Top ChoiceRoman Site in Arles

Les Arènes

In Roman Gaul, every important town had an amphitheatre, where gladiators and wild animals met their (usually grisly) ends. Few examples have survived, but Arles (like nearby Nîmes) has preserved its colosseum...

Top ChoiceGallery in Arles

Fondation Vincent Van Gogh

Housed in a listed 15th-century manor, now twice repurposed (its other incarnation was as a bank), this Van Gogh–themed gallery is a must-see, as much for the architecture as the art. It has no permanent...

Top ChoiceWildlife Reserve in Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau

Flamingos are a dime a dozen in the Camargue, but this park is one of the best places to see the many other migratory and seasonal species that thrive in these wetlands. Herons, storks, egrets, teals, avocets and...

Top ChoicePark in Camargue

Domaine de la Palissade

This remote nature centre, 12km south of Salin de Giraud, organises fantastic forays through 702 hectares of protected marshland, scrubby glasswort, flowering sea lavender (in August) and lagoons on foot and...

Top ChoiceGallery in Arles

Musée Réattu

This superb 150-year-old museum, housed in an exquisitely renovated 15th-century Hospitaller priory by the Rhône, might be assumed old-fashioned, yet its modern collection is truly top-notch. Among its holdings...

National Park in Camargue

Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue

Enclosed by the Petit Rhône and Grand Rhône rivers, most of the Camargue wetlands fall within the 850-sq-km Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue, established in 1970 to preserve the area's fragile ecosystem, while...

Museum in Arles

Musée Départemental Arles Antique

This striking cobalt-blue museum perches on the edge of what used to be the Roman chariot-racing track (hippodrome), southwest of central Arles. The collection of pagan and Christian finds includes stunning...

Natural Feature in Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer

La Digue à la Mer

This 2.5m-high dyke was built in the 19th century to cut the delta off from the sea, making the southern Camargue arable. A 20km-long walking and cycling track runs along its length, linking Stes-Maries with the...

Roman Site in Arles

Théâtre Antique

It's easy to admire the grace and engineering of this theatre – built at the behest of the unofficial first Roman Emperor, Augustus, in the 1st century BC, despite a semi-ruinous state brought on by centuries of...

Arts Centre in Arles

Fondation Luma

Arles' already-bulging cultural landscape avidly awaits this new cutting-edge gallery and arts centre, rising inexorably at a defunct railway depot in the city's southeastern quarter. Funded by the Swiss-based...

Roman Site in Arles

Cryptoportiques

The origins of these fascinating underground chambers, now sitting below the current city centre, go at least back to the first Roman colony in Arles in 46 BC, and most likely extend to much older Greek caverns....

National Park in Camargue

Réserve Nationale de Camargue

One of the oldest nature reserves in France (first delineated in 1927 and given official protected status in 1975), it covers 132 sq km of wetlands, lagoons, islands, peninsulas and the vast 600-sq-km Étang de...

Church in Arles

Église St-Trophime

Named for Arles' semi-mythical first archbishop, this Romanesque-style church, built over a 5th-century basilica, was a cathedral until the bishopric moved to Aix in 1801. Built between the 12th and 15th...

Farm in Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Manade des Baumelles

Located on the Petit Rhône, this manade (bull farm) lets visitors enter the world of the gardians ('cowboys'), watching their strenuous work from the safety of a truck. The braver can ride horses, join in the...

Museum in Camargue

Musée de la Camargue

Inside a 19th-century sheep shed 10km southwest of Arles, this museum evokes traditional life in the Camargue, with exhibitions covering history, culture, ecosystems, farming techniques, flora and fauna. L'Oeuvre...

Landmark in Aigues-Mortes

Les Salins du Midi

Glowing a peculiar pink in the sunlight, the vast, flat salt pans that stretch southwards from Aigues-Mortes have for centuries produced the region's famous salt. It's still done in the traditional way, with...

Cemetery in Arles

Les Alyscamps

Testament to the significance of Roman Arles, this grand processional avenue of tombs and sarcophagi holds more than 1500 years of corpses (which Roman custom insisted were buried outside the city). Van Gogh and...

Church in Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Église des Stes-Maries

Built on the potential first site of Christianity in the Camargue, this fortified church is of uncertain vintage, but probably hails from the 12th century. It draws legions of pilgrims to venerate the statue of...

Roman Site in Arles

Place du Forum

Just as social, political and religious life revolved around the forum in Roman Arles, so the busy plane-tree-shaded place du Forum still buzzes with life. Underneath it lies the underground galleries of...

Church in Arles

Église Notre Dame de la Major

Complicated restoration projects mean this 12th-century church, dominating Arles from the highest point in the city, can only be admired from outside. Enduring a chequered history, including desacralisation...