Discover the town of Arles, capital of the Camargue
Arles, Roman city with its famous arenas
The Roman monuments of Arles are registered with Unesco and should be seen. The houses and private mansions of the 16th and 17th centuries, the cloister of St. Trophime, the Hôtel de Ville, and the shaded terraces of the Place des Lices are all well worth a tour.
Arles: a city of traditions.
Arles is now the gateway to Camargue, pland of the Gypsies and meeting place of the Camargue cowboys. Today the ferias or bull runs and bull fights are held in this very same arena (12,000 seats) that was the scene of the Roman games in the first century !
Van Gogh, Picasso, artists have always loved Arles
Cultural and annual events in Arles
As Arles is a town that promotes Provençal, Gypsy and Camargue traditions, many festivities are organised, some of which are well worth a visit. In our opinion, the most important festivals are :
the Gardians festival on 1 May,
the Mireieto festival in December
the International Lyric Forum in June
The Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles
Arles is an active centre for photography, with the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie attracting a large number of visitors every summer.
What to see
The arena, amphitheater.
Alyscamps burial grounds.
Roman baths of Constantin (4thc.).
The Antique Arles museum (4th c. sarcophaguses) and Arlaten museum (furniture and traditional folk art).
The Reattu Museum, Fine Arts museum.
The Rice Museum.
Ranches, horseback riding (9 schools).
Hiking. Mountain biking.
La Capeliere (nature walk of Camargue).
Van Gogh Tour. Gypsy mosaics.
Fete des Gardians (May, 1st).
Santon exhibition in December.
Bed and breakfast
Prestigious guest rooms, Junior suites 50m² and Loft suite of 80m² in an authentic farmhouse of 800m2 carefully renovated on a private 18 ha estate with olive trees, pond, swimming pool and permaculture farm. Table d'hôtes.
YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT ARLES
You have sent us several questions about the pretty town of Arles. Here are our answers to your most frequently asked questions.
How can I visit Arles in a day?
Are you on holiday in the Bouches-du-Rhône and want to spend a day in Arles? Then head for the town centre, where you can park easily in one of the town's car parks. Then a morning walking tour of the city's Roman monuments (the Arenas, the theatre, the terms, the necropolis). Lunch and coffee in one of the many Provençal restaurants in the centre. Afternoon strolling through the shops and artists' galleries in the centre.
What was the ancient name of Arles?
Arles has had several ancient names throughout history. The Greeks are said to have given it the name "Thélin", then the Celts called the city "Arelate", from which the current name "Arles" is directly derived. The Romans used the term Arelate.
Arles or Nîmes? Which city to visit?
If you're not sure whether to visit Arles or Nîmes, we'd recommend Arles, which is smaller and therefore more pleasant. The Roman monuments are splendid and the atmosphere is warm.