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Known as ‘The soul of Provence’, Arles is situated on the Rhône, and has been described as one of the most beautiful towns in all of France. Van Gogh painted some of his most celebrated works in this Provencal town. Today it remains a picturesque place with excellent restaurants and charming streets.
One of the many sights to see in Arles is the Musée de l'Arles Antique. It’s home to one of the most famous collections of Roman Christian sarcophagi, as well as an edifying collection of sculptures, and beautifully made mosaics.
If you walk away from the centre of town to the banks of the Rhone, on Rue Dominique Maisto, you’ll come across Thermes de Constantín, a 4th-century Roman baths, which have been partially restored. The Théâtre Antique/Amphitheatre (les Arénes), Rue du Cloître, is one of Arles’s most memorable sights, dating back from the first century.
There is an abundance of charming restaurants in Arles to suit all tastes. The L’Oliver, on 1 bis Rue Réattu, serves first class French cuisine. El Qunito Toro, on 12 Rue de la Liberté, offers Spanish and Portuguese food at reasonable prices.
If you feel like exploring the surrounding area, then head out to Les Olivades Factory Store, Chemin des Indienneurs, St-Etienne-du-Grès, seven miles out of Arles. It’s worth the journey, just to see the gorgeous traditional fabrics.
The best way to get to Arles is by rail, and trains leave from Paris' Gare de Lyon and arrive at Arles' Gare SNCF (Avenue Paulin-Talabot), a short walk from the town centre. One high-speed direct TGV travels from Paris to Arles each day. Trains also arrive from Avignon. If you're driving, head south along D570 from Avignon. Alternatively, take a bus from Aix-En-Provence.