Arles may be a bit rough around the edges, but it’s a city with a rich history and cultural heritage. Situated as it is on the Rhône River, Arles is referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Camargue’, a vital coastal wetland and protected Regional Nature Park at the river’s delta. Arles is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its numerous Roman and Romanesque Monuments. And, may be best known as the city that inspired Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh to create some of his most famous work.
Click the thumbnails below to read more about what to see, things to do, where to eat, and where to sleep in Arles.
Arles, first settled by Ligurians, was inhabited by the sea-faring Phocaeans from Greece in the 7th century BC. Decades later, in 46 BC, Arles became a Roman colony of great importance due to its location on the main road from Italy to Spain, and as a port city, remained an important economic center. During the Middle Ages, the city was invaded by various outside forces, notably the Saracens, Visigoths and Franks, and when the Franks unified their territories, became, for a time, part of the Kingdom of Arles.