Arles & Les-Baux-de-Provence
On our way to Les-Baux-de-Provence we'll travel through olive groves, vine covered hills, the lively towns of Cavaillon and Saint-Rémy, along small roads lined with plane trees, and arrive in the heart of the Alpilles region..
Standing high on a rocky spur, the spectacular natural fortress of Les Baux-de-Provence and the ruins of its castle dominate the Alpilles valley. The breathtaking view from the dungeon extends to the Camargue and the sea. It's from this castle and village that in the 12th-13th century the Court of Love originated. There, troubadours composed passionate verses for ladies of the court. The narrow streets of this unique village are lined with 16th-17th century houses, art galleries, and boutiques with a variety of Provençal fares and crafts. You can visit the Eglise St. Vincent, partly carved from living rock, the Santons Museum (17th-18th century traditional clay figurines), or take a short hike to the top of the castle. Walking through this village gives the sense of life when noble dames were courted by poets, cruel acts were perpetuated, and lords and knights fought some of the bloodiest wars in the history of Provence.
LUNCH: Take a break from your visit and shopping spree and join us for Côtes des Baux-de-Provence wine and lunch in a charming restaurant.
After lunch we'll be on our way to Arles, a town with a rich and glorious past, built on the bank of the Rhône river. In the city of Caesar and Van Gogh, the Arena is one of the most ancient of the Roman world and the largest Roman building in Gaul. Across from the Place of the Arena you can tour the Antique Theater or, a few steps away, the St. Trophime Church and its magnificent Romanesque and Gothic cloister.
EVENING: Free evening for dining out.
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