad you enjoyed my post! Yes the first one was still super beautiful but it’s not the same as being right in there and having the place all to yourself. Also that one hour train journey at the first one I wouldn’t have survived in the heat, and I’ve seen more reviews that the tour is only in French, so no good for all of us that don’t speak French!
This looks so amazing, great job getting the most incredible pictures of the lake! I had no idea this existed in France but now I hope to visit it one day 🙂
I hope you get to visit! The drone shots are by @boyanoo and I took the camera pics!
This place is unbelievable! We’ve seen a few pink lakes before, but none quite as vibrant. As a photographers we’re completely drawn to this place, and will most certainly make use of your tips when using this drone. We’ve never been to the Provence region, but this is just one more reason to move it up in our bucket list =)
I thought you had to travel far to see these, couldn’t believe we found one in France and SO vibrant! Glad I’ve moved it up, see you there next July haha!
Wow, who knew this was in France and looks as epic as this. Such great drone shots! Thanks for sharing the down points like the masses of tourists, that’s important too!
Yes we were so disappointed by the first one although it was stunning from the drone. All the drone shots are by @boyanoo 🙂
This is probably the coolest thing I have ever seen IN MY LIFE. Thank you for sharing because France just immediately jumped up on my bucketlist
YAY! I’m glad I’ve bumped it up for you!!! Thanks for reading!
This looks amazing! I loved this when I saw it on your IG stories, so thank you for sharing all these tips with us to see a pink lake in France that I didn’t even know existed until you shared it – definitely on my list now!
So glad you enjoyed my post!! Can’t wait to see your photos from here, you have to go!
I didn’t even know about this place!!! I saw it on your Instagram and was completely puzzled haha. Definitely putting it on my list to visit!
I’m glad! I’ll be back in Provence for the lavender and sunflower fields so I’ll see you there haha!
This place looks like something from another planet, wow! Would love to visit one day!
Come with us to Provence next year!
These photos are all so dreamy!
Incredible isn’t it!
These photos are all so dreamy! I’m adding this to my bucket list
I want to see more now I’ve been to this one!
I have to admit, I don’t actually like pink, but I am in LOVE with these pink lakes! I wish I knew about these gems when I visited France a few years ago, but that just means I have to go again. XD
Yes I feel the same about pink! But I couldn’t resist this! Just insane what nature does! And yes definitely go back 🙂
ah, the internet! i thanks people who created this. And thank you for your great review about this wonderful place. Just saw the pink Picture at instagram this morning and found vou blog. Great place to check before traveling! i loved it. Greetings from Rio!
Greetings to you too! Very glad to hear that you enjoyed my blog post, and hope you can see this place too for yourself one day!
I had no idea this exists in France! STUNNING! Thanks for sharing a hidden gem. Definitely added this to my Europe bucket list. xx Manon | Bondi to Basic
Crazy right! We were so excited when we found it!!
What a pink gem! You are good at finding gems!
It’s incredible isn’t it!
Hi there ! Just came across this article after seeing stunning pics on @boyanoo’s Instagram page ! I may visit end of September, do you know if still pink at this time of the year ? Also could you explain a little more where exactly you managed to enter and walk around the Salin ? Thanks for sharing your adventure 🙂
Hey! The salt is harvested between August and October, so it really depends when that takes place! We just walked through the main entrance but I guess it was after hours and there was just one guy driving out who we asked if we could enter 🙂
How do you get the permission?
I far as I know is strictly forbbiden to fly drones in that area, even in recreational open category…
There was no one around to ask on that day and no signs to say it wasn’t allowed
This looks amazing — your photographs are beautiful! Definitely on my bucket list now!
Thank you and yes go for sure!