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Which home base - Arles or Avignon?

Hello Seasoned Travelers!

We - the two of us - are planning our travel to the southern areas of France and would like your opinions as to which town would be a good home base for exploring the area: Arles or Avignon? And are there must-see locations, exhibits, towns, restaurants, tours we should include in our planning?

We have a car and our travel style is "outline the travel stops and adjust our stays based on how well we like (or not) the location", making reservations for the next day's journey as we go.
We will be in the southern area mid-October, if that plays any part in your recommendations.

Many thanks!
Anxiously awaiting travel,

Posted by
3527 posts

Arles. I’d say Avignon if you plan to rely on mass transit but you have a car so Arles is my choice.

Posted by
35 posts

Both are good. I would go with Avignon if you want to be closer to more of the more famous wineries/vineyards. If your interests more align with van Gogh and/or being able to walk to Roman ruins, then Arles.

We had four nights and considered splitting two each, but went with all four in Arles. We day tripped to Avignon and also to San Remy, Les Baux and Pont du Gard. All worthwhile.

BTW, we stayed at the Rick Steves-recommended Le Calendal in Arles and thought it a fun choice. Very well located, fairly priced and the friendly manager/owner seemed around all the time. Best place for a Spritz in Arles, if you are so inclined.