Arles is a super quaint French town on the south eastern coast of France that is a "must see" if you're looking to travel to France and want to feel like you're "in France." Arles is one of the photogenic places that probably looks a lot like it did a century ago. We stayed in a cute bed and breakfast, ate outdoors, walked through the markets, visited the above-grade cemetery, took photos of the carousel, colosseum and relaxed in the park.
Visiting the small town of Arles was a part of one of the best road trips I have ever taken. At the time, my friend was living in the Burgundy region of France (giving luxury bike tours) and was looking to explore the south coast during a break she had in August. I flew into Nice where we met, and from there we leisurely adventured west to Sète. Our manual Smart Car convertible rental (not by choice, but entertaining) meandered slightly inland and all along the southern French coast hitting cultural and beach hotspots along the Côte d'Azur-Alpes-Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.
I had been to Paris a few times, she has lived there, but to us this trip seemed like the real France. The food, the people, the landscapes & architecture were the serene, laid back visions that the impressionist painters portrayed during their time.
We used the famous green Michelin Guide for the French Rivera, and did a bunch of research before meeting up...this trip was before i-Anything, so we relied on books and maps which was probably half the fun!