Arles is a magnificently historic town, and it’s also where Vincent van Gogh painted one of his most famous works, The Yellow House. These are the best Airbnbs to stay in during your trip to Arles, each of which provides either the perfect base to wander the streets of the old town, meander through the Roman amphitheatre or roam through the countryside that inspired numerous painters.
Charming studio, minutes from the Arles Amphitheatre
This tastefully renovated studio is located in Arles’s historic centre | Courtesy of Catherine Et François / Airbnb
Arles is so charming that it’s well worth staying in the centre, so close to the remains of the Roman amphitheatre that you can practically breathe in the combat and crowds of years past. This studio lets you do just that. On the ground floor of a traditional townhouse, the space has been tastefully renovated, with pretty tile floors, a chic marble fireplace and dark-wood furnishings. Exposed stone walls contrast stunningly with orange feature walls and white-painted, wood-beamed ceilings. High walls and a pretty arched window at one end provide plenty of natural Provençal light. The studio sleeps two in a double bed.
The Rhône River runs through both Avignon and Arles, and this houseboat is berthed in the perfect spot from which to appreciate both. Book the péniche (barge) for a different perspective from the usual city break – one that involves being surrounded by birds and peaceful, flowing water. The houseboat sleeps two and is colourfully designed, with splashes of red and yellow and whimsical details, such as rubber ducks on the windowsill. Whip up a meal in the cosy kitchen, and eat out on the deck as the sun comes up or enjoy a glass of French wine as it goes down.
Stylish cottage at the gates of the Arles Amphitheatre
This ideally located townhouse has enviable views of the Arles Amphitheatre | Courtesy of Katie / Airbnb
You can see the Roman arches of the Arles Amphitheatre from this ideally located townhouse. It’s on a cobbled, pedestrian street, which adds to the charm of the pretty building. Inside, the recently renovated cottage has ample living space on the ground floor and sleeps two people comfortably in the first-floor bedroom. The stylish kitchen has a tile floor in muted tones, exposed wooden beams and framed flower prints on the walls.
This stylish farm stay, which is known as Mas Médaille Gîte de la Feniere, offers affordable, rural luxury only a short drive from Arles’s city centre and major sights. The Airbnb sleeps four across two double rooms in a self-contained gîte (cottage), next to the main house. Lounge in the fireside swing chair in winter, or have your early-morning coffee and croissant on the patio, before visiting the town. Alternatively, head south to the Camargue region, which is home to wild coastal horses and divine seafood cuisine. The decor is rustic French in style, with vintage furniture, stone floors and wooden beams.
For a place to stay surrounded by nature but still with all the creature comforts of a modern home, consider choosing this wooden eco-lodge. It sleeps four across a double bedroom and a sofa bed in the main living area. Situated in the luscious Les Alpilles (the Little Alps) to the east of Arles, it’s a great base for exploring the nearby countryside, such as the splendid Les Baux-de-Provence, a charming village perched dramatically high on a hill.
This elegant house is only a five-minute walk to the historic city centre of Arles. It has all the modern conveniences you’d expect, with one major wow factor in the form of a heated outdoor pool – something you don’t find in many central Arles Airbnbs. It also has air conditioning, which can be scarce in historic French summer homes. French windows provide plenty of light in the stylish kitchen, and the design throughout is quirky yet chic. The garden is a real draw, with a covered seating area, a grassy lawn next to the swimming pool and a table for al fresco dining.
At the edges of the Alpilles Natural Regional Park on the outskirts of Arles is the little village of Fontvieille, where you can be king or queen for a day or two at this spectacular Airbnb. Play out your wildest regal fantasies in the large château, which has a heated pool, outdoor kitchen and a pool house. The castle dates back to 1750 – just before the French Revolution – and sleeps 12 people across six bedrooms, one with a four-poster bed draped with delicate curtains. The stunning stone building has twin sweeping external staircases, and a stone balcony overlooks the perfectly planned garden. Paintings and portraits decorate the communal areas, while patterned wallpaper contributes to the rich interiors.