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France snapshot: Arles

France snapshot: Arles

The most visited country in Europe (and as a matter of fact, in the entire world) is again the subject we draw inspiration from, as today we take another France snapshot: Arles.

If you can remember, not long ago, we talked about Aix-en-Provence; well, today we remain close by, in the wonderful Provence, as we discover yet another pearl: the beautiful small city of Arles.

Inhabited ever since ancient times (first by the Ligurians, then by the Celts), Arles in for the most part located on the Camargue Delta, along the Rhone River. The tourist importance of the town is great and in 2013, it was elected as one of the capital cities of European culture.

Architecture accounts for much of the city`s popularity, particularly due to the prominent Roman relics, listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981. Among the Roman and Romanesque monuments, we should at least mention a few: the Romanesque Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), the Gallo-Roman theatre and the arena (or amphitheatre), the Barbegal aqueduct and mill and the Obelisk of Arles, all of them being representative of the Roman style of architecture.

Apart from the monuments, there are plenty of restaurants and bistros to go to, as well as several museums to admire (such as the  Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence, the Reattu Museum or the Museon Arlaten).

Certainly, Arles displays the typical French atmosphere, but it is also a bit… “Dutch” – or at least the place is forever linked to the destiny of the Netherlands, as their national painter, post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh lived here for one very prolific year, between 1888 and 1889. During his stay, he painted and drew over 300 works. In honor of the immortal artist, a photography festival is held annually, ever since 1970.

The trip from Arles to the capital city may be quite long, but if you want to cross France and travel throughout the country by car, you can book a Paris transfer and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience!