Become immersed in the varied history of the city of Arles and its surrounding area
Discover one of the greatest Roman achievements in the world, the Pont du Gard
Experience the scenery of the Camargue en route to the Mediterranean fishing town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
“A definite 5 star tour which has given [us] a great deal of pleasure”
“Juliet was an excellent guide with great knowledge of the subject”
“Juliet is an inspiring and enthusiastic lecturer”
- ACE customers on a previous Arles: From the Romans to Van Gogh tour
Every day, opportunities arise in the atmospheric city of Arles to pause and absorb its extensive history, and consider how it emerged in this beautiful part of Provence. Our tour explores the site’s history, from its Roman origins to its connections with Van Gogh.
Arles, favourite of Constantine, contained all that was essential for Roman life: a grid plan of streets gave access to a theatre, amphitheatre, circus and baths, as well as a burial ground outside the walls.
By the Middle Ages, these buildings had lost their use, but other monuments arose to meet the needs of a very different society. Arles was one of the major stops for Christian pilgrims travelling to Compostela in northern Spain. The carving on the façade and in the cloisters of St Trophime reveals the brilliant workmanship of Romanesque sculptors.
Later, Van Gogh stayed in Arles, having departed from Paris to seek a quieter life, and with the intention of founding a colony of artists in the south.
As well as exploring Arles’s key sites, our tour will include relaxed excursions out of the city, including through the delightful Camargue countryside to the shores of the Mediterranean, and to the asylum where Van Gogh created some of his finest paintings. Nearby lies Glanum, an evocative architectural site revealing a Roman settlement.
A particular highlight of our 2023 tour will be a visit to the Museon Arlaten, home to extensive collections illuminating many aspects of Provençal life and culture. The museum recently reopened following 11 years of closure, during which time a major renovation took place. Our tour will also include opportunities to explore the city at leisure, sampling its cuisine and visiting its celebrated Provençal market.
We will stay throughout at the three-star Hotel Le Calendal, located in the heart of Arles opposite the amphitheatre. Dinners will be taken at local restaurants.
This tour will be led by Juliet Heslewood, MA, an author and art historian. Juliet studied History of Art at London University and later gained an MA in English Literature at Toulouse. She lived in France for nearly 30 years, where she led study tours on art and architecture. Juliet’s book Van Gogh: A Life in Places explores the places where Van Gogh worked, including Arles, and she featured as a specialist contributor on the 2022 ‘Art on the BBC’ documentary Van Gogh – Life and Art. Juliet looks forward to returning to the city with another ACE group in 2023.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, six breakfasts, one lunch, five dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £325.