Trace the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh in St. Remy and Arles, where he spent the last years of his life, and then explore the charming towns in more depth on your own.
From the pier, it's a scenic drive inland toward the Alpilles, a range of arid limestone mountains where the village of St. Remy nestles at the foot. Upon arrival, you'll set-off on a seventy-five minute guided walking tour down its winding cobbled streets that are shaded by centuries-old plane trees. You will also find charming squares graced with sparkling fountains and an atmosphere that is quite simply, radiant. It was here in 1889 and 1890 that Vincent Van Gogh completed more than 150 paintings and sketches while being treated at the Saint Paul psychiatric hospital. A visit here offers a view of the room where Van Gogh convalesced and the perspective from his room's window that set the stage for many of his works. The subject matters of some of those works, including "Irises," can still be seen in the surrounding countryside, a landscape of wheat fields, olive groves and cypresses. Following your guided tour, you'll have ninety-minutes of free time to have lunch on your own and further explore this delightful village.
Rejoining your group, you'll next travel to nearby Arles, another town synonymous with Van Gogh who lived here prior to St. Remy. Many of the subjects he painted can easily be found by following the plaques on the Van Gogh Trail. Some of the highlights you'll see during your one-hour guided walking tour are the St. Trophime cathedral, a World Heritage Site known for its ornate 12th-century portal depicting the Last Judgment; the Town Hall, rebuilt in 1673 with its obelisk from Arles' Roman circus; Forum Square; and the ancient Roman Amphitheater. Afterwards, enjoy an hour of free time to stroll about on your own before re-boarding your coach for the return trip to Marseille.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate to strenuous walking, plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There are uneven cobblestone surfaces, steps and inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Guests should be in reasonably good physical condition. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.