Not to be missed - Cruise
Get ready for an unforgettable day in one of Provence's absolute treasures. First exploring the majestic ancient ruins in Arles which draws in visitors from around the world each year. Onwards next to the Church of St. Trophime and Montmajour Abbey, stunning architectural gems in this Camarguais city. Take a break from sightseeing to do a little shopping then sample the delicious and unpretentious cuisine at La Gueule du Loup before getting your culture fix at the Arles Antique archaeological museum. Ready to be whisked back in time?It's only a one-hour cruise from Marseille away.
The amphitheatre, a Gallo-Roman treasure and plaza de toros
1 Rond-point Des Arènes 13200 Arles
Begin your day at one of Arles' most iconic and most visited ancient landmarks: the amphitheatre. Built over 2,000 years ago by a Roman colony, it was designed to hold 21,000 spectators over 34 terraces. Stop to admire the large monolithic slabs on the ground, a perfect illustration of the Roman obsession with size as a symbol of power. Events are regularly held there, especially during the Temporada (bullfighting season).
Catch a show in an ancient theatre
Rue De la Calade 13200 Arles
Next head to Arles' Roman theatre dating from the 1st century B.C. when Cesar was in power. Listed as an Historic Monument since 1840, this atmospheric site contains 33 terraces and still hosts public events each summer. Applaud your favourite acts performing at the Festival des Suds or watch a movie beneath the stars at the Festival du Film Peplum.
A lesson in architecture at Saint-Trophime's
Place De la Republique 13200 Arles
Your tour of the city and its rich history continues with a visit to the Church of St. Trophime, a fine example of Romanesque and Provençal architecture. A quiet and peaceful place, the church boasts two Romanesque galleries sculpted in the 12th century and two Gothic galleries added two hundred years later. Wander around the city and perhaps stop to see the works on display at the Réattu Museum's temporary exhibitions or the hand-made figurines at the Salon International des Santonniers.
Shopping in Arles where traditions are making a comeback!
Arles is great for shopping so hit the boutiques before stopping for lunch. In the historic centre, you'll find quaint shops inspired by Camarguais traditions, trendy concept stores, art galleries, small fashion or interior design labels and local retailers who became global successes including Souleïado, Christian Lacroix, Actes Sud and Harmonia Mundi. Foodies can enjoy an ice cream or browse the fine delicatessens brimming with Provençal specialities.
Distance from cruise terminal : 1 h
A taste of sunshine at La Gueule du Loup
39 Rue Des Arènes 13200 Arles
For lunch, don't think twice about grabbing a table at La Guele du Loup. Specialising in well-crafted and delicious small plates inspired by the south of France, this establishment is set over two floors of an 18th century property. Choose between the ground floor with views into the kitchen or the dining room with exposed stone walls upstairs. The place is known for its fresh ingredients and excellent value for money.
Medieval history and contemporary art at Montmajour Abbey
Route De Fontvieille 13200 Arles
Wrap up your wonderful day in Arles by visiting Montmajour Abbey (15 minutes from the bus station on the no. 29 – Arles-Salon route), located on the island of the same name where the first stone was laid in 948. Constructed by Benedictine monks, this extraordinary place is a testament to different architectural periods with its underground chapel (11th century), club-shaped chapel (12th century) and Saint-Maur Monastery (18th century). The abbey affords stunning views of the Alpilles. Catch contemporary art at the exhibitions held there regularly.
- Experiencing the excitement of the crowds watching the Courses Camarguaises bullfighting events
- Walking in the footsteps of Van Gogh by visiting the places that inspired his paintings
- Trying the delicious local specialities such as Camargue rice and bull stew
- Stepping back to antiquity
- Travelling from antiquity back to the present day
- Treating yourself to an exquisitely made Provençal tablecloth
The best time to visit
- Early July to attend the Fête d’Arles in the city's Roman amphitheatre
- July to September for the Rencontres d'Arles, the Cannes of photography
- September to participate in the lively Feria du Riz (tastings, gypsy concerts, bull races and more)
Not to be missed, Cruise
On foot, By public transport
- Visited cities
All year round
Discover other itineraries
This tour is designed to help you get to know the capital of Bouches-du-Rhône and European Capital of Culture 2013 inside and out. First, pay a quick visit to the 'Bonne Mère', as the locals familiarly refer to the basilica which watches over the city. Next go and listen to the city's beating heart, the Old Port, and while you're there stop for lunch at Chez Madie. Then head to Panier, the city's old town that is home to a vibrant community today. Afterwards, rest your weary limbs a while in the courtyard of the majestic Vieille Charité cultural centre. Once rested, make your way to the MuCEM, one of the city's cultural landmarks, before taking in the sights of the surrounding calanques.If you love being on the water, then this part of the tour is for you!
Shopping in Aix-en-Provence by Anais et Pedro
Aix-en-Provence, a small town not far from Marseille where everything can be done on foot, which is pretty cool! We are going to take you on a tour round the quaint cobbled streets to discover some great shops and show you some of our favourite places to spend a lovely day in the sun! Don’t forget to look up because there is some outstanding architecture to be seen here.
The Côte Bleue
Between Calanques National Park and Camargue Regional Nature Park, the 'Blue Coast' promises a bracing breath of fresh air! By the sea, there is something for every taste, from the beautiful Sainte-Croix beach in Martigues to the quaint little beach at Fernandel calanque in Carry-le-Rouet. Water sports enthusiasts will be in their element in Sausset-lès-Pins where they can choose between learning to dive and having a go at stand-up paddleboarding. Of course, foodies are catered for too at Le Madrigal and Le Mange-Tout. Ready? Steady... Go!
The 'OM' is more than just a symbol, it's a way of life!