Historical Arles

Discovering Arles and its numerous Roman monuments and buildings. You can enjoy a short picturesque break along the canal from Arles to Bouc where you can go right up to the famous Van Gogh bridge before returning to the no-less famous bull ring.

Technical sheet No. 4098348

A Arles walk posted on 14/02/16 by djhoward. Update : 03/10/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h20[?]
Distance Distance : 11.38 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 30 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 21 m
Highest point Highest point : 25 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 2 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Camargue
Location Location : Arles (13200|13280)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.682079° / E 4.630895°
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Download : PDF / Print - GPX track
Van Gogh bridge


Park in one of the car parks in the north of the city close to the Rue Jules Ferry, opposite Monoprix.

(D/A) Leaving in a southeastern direction aiming for the Porte de la Cavalerie flanked by its two towers. Go through it and follow the Rue de la Cavalerie opposite until a fork marked by the Fontaine Amédée Pichot (1) adorned with a beautiful fresco.

Turn right on the Rue Amédée Pichot, cross the Rue Léon Blum and join the Rue du 4 Septembre. Keep following this street. A few metres further on, at number 24, you'll find the old bath house. Pass the Rue Saint-Julien on your right and arrive in front of the Église Saint-Julien.

Continue until the following junction and turn right on the Rue de Grille. Turn left on the Rue du Grand Prieuré. At number 12 is the Musée Réattu, then after a few metres on the left is that of the Commanderie de Sainte-Luce (closed).

Ignore the next road on the left and continue straight ahead towards a square (car park) surrounding the Thermes de Constantin (2). Go around the building to the left to get to the entrance.

Continue straight ahead, still on the Rue du Grand Prieuré, ignoring the next two roads on the left to get to the Quai Marx Dormoy. Turn left and you'll arrive at Place Albin Peyron. Then go left towards the Église des Frères Prêcheurs.

Follow the very small Rue des Dominicains opposite the church, ignore the road on the right and join the Rue Tour de Fabre. Turn left on this road, then very quickly left again onto the Rue du Docteur Fanton. At number 34 you'll find the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation.

Retrace your steps and go left again onto the Rue Tour de Fabre to see a small church on the right. Turn around and take a few steps left on the Rue du Séminaire.

At the end of this street, turn right onto the Rue Pasteur which takes you around the Église du Méjean and arrive at the Place Jean-Baptise Massilon. On the right is the magnificent façade of the old Arles Merino sheep farmers' union building

Turn left, cross the Quai Marx Dormoy and climb a few steps to reach the banks of the river Rhône.
Turn left along the river and then take the stairs that climb up to the Pont de Trinquetaille (3).

Turn right and cross the Rhône. At the end of the bridge, take the stairs that descend right onto the Quai Saint-Pierre. Continue along the quay, without going down onto the bank of the Rhône, to appreciate the view over Arles. The quay bends left and arrives in front of a cemetery. Take the steady path around the right hand-side of the cemetery until the vestiges of the Pont au Lions (4) marked by two imposing lions.

Turn around and, in the corner of the cemetery, descend left towards the banks of the Rhône (pay attention because the promenade has no barrier). Follow the lower quay until the bottom of the Pont de Trinquetaille. Climb the stairs to get to the top of the bridge, cross the road and turn left to cross the Rhône.

(3) Keep going opposite, ignoring the Rue Elie Giraud on the right and you'll reach the Place Antonelle with the beautiful Nouvelles Galeries building on the left. Turn right on the Rue des Porcelets until the Place Paul Doumer. Take the Rue de la Roquette opposite. At number 6 you'll find the Hôtel de Divonne, continue until number 35. Turn left to visit the Église Saint-Césaire (5).

Return back along the Rue de la Roquette and turn left. Pass the Rue Senebier on the right and take the next right, the Rue Waldeck Rousseau. At the end of this road, turn right on the Rue de la Croix Rouge, which is very leafy, a rejoin the banks of the Rhône.

Go left along the river and just before the bridge you'll see the Ecorchoir tower on the left-hand side. Go under the N113 bridge and continue on the purpose-built path for about 150m. When you get to a car park, turn left to go around it following the sign to Pont Van Gogh. At the end of the car park, turn right on the Avenue Jean Monnet which leads to the Musée Départemental Arles Antique (6).

Pass the museum, cross the bridge over the canal and turn left on the Chemin des Écluses. The path passes social housing and before you turn right. At the start of another bend, leave the tarmac and go left on a small path that joins a road 150m further on.

Turn left and, just before the Pont Langlois, cross to the right via the pedestrian passage. Follow the purpose-built path that runs along the Canal d'Arles à Bouc by while ignoring all the routes to the right. Walk under a small bridge and, just after, you'll get to a crossroads.

(7) Go left on the Rue Jean Charcot. After a bend, the tarmac gives way to a new path. Remain in the left-most path alongside the closest canal for nearly a kilometre. When the path joins the Rue Gaspard Monge, follow it left to find the Pont Van Gogh 200m further on (8).

Retrace your steps along the same path by the canal until you reach the crossroads just before the little bridge.

(7) Cross the Rue Gaspard Monge and take the path up to the bridge. Turn right and follow the purpose-built path on the old railway line. Go over the N113 and then at the end of the path, cross the rails and reach the Boulevard Émile Zola.

Ignore the Rue Germaine Richier on the left and keep going straight on the boulevard. Turn left on the Rue Commandant Maigre then right on the Rue Lucien Guintoli. Ignore a road on each side, reach a crossroads and turn right to get to traffic lights at the junction of the Chemin de Bigot and the Rue Victor Basch.

Continue straight ahead on the Avenue du Général Leclerc following signs to the town centre (centre ville). Ignore the roads on each side until you reach the Boulevard Georges Clemenceau. On the left, at number 21, there's a beautiful building to look at, and cross the boulevard to the right through the pedestrian passage opposite the Théâtre Municipal.

In front of the theatre (9), take a left-right dogleg and enter the Rue Jean Granaud around the building via the left-hand side. Follow this road, cross the Rue Molière and turn right on the Rue Albert Samain.
Cross the Rue Gambetta and continue opposite onto the Rue du Lau. When it takes a left-hand bend, you'll find an old Roman building on your right.

Join the Rue de la République and follow it right until number 40 where you'll see the Chapelle des Trinitaires, and the Museon Arlaten opposite (museum dedicated to Provençal ethnology).

Turn around and after a few steps, turn right on the Rue Frédéric Mistral. Then turn right on the Rue Balze which runs behind the previous museum. On the right is the Chapelle des Jésuites. Continue until you get to the Plan de la Cour. On the right, in front of the town hall, is a "banc à degrés" (stepped seat) where the consuls of the Republic of Arles administered justice.

Keep going for a few metres to get to the Arles town hall (Mairie). Go right to enter the building and find the entrance hall. You can visit the Cryptoportiques (10), vaulted tunnels that ran under the Forum. Cross the entrance hall to exit opposite the Place de la République.

On the square is a large obelisk, the Église Sainte-Anne is on your right. On the left is the Church of St. Trophime (known locally as the Primatiale Saint-Trophime d'Arles) with its tapestries on the walls.

Exiting the basilica, turn left and enter the Cloister of St. Trophime. Return to the square and turn left on Rue du Cloître that ascends slightly. It curves left and at the top you'll reach the Roman Theatre of Arles (11). Reach the entrance at the bottom of the road and turn right on the Rue de la Calade that circumvents the threatre.

Bend round to the right and after the Place Henri de Bornier, go right on via the Rue Porte de Laure. Ignore all the roads on the left to get to the top of the public garden. Turn left (flat) onto the Rue de Vauban and continue straight ahead until you reach the Église Saint-Blaise. Go to the left of the church and then take a few steps right to find the remains of the Église Saint-Jean-de-Moustiers on the left-hand side of the road. Opposite is the Abbaye de Saint-Césaire.

The road leads left, goes under a porch and arrives at a crossroads. Keep going straight ahead on the Rue du Grand Couvent until the Arles Amphiteatre (12) ignoring the roads on either side.

Turn right and join the Place de la Major, turning right. Join the entrance to the Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Major, then go around it to the left to reach an esplanade with an orientation table. Here you can enjoy the view over the Alpilles.

Turn round, go back across the square and towards the amphitheatre. Walk around the building in an anti-clockwise direction until you reach the entrance. Descend the large steps and take the road the furthest to the right, Rue Voltaire. Continue straight on, ignoring roads on either side, to reach the Fontaine Amédée Pichot.

(1) Continue straight ahead, pass the Porte de la Cavalerie to return to the car park (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 5 m - Rhône (le)
1 : km 0.18 - alt. 11 m - Fontaine Amédée Pichot
2 : km 0.63 - alt. 6 m - Thermes de Constantin
3 : km 1.19 - alt. 3 m - Pont de Trinquetaille
4 : km 2 - alt. 3 m - Pont aux Lions
5 : km 3.24 - alt. 10 m - Eglise Saint-Césaire
6 : km 3.99 - alt. 3 m - Musée Départemental Arles Antique
7 : km 5.03 - alt. 5 m - Intersection close to the bridge
8 : km 6.52 - alt. 2 m - Pont Van Gogh
9 : km 9.12 - alt. 9 m - Théâtre Municipal d'Arles
10 : km 9.63 - alt. 22 m - Les Cryptoportiques
11 : km 10.12 - alt. 24 m - Théâtre Antique d'Arles
12 : km 10.6 - alt. 25 m - Amphithéâtre (arènes) d'Arles
D/A : km 11.38 - alt. 5 m

Useful Information

There are toilets and temporary spaces for motor-homes at the start-point car park.

Download the monument prices here

Link to the Touris Office and all the useful information.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Porte de la Cavalerie
(1) Amédée Pichot Fountain
Église Saint-Julien
Réattu Museum
Commanderie de Sainte-Luce
(2) Thermes de Constantin
Église des Frères Prêcheurs
Vincent Van Gogh Foundation
Église du Méjean
(4) Pont aux Lions
Hôtel de Divonne
(5) Église Saint-Césaire
The Ecorchoir Tower
(6) Musée Départemental Arles Antique
(8) Pont Van Gogh
(9) Théâtre Municipal d'Arles
Chapelle des Trinitaires
Musée Arlaten
Chapelle des Jésuites
(10) Les Cryptoportiques
(10) Arles Town Hall
Église Sainte-Anne
Church of St. Trophime
Cloister of Saint-Trophime
Ancient theatre
Église Saint-Blaise
Église Saint-Jean-de-Moustiers
Abbaye de Saint-Césaire
Arles Amphitheatre
Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Major

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.