Les Baux, Montmajour, Arles

Arles Travel Blog

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Les Baux de Provence

Un des plus beaux villages de France, that's how Les Baux de Provence strikes its breast. Without doubt, this is an exceptional place. Perched on a rocky spur, the citadel overlooks some staggeringly beautiful countryside dominated by vinyards and rocky mountains. This is the heart of the Chaine des Alpilles. The old village is entered at the Maison du Roy, which houses the tourist board. Next to it is a very colourful candy shop. Two streets lead to the entrance of the castle and the Place Saint Vincent with the church and the Penitent's Chapel. The best view you get, is behind Rue de l'Orme near Le Prince Noir B&B.

On my way to the city of Arles I passed some interesting points, which are worth a short stop. First, slightly south of Fontvieille, is Daudet's windmill.

Montmajour Abbey
It is the setting of the writer's Letters from my windmill, stories about Provençal life. Of course, living in Holland, it takes more than a tiny windmill to impress me... Two kms south are the remains of a Roman aquaduct. You can walk on them without getting wet feet. Heading west and just before entering Arles lies, on a quite location, the ruined complex of the Montmajour abbey, a  massive place, destroyed by fire in 1726 and never restored. Roughly, it exists of 3 parts: a robust donjon (great view from the top), the church with chapel and crypt, the cloister and the cellier.

In Arles I stayed at one of the nicest Ibis hotels in France. (Rue Gérard Gadiot). It has a great swimming pool in a garden and a cosy bar. See my review. But Arles is Van Gogh. In 15 months he stayed here, he produced over 300 paintings. The most famous is Café du Soir. The original bar in the Place du Forum has been renovated to look as in the painting. A monument dedicated to Vincent, his head on a stone, stands in the Jardin d'Eté. Not to be missed in Arles are Les Arènes, the amphiteatre. It was the largest of the Roman buildings in Gaul. Today it is used for bullfights. At the other side of Place Bornier is the Roman Théatre Antique. Don't forget to visit the cloisters of St.-Trophime.

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Les Baux de Provence
Les Baux de Provence
Montmajour Abbey
Montmajour Abbey
View from Les Baux-de-Provence
View from Les Baux-de-Provence
Les Baux vinyards
Les Baux vinyards
Les Baux olive trees
Les Baux olive trees
Les Baux, chapelle des Pénitents …
Les Baux, chapelle des Pénitents…
Les Baux, Place François de Herain
Les Baux, Place François de Herain
Les Baux, candy shop
Les Baux, candy shop
Fontvieille, roman aquaduct
Fontvieille, roman aquaduct
Fontvieille, roman aquaduct
Fontvieille, roman aquaduct
Abbaye de Montmajour
Abbaye de Montmajour
Abbaye de Montmajour
Abbaye de Montmajour
Abbaye de Montmajour
Abbaye de Montmajour
View from Abbaye de Montmajour
View from Abbaye de Montmajour
Van Gogh, Montmajour landscape
Van Gogh, Montmajour landscape
Café in Arles
Café in Arles
Van Goghs room in Arles (mine was …
Van Goghs room in Arles (mine was…
Van Gogh statue
Van Gogh statue
Roman amphitheater
Roman amphitheater
Roman amphitheater
Roman amphitheater
Roman amphitheater
Roman amphitheater
Place de la République
Place de la République
Arles Hotels & Accommodations review
A strong link in the Ibis chain
The French two star hotel chain Ibis of the Accor hotel group offers standard hotel/motel rooms everywhere in France and beyond. However, some of thos… read entire review
Arles
photo by: sshaunaa