Arles is a major town on the tourist circuit, its fame sealed by the extraordinarily well-preserved Roman arena, Les Arènes, at the city's heart, and backed by an impressive variety of other stones and monuments, both Roman and medieval.
It was the key city of the region in Roman times, then, with Aix, main base of the counts of Provence before unification with France. For centuries it was Marseille's only rival, profiting from the inland trade route up the Rhône whenever the enemies of France were blocking Marseille's port. Arles declined when the railway put an end to this advantage, and it was an inward-looking depressed town that Van Gogh came to in the late nineteenth century.
He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there.
Today it's a staid and conservative place, but comes to life for the Saturday market, which brings in throngs of farmers from the surrounding countryside, and during the various festivals of tauromachie between Easter and All Saints, when the town's frenzy for bulls rivals that of neighbouring Nîmes.
The climate and weather in Arles due to its situation in the Mediterranean, offers one of the best and sunniest climates of the whole of France - there are more than 300 days of sunshine per year! Arles and its region are attractive all year round.
Located in central Arles, near the amphitheatre, the convent and the Church St-Trophime, the Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus is full of character. This stylish and vibrant hotel features beautifully decorated rooms.
La Chassagnette - LE SAMBUC, 13200 ARLES Tel : 04 90 97 26 96 email@example.com
A restaurant offering creative cuisine using organic and local produce set in charming and contemporary surroundings. The menu is changed regularly with the seasons and the natural rhythm of the Camargue and can be eaten in the elegant restaurant, private dining rooms or on the expansive terrace. An absolute gastronomic delight.
La Gueule du Loup - 39 RUE DES ARENES, 13200 ARLES Tel : 04-90-96-96-69 A small but excellent restaurant in the old city center with a well-prepared, thought out menu and good food with a personal touch.
Cafe Van Gogh - PLACE DU FORUM, 13200 ARLES This place has capitalized on the fact that Van Gogh immortalized it in "Cafe de Nuit", but it nevertheless offers good and reasonably priced Provencal cuisine.
L'atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel -7 RUE DES CARMES, 13200 ARLES - Tel : 04 90 91 07 69 - www.rabanel.com
The restaurant is situated in a pedestrianised street in the heart of the old town. Chef and owner Jean-Luc Rabanel offers you an 'experience' rather than a meal. There are no menus, you simply need to choose whether you are going to have 13 or 7 courses. Everything is made from seasonal produce, most of which comes from his own organic farm, and is an explosion of colour and tastes - every dish is a veritable feast for the eyes. He also offers cookery classes and a place for the night in one of the beautiful bedrooms.
Arles has important remains of Roman times, which have been listed as World Heritage Sites since 1981. They include:
Located at 15 minutes from the centre of Nîmes and at 3 kilometres of the airport of Garons , the Golf of Nîmes Campagne is open to all golfers.
Designed by the architects Morandi and Harradine, its inauguration took place in 1968. The course is reputed for its greens and their difficulty, its narrow fairways, flanked by a colourful variety of trees. In 2003, the Golf of Nîmes Campagne was rated the 75th best golf course in Europe by the magazine Golf World, and the 26th best golf in France by the magazine Golf Européen. Simply the most beautiful golf course in Languedoc Roussillon!
In the heart of Provence, close to St Rémy and the Baux de Provence and 30 minutes from the TGV station at Avignon and 45 minutes from Marseille Airport, its clubhouse is a converted ancient oil mill.
The Servanes Golf Club offers the privilege of playing in an unforgettable scenery at the foot of the Alpilles hills, next to Les Baux de Provence, on one of the region's finest 18 hole courses. Discover a place bathed in sunlight, sheltered from the Mistral, edged with olive groves, cypresses and cascading lakes.