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Arles & the Camargue

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Arles & the Camargue

Roman Heritage, Van Gogh, local fauna

Type of tour :

Private driving tour

Length :

9 hours

Collection & Return :

Your hotel or cruise ship

Languages :

English, French & Spanish

Vehicle :

A/C minivan up to 8 guests

Activity level :

Light

Tour Description :

Tour in the ancient Roman capital of Provence with your private guide! Get to know the fascinating history of the town which was an important Roman city and also the residence of the first Counts of Provence during the Middle Ages. Your guide will take you to one of the largest Roman arenas of the Roman Empire and to the ruins of the Roman theatre.

Afterwards, walk to the incredibly well preserved Saint-Trophime church with its magnificent statuary, dating back to the 12th century, and pass ancient 17th and 18th century noble houses on the way.

Your tour guide will not forget to show you some of the places featured in the works of Van Gogh.
He completed his most famous paintings during his two and a half years in Provence: the “Café at Night“, the “Garden of the Hospital in Arles“, the “Starry Night over the Rhone“, the “Yellow House“, the “Alyscamps“, and the “Sunflowers“. The series of paintings featuring sunflowers was made to decorate Gauguin‘s bedroom in the yellow house Vincent Van Gogh rented in Arles.

We spend the afternoon south of Arles in Camargue. Camargue is the delta of the River Rhône, completely different from the rest of Provence, which is generally dry and hilly. Camargue is a wet, flat area with swamps, ponds and paddies—the only place where rice is grown in France. Camargue’s fauna is very unique, characterised by pink flamingoes, black bulls and white horses.

The flora includes species like salicornia, a type of grass partial to seashores and wet lands, and huge areas with reeds. The best way to discover the trademark pink flamingoes of Camargue and many other birds, is to go to the ornithological reserve to get very close for great pictures! On the way back, it is also possible to stop and “chat” with friendly white horses if there are any around. They are a type of local breed, well adapted to this wet environment, called “Cheval Camargue”. Bull ranches and bullfighting is also specific to this area and we may be lucky enough to see black bulls during our drive.

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