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Visit the haunts of Vincent van Gogh and arresting Roman ruins on this full-day tour of Provence from Aix-en-Provence. Drive through the Alpilles mountains to St Rémy de Provence, known for its vibrant open-air market located within ancient Roman walls. Swing by St Paul de Mausole, a monastery that once treated van Gogh as a psychiatric patient (following the infamous ear incident). Then, in the UNESCO-listed town of Arles, gain insight into van Gogh’s life here, while seeing Roman ruins like the Arles Amphitheatre. Round-trip transport by comfortable minibus included.

Highlights

  • Van Gogh-themed day trip from Aix-en-Provence
  • Discover the Provencal towns where Vincent van Gogh lived: St Rémy de Provence and Arles
  • Browse the wares of St Rémy’s open-air market and admire monuments like St Paul de Mausole
  • Spend time at leisure in Les Baux de Provence and marvel at its sweeping views over the Provencal countryside
  • See the yellow café from Van Gogh’s painting The Café Terrace in the UNESCO-listed town of Arles

What You Can Expect

Provence Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence: On the Trail of Van Gogh

Provence Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence: On the Trail of Van Gogh

Leave central Aix-en-Provence and travel northwest by air-conditioned minibus through the scenic Provencal countryside to the northern slopes of the Alpilles mountain range. Your destination is the pretty village of St Rémy de Provence; once a walled Roman town, it is now a thriving market village popular with locals and visitors alike.

Spend time here at leisure, doing whatever you please. Perhaps visit its picturesque open-air market (one of the region’s fines), or stroll to finding St Rémy’s best monuments, such as St Paul de Mausole. This gorgeous Romanesque monastery was formerly a psychiatric hospital that treated St Rémy’s most famous ex-resident -- Vincent van Gogh -- when he cut off his ear. Entrance fees to any monuments are at your own expense.

Continue your tour by minibus to the medieval cliff-top village of Les Baux de Provence to admire its postcard-perfect views and enjoy lunch at leisure (own expense). If time permits, take a wander around the village’s lovely cobblestone streets to soak up its historic charm.

Meet your guide at the pre-arranged time, and travel to Arles -- an ancient city that’s made its way onto the UNESCO World Heritage list in recognition of its beautifully preserved Roman monuments. Like St Rémy, Arles was once home to Vincent van Gogh, and you’ll follow in his footsteps on a walking tour of the town. As you learn about Van Gogh’s life in the city, watch out for the places that inspired the artist’s works, like Café Van Gogh in Forum Square. The distinctive yellow-fronted café is said to be the building in Van Gogh’s acclaimed The Café Terrace painting. If you travel on a Saturday, you will also be able to enjoy the open-air market in Arles.

Marvel at Arles’ Roman monuments, too, including the ruins of Arles Amphitheater and the city’s Roman Theater. Pass St-Trophime church, admiring its carved 12th-century doorway, and then return to your minibus for the journey back to Aix-en-Provence. Your tour finishes at the start point in the later afternoon.

Customer Reviews

Sandra H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. We learned so much history and loved seeing the scenery that inspired Van Gogh. It was a busy day that did not leave a lot of time to fully explore each town. But overall, well worth it.

Mary Jane B United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Marc made our full day tour very personal with his knowledge and personality. He was very flexible in accommodating our interests. We enjoyed each of the towns: Arles, Les Baux-en-Provence and St Remy and he provided us with fascinating information about the importance of each. There were only four of us on this tour, which permitted a most enjoyable time. At each stop, Marc gave us information, then let us explore on our own during very reasonable timeframes.

Susan W USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Excellent. Very good info.

Argiroula V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

The tour was great! Lea was a fantastic guide. I highly recommend it.

Rhonda A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Lovely trip to Arles, Les Baux and St Remy. Arles has a rich Roman history as well as being a city that inspired Van Gogh (café and gardens) - all pointed out with great knowledge by our guide Florence. We were also lucky that there was a small exhibit of original Van Gogh on display in Arles.The second stop was Les Baux- a beautiful small village in the Alpilles (little alps). Florence took us to lookout point over the city that was breathtaking. We had free time to walk around the village and do some shopping! The last stop was St Remy. Our guide pointed out the mountain just outside St Remy that inspired Van Gogh. Also just outside the town is the sanatorium that Van Gogh stayed and where he painted a great deal of art. You can choose to visit or go direct to St Remy. The town of St Remy is not as interesting as Les Baux; however, there were many local artisans and we bought a painting there. Overall a very pleasant day!

Thomas M USA

3 star rating: Worth doing July 2016

The guide was very poor. She never spoke a word to us on our way to our first stop, Arles. When we arrived, she handed us a map and a departure time. She spoke a little on the way to Les Baux de Provrnce. Same scenario on arrival.....map and departure time. Then we proceeded to the Roman ruins and mental hospital outside of St Remy. She drove through the town, never stopping, as was advertised in the brochure. We returned 45 minutes early.

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