section of the South of France that is slightly
less inundated by clamouring crowds, Arles is a picture of Roman
architecture and blue- and green-shuttered charm. Visit for a
low-key weekend of chèvre chaud salads and clinking glasses of rosé
followed by meandering strolls.
Begin at the almost intact Les Arenes amphitheatre, then set out
on a relaxed, self-guided architecture tour until aperitif hour.
It’s easy to see where Van Gogh sought out ideas for his
sunflower-hued artworks; the city is alive with colours and natural
inspiration. Art history fanatics should make a stop at the
Vincent Van Gogh Foundation – the
sun-splashed courtyard and “Hot Sun, Late Sun – Untamed Modernism”
show is chock-full of summer-y works by Van Gogh and Picasso
A day trip to the Camargue National Park is also a must – on the
cusp of the Mediterranean sea, it’s a
paradise for Instagram-friendly flamingos and a chilled-out day on
the waterfront to contrast with warmer days in town. To cap off the
Arles experience, carve out some time for the storied Saturday
market where you can stock up on local rosemary and thyme.
Who to take with you
An impressionist art aficionado.
When to go
Most likely to bump into
Francophiles looking for an alternative to Aix.
Essentials to bring with you
A notepad for sketching your own version of “Café Terrace at
How to get there
Fly into Marseille airport and rent a car
so you can explore the area.