Fontvieille is situated in the heart of the "Provence des Alpilles", not far from the historic arena at Arles, the citadel of the Baux de Provence, the museums of Saint-Rémy and the Avignon Festival which is less than 30km away !
After having left Arles, you will follow a pretty road (the D17 in the direction of Les Baux and Maussane) which crosses the superb countryside of the Alpilles with its vast fields of olive trees, shrubs and lush green fields, with the majestic Montmajour abbey in the distance.
Arriving in Fontvieille, you will discover a picturesque village with its ancient houses built from stone extracted from the famous quarries founded in the 15th century. The arenas at Arles and Nimes, the 14th century chateau at Tarascon and most recently the Palais Longchamps and the Bourse at Marseille have all been built from the same stone.
Fontvieille is the village where Alphonse Daudet wrote his famous "Lettres de Mon Moulin". To visit the "Moulin de Daudet" and its small museum, climb the small hill until you reach the summit where the wind-mill overlooks the valley. From the hill (easy to climb), you will have a superb view of the Alpilles and the "Chateau de Montauban" where Daudet lived from time-to-time.
It was here, surrounded by this "scenery of stone" (or "caillasse" as they say here), on this hill-top covered in olives, pine-trees and oaks that Daudet found the inspiration for his stories.
He dreamt up his characters while listening to the stories from the shepherds and inhabitants of the Montauban chateau.
A variety of walking-tracks ranging from 2 to 9 km are available so visitors can appreciate the beauty of the natural environment, and it is even possible to walk in the foot-steps of la chevre de M. Seguin!
What to see
Moulin Daudet (windmill).
Alphonse Daudet museum and exhibition.
Chateau de Montauban.