Arles and the Camargue

  • © Fotolia

  • © G. Vlassis

Arles and the Camargue Esplanade Charle de Gaulle, boulevard de Lices 13200 Arles fr

Arles is a city with an antique past that has been recognised by UNESCO for its Roman and Romanesque Monuments, its pilgrimage routes (Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem), and also for the world-renowned Camargue Nature Park – a member of the World Biosphere Reserves network.

Arles is the gateway to the Camargue at the delta of the Rhône River, among some of Europe’s most beautiful natural sites. Its flora and fauna - protected by the Camargue Regional Nature Park - are exceptionally rich and varied.

To the north of the city stretches the Alpilles Regional Nature Park, with agricultural land and Mediterranean forests, which is a habitat for more than one hundred rare or protected species.

The city of Arles is closely connected to the Post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh whose stay in Arles was one of the most productive periods in his career, with over 300 paintings and drawings completed in 15 months.

 

Must-See  

  • Roman heritage: the roman arena, the antique theatre, the cryptoportiques (underground galleries) of the forum, the Constantine baths and the Alyscamps necropolis.
  • Romanesque and classical heritage: St Trophime's church, St Trophime's cloister, l'Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), Hôtels Particuliers (or Private Mansions).
  • Arles – a museum city: the Arles Archaeological Museum, the Réattu Museum (contemporary art), Antique Arles Museum (archaeology), the Arlaten museum (ethnography).
  • Arles – through Van Gogh’s eyes: Van Gogh walking tour, Van Gogh Foundation.
  • Arles – Capital of the Camargue: the Vigueirat marshes, Domaine de la Palissade National Park, the Camargue Museum, la Capelière Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre.

City visits

Discover Arles and its monuments all year-round with the tourist passes:

  • Freedom pass (1 museum of your choice + 4 buildings or monuments)
  • Advantage pass (all monuments, buildings and museums in Arles).

Events 

  • Easter Feria*
  • The Guardian Festival(May 1st)
  • The Queen of Arles election (May 1st, every 3 years) 
  • Arles Festival (June)
  • Les Rencontres d'Arles International Photography Festival (July - September) 
  • Les Suds, World Music Festival (over two weeks in July)
  • Arelate, Roman Days and Peplum Festival (August) 
  • Rice Feria* (September)
  • Camargue Gourmande Food Festival (September)
  • Rice Festival (September)
  • Provence Prestige Fair (November)
  • The International Santonniers' Fair (November to January)
  • Drôles de Noëls (Christmas Fun) (December)

*Feria – taken from the Spanish word a feria in southern France is usually when the city/town/village is given up to a local celebration. This can – and traditionally did – involve holding bullfights, or bull-running, during the festival. Other typical features also include temporary outdoor bars and restaurants, known as Bodegas, being set up throughout the town.

 

Getting there

Train

Arles SNCF train station

Flights :

4 regional airports nearby : Marseille Provence, Montpellier Méditerranée, Avignon Caumont, Nîmes Garons

Road :

Motorways: A7 - A8 - A9

 

Contact

Office de Tourisme d'Arles

Esplanade Charles de Gaulle - boulevard des Lices 13200 Arles

Tel: +33 (4) 90 18 41 20 - Fax: +33 (4) 90 18 41 

Point of interest