Sunlight, Cotes du Rhones, Roman ruins, Provence cuisine, lazy countryside drives
Not the liveliest place on Earth during the night ;-)
To revive the Van Gogh experience!
La Cafe de Nuit is a small non-descript cafe in a square filled with other cafes. The one distinguishing thing about it is the placard out front that shows that it was the inspiration for Van Gogh's Starry Night painting.It wasn't too crowded, but there were lots of people around taking pictures. We didn't get back there in the evening, so I can't...more
The Roman Coliseum is in the center of Old Town in Arles. It is so large you can't possibly miss it. The little tourist train stops at the foot of the Coliseum. Tours are available and the coliseum is still used for events including bull fights. There is a Van Gogh Museum on one side of the coliseum and hotels, tea rooms, cafes and many souvenir...more
The Roman theatre dates back to the time of Augustus (reigned 31 BC – 14 AD) and was built as a large theatre for shows, plays, orations, or other public events. The theatre in Arles was designed to hold as many as 8,000 people on 33 tiered rows of seating. Many theatres were built into hills to allow for the terracing, but in Arles this part had...more
We had heard good things about Hotel Le Calendal and were so glad we listened. Everything about our...more
Hotel De L'Amphitheatre appears to be the latest "good hotel deal" in Arles. It is now completely...more
This was a delightful hotel right in the centre of Arles at the famous Place du Forum (The Van Gogh...more
Everything we were told about Le Criquet was proven out with one dinner there, The restaurant is located near the amphitheater and was only a few steps from our hotel. The restaurant is not large, but there is seating besides the small front room when you walk in. It's a very cozy and comfortable atmosphere.We were ushered right to our table when...more
Chanced upon the restaurant while walking around town taking pictures. Looked cute from the outside and the menu sounded good so we thought we'd give it a try. Stopped in without a reservation right about 7:30 pm and we were able to be seated right away.Our waitress was a delight. The menu is on a large board that is brought around to the table....more
Our hotel recommended this restaurant – it was a Sunday afternoon and we were trying to find a place to eat in a rather closed town in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, we arrived at Hostellerie de Arenas just after they, too, had closed after their two-hour lunch opening. Not to be deterred because our hotel highly recommended the food here, we...more
A few of the famous old facades and important monuments have lights that make them attractive a after dark. It does not take much time before settling down for a drink or ice cream before an early retirement. After all, there is so much to see during the day. Casualmore
This ancient and intimate town square (Place du Forum) was once the heart of the city in Roman times. It also contains the site where Van Gogh sat and painted some of his best art. You can relax with a pastis in the exact location Van Gogh sat, with a large reproduction his painting (e.g. Arles Forum "Cafe Terrace Evening") sitting right next to...more
Located at the Place du Forum in the center of Arles, the cheery yellow Café du Nuit is the subject of Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night–his painting of an outdoor cafe with bright yellow walls against a navy star-swirled sky. (Actually, the limestone walls were beige, just illuminated yellow from gas lights newly installed in Arles, September...more
Some people laugh and scoff at them, but I'm one of those people who enjoy the tourist trains. I think they are a good way to get a look around town before walking aimlessly trying to find sites. For 7 Euro, the ride was enjoyable.You pick up the train right in front of the coliseum.more
Like most train stations outside of the big cities, Gare d'Arles was a small, nice station just on the outskirts of the town. It's about a 15 minute walk to the town center, but there is a shuttle bus that will take you for free. It just doesn't stop at the most convenient places.There weren't any taxis waiting around, but you could call and get...more
We've been to Arles in season and out of season, on market days and non-market days and we have never had a problem parking. We drive directly to the center of town following signs to the Old Town section. Eventually you will come to Blvd. des Lices and turn east. When you come to Blvd. Emile Combes, turn left and you will be following the Old Town...more
One of the little shops across from the Amphitheatre. I like the colorfulness of the racks. Therefore, I snapped this shot. I treasure my own photos on my travels and really love to take them. Buying postcards is a pleasure, at times, too. They are souvenirs that I can afford and cannot resist! You can buy lavender here, or was it the shop next...more
I like to motor around Provence from Chateauneuf du Pape to buy local wines, but this last Sept. '03 I was fortunate enough to find this excellent wine merchant in Arles.The proprietor Jean-Michel was what all businessmen should be: helpful, knowledgeable, kind, passionate about his product, and patient. I bought 6 bottles of various Provence/Cotes...more
~ This is a weekly outdoor Market that takes place every Wednesday and Saturday, until noon.Saturday: Bd. des Lices and Bd. Georges-Clémenceau.Wednesday: Bd. Émile Combes.On the first Wednesday of every month there is a foire à la brocantes (antique fair) on Bd. des Lices.~ A feast for all the senses!!! ~ You can buy locally grown produce, to make...more
The Feria Pascale is 3 days of festivities centered on Spanish bullfights.(for ticket reservations for Arènes events call: 04.90.96.03.70) These are the bloody bullfights, although Arles also holds bullfights where no animal blood is spilled.Other Festivals you could see in Arles are:St. John's Day (June 24th), where you will see typical Arlesian...more
We attended a demonstration on how hair is dressed in the ancient Arlesian manner with an adult and a young girl. It is an extremely elaborate production. The process is an old custom and is employed by males and females in preparing for several festivals during the year and is enjoyed in many of the communities of the area with many different...more
In the ArlatenMuseum are two floors of exhibits most of them arrays of cases of various materials of the life of the ordinary people of mostly the 19C. For example we see bread safes or hangers to prevent rodent loss or a double level bed for two children. There are cases of metal ends for hand tools and primitive musical instruments or obsolete...more
We had a distressing event in July. While in Arles, we noted 4 young men watching us park the car and get ready for our adventure. Feeling very suspicious, we left and went to a public parking lot in the center of town. To our surprise we passed them while going to a cafe. Feeling nervous, we went back to the cars where they were on the cell...more
I will try to put this as discretely and fairly as possible, so as not to offend or stereotype anyone. I have good friends that I care for very much from all different faiths and parts of the world. I am merely sharing a true story.There are a couple of local cafes/"salons" on Blvd Des Lices I would be cautious about entering late (after midnight)...more
One of the few "bummers" to avoid in Arles/Provence... the dreaded mistral...The mistral, a cold, dry, northwesterly wind that howls through southern France, sometimes continuously for DAYS is created when air from an inland high-pressure zone passes through the Alps-Pyrenees gap and funnels down the Rhone Valley toward the Mediterranean. The wind...more
The forum in Arles is a wonderful hangout, one of my favorite places in the world. I enjoy just sitting in Cafe van Gogh etc. both day and night.
But I do not eat dinner there. This is just my opinion and my apologies to the cafes on the forum, but I find the food to be better and more fairly priced in places that are just a street or two away.
For me the forum cafes are for nursing a beverage & une fumée while you take in the atmosphere vibe and history.
To each his own. You can do worse than have a meal in the Arles forum.
One exception is the brasserie inside the hotel Nord Pinus.
Photo taken afternoon 9/27/03 sitting at a table leaning against the wall of Cafe van Gogh staring across the forum at the "windy Mistral."
Unique Suggestions: The forum is great, it is just my opinion that you will get a better value and quality of food for your euros if you venture a street or two outside the forum.
Fun Alternatives: See my Arles restaurant tips for alternatives.
Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries in Arles:Provence. Societe Ajax, Edition du Boumian – Monaco. 230 photographs, 8 sketchmaps. 1995. 128 pages. France. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 1999,...more
Bring mosquito repellant! According to our waiter, as we swatted gigantic mosquitos from our necks, they are the "the specialites de la region". Unfortunately, we didn't have any repellant and after travelling around Provence, we have huge musquito bites as souveneirsmore
Good walking shoes for the old stone streets of Arles. Light clothing for the hot sun of the summer and early fall; protective clothing for the windy Mistral of winter and early spring. If (unlike me) you are a serious photographer, bring your best 35mm and tripod with filters and lenses for the beauty of the Provence. Rent a car or motorcycle...more
I (and you) may refresh our memory about Arles and Provance even without leaving Moscow. I should go to the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (19th and 20th Century European and American Art Department) and see “The red vineyard at Arles (Montmajour)” by Vincent Van Gogh apparently the only painting sold during the artist's lifetime.What a...more
We watched a group of future razeteurs in a small bull-ring try their hand at daring a bull. They attempted to reach the steer's forehead without the cocarde in place. They had learned the moves and barely jumped across the barrier with the bull also crossing the inner barrier in close pursuit. They were in the first stage of becomig a performer.more
You can stay at a dude ranch in the Camargue or at any of several places emphasizing horse riding. As part of an Elderhostel group spending a week in Arles, we went one afternoon to see the activities at the Domaine de Mejanes. We were treated to riding exhibition of the domesticated ponies of the region as well as to roping, calf-tying and finally...more
The amphitheatre holds bullfights. We lucked out and caught one such event the day we arrived. It wasn't the Spanish type, where the bull is killed...this type is called "course camarguaise", and is essentially a big game of "tag" between the bull and several "razeteurs", men wearing white who take turns tagging the bull on the head between the...more
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A map of the central, old part of Arles. Here is a much higher resolution and easier read online pdf version of the map on the left, click below:Arles pdf City Map onlineHere is (click below) an online, "zoomable" interactive streetmap of downtown Arles from MapQuest: ARLES by MapQuestthat if you zoom in to street level lets you find actual street...more