Best way to get to Arles
Using Discount Airlines with trains:
Arles is a small town, not like Lyon, Avignon, etc. so you are more limited in ways to get there.
The best way to get to Arles depends on where you are coming from, and obviously if you are driving through provence, you will be arriving in your car (make sure to reserve, there is little/NO parking in the old city).
In the past, train was always the answer. But while Arles itself still does not have a decent airport, discount airlines are changing things.
The old long way:
(Oct. '01) I was originating from Cinque Terre, IT. The only option was a long, arduous (9-10 hours) train ride up through the French Riviera.
The new fast way: This year in 2003, from Cinque Terre, I could have taken a quick hop to Pisa on the train, then flown to Marseille instead for less money and saved at least 4 hours.
Sept. '03, as I was originating from Amsterdam, I found a good discount airline, Basiq Air (subsidiary of Transavia, subsidiary of Dutch KLM)
had an unbelievably low fare from Amsterdam direct to Marseille for less than 50Euro.
From Marseille it was only a 20Euro ticket and 1hr train to Arles. Saved me much time and money, as the train would have cost me 100Euro and taken much longer.
NOTE: 8/10/04: To reach Marseille you may now need to use KLM
I took this picture as we were on final approach from Amsterdam and landing in Marseille.
I recommend you check all options before automatically getting an expensive train pass/ticket. Discount airlines in Europe are very affordable, and save much time if you plan ahead and shop on the web. From a transportation standpoint, the Arles taxi drivers from the Arles train station seem to be a very funny, entertaining and interesting group of guys. But they are professional and give very good service.
One of the drivers gave me some sage advice on the french language:
"The best way to learn french is to learn from a french woman!"
He's probably right.