In between Provence and Camargue
Arles, the extraordinary colour range of Vincent Van Gogh
When a Greek tribe tried to sell its wine and olive oil, Arles became a trading harbour. In the 1rst century BC Julius Cesar founded a real Roman colony here: forum, theatre, arena, bathhouses, circus, villas… Today Arles still preserves a lot of exceptional sarcophagi, mosaics, statues…
Since Arles became the capital of the Provence in the 10th century, remarkable architectural projects emerged: The Saint Trophimus cathedral and its outstanding cloister are one of the most extraordinary examples of French Romanesque architecture. Both monuments are open for guided tours.
Vincent Van Gogh arrived at the end of February 1888 and stayed for 15 months: this is where he created his most coloured paintings, this is where he cut his ear of. Your Provence tour guide will lead you to the locations where Vincent lived and painted!
Excursions and rambles through the Rhône delta
An endless looking land stuck in between the Rhône river, lagoons and the Mediterranean: salt bushes, salt grass, sea-lavender, white horses, little bulls with elegant sky pointed horns, and last but not least, flamingos…
In the Middle Ages Benedictine monks built roads for getting to their abbeys, that is how many roads in Provence were born.
The Camargue today became a Parc Regional Naturel and includes three towns: Arles, les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer et Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône and covers 225.000 acres. Your tour guide will show you the Camargue off the beaten paths over tiny little roads and will bring you to the bleu Mediterranean. We will observe the Camargue breed white horses and small bulls and also the pink flamingos (about 18.000 spend their winter here).
Capital of the Camargue
A legend says that in the beginning of our Era a small boat without a steer nor a sail arrived here with aboard Lazarus, Martha his sister, Trophimus and holy ladies:
The two Marys and princess Sarah stayed and were buried here and apparently miracles occurred on their tombs. That is how the village name was born.
With your tour guide of Provence, you will visit the surprising fortified church with its even more surprising ex-votos and naturally, the statue of Holy Sarah, patroness of the gypsies.
A small medieval XIII century town
This old "Dead-Water" harbour was the only possible access to the Mediterranean for king Louis IX in the XIII century. He ordered the construction of this little city next to the harbour to encourage crusades and trading. Solid walls and different kinds of watchtowers protected the inhabitants.
With your Provence tour guide you will be able to admire the old wall, their gates but also the old Notre-Dame-des-Sablons church and its astonishing stained glass windows made by Claude Viallat.