Arles vs. St. Remy

Mar 14th, 2007, 10:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Arles vs. St. Remy

Hi Everyone,

I am very confused about whether to stay in Arles or St. Remy on my 6 day trip to Provence with my husband. We will be renting a car so being able to easily, safely, and cheaply park the car when we get back to the hotel at night is a concern. I've seen a lot of pro-St. Remy posts here and pro-Arles as well. My husband and I are in our mid to late 40s if that helps at all. In addition, I've read many posts where people said that Arles gave them the creeps. What exactly does that mean? Thanks for any feedback.
jleal is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 337
I stayed in St Remy and loved it. We drove to and into Arles. Driving in the city itself was terrible. Narrow streets cars parked in the middle of the street. Will never drive there again

davidjac is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Hi David,

Thanks for your reply. Did you experience the creepy feeling about Arles? I'm just trying to understand what that means. Thanks.
jleal is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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St Remy is a sleepy small town

Arles is a bigger city. Seedy? not sure about that except like many French cities it does have its immigrant ghettos and subsequent problems currently plaguing French towns.

Maybe the presence of 'swarthy' types around causes that caution. And i don't want to be racist - just that sometimes people judge a place by certain types of folks walking around... rightly or wrongly.

St Remy will be dependably safe i believe, for you and the car or seemed so when i was there. Much more romantic than Arles---lot less to see...just as good base with car...lousy for those without.

Nothing about Arles i've seen would chase me away from it but i think you'll find St Remy more laid-back base.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I didn't find Arles remotely creepy and I was there solo in the middle of the winter. It definitely feels like a real town, though, with people working, shopping, etc. So maybe for relaxed-Provence-holiday-vibe, St. Remy would be better. Driving/parking will probably be easier in St. Remy.

If it matters, I'm mid-30s and tend to get a little bored in really small towns that others find charming.
Leely is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Sorry, hit post too soon. Meant also to wish you a nice trip. Definitely visit Arles even if you don't stay overnight.
Leely is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Hi j - I would echo Leely's comments tho I admit I was only in the area for five days.
Arles is a "real" town. I would want to stay at a hotel perhaps outside the walls. More to do at Arles.

St Remy is to me a tourist town. Little to do AT St Remy. Watch your heels at 5 o'clock 'cause they're rolling up the sidewalks. Easy to get to sites in the area.

We stayed at St Remy. Would I stay there again? No.

Are you on the go or do you like to relax around your hotel?
robjame is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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My husband and I and another couple spent 4 nights in Arles this past September. Obviously, I cannot speak for the others, but I was generally disappointed in Arles. Maybe I didn't do enough research homework, but I "expected" it to be more than it was. Yes, it was convenient for daytrips to other areas of interest, but a couple of days in Arles itself would have been enough for seeing the sites and experiencing the town. Also, it may be a functioning city during the day, but they too, "roll up the sidewalks" after 7 PM. The only thing to do in the evening is have dinner and walk the dark streets. As for it being "seedy" or unsafe, I wouldn't say that it is. However, I did find it rather dim and dirty. IMO it lacked the charm I had expected.
mkdiebold is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've been to Arles a zillion times over the past 20 years and never once experienced a "creepy" feeling about it, though admittedly I was in the touristed areas of it, not where the poorer residents live. I love the town and agree it's "real." OTOH, in the pst few years the traffic congestion there has driven me absolutely nuts, so I would not make it a base for staying in the area any longer.

St-Rémy isn't perfect, either. As mentioned, it's a big tourist town, and the traffic there isn't so easy, either. But I think, overall, I'd choose it over Arles.

Actually, if I were going to vacation in that area I wouldn't choose either one. But that's because I've spent so much time there (and have friends I've been able to stay with so didn't have to deal with hotel accommodations).

My pick would be St-Rémy in this circumstance.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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I live near both St.Rémy and Arles... don't find Arles in the least bit "creepy", but it can be decidedly quiet in the off season.

You don't say when you're coming over, but I'd suggest St. Rémy as a place to stay.
Arles is converting much of the inner city streets into pedestrian only, so driving into town is no longer possible which makes parking difficult for a lot of the hotels. And navigating in and out of St. Rémy is a lot easier than Arles.

Both St.Rémy and Arles will be quite lively in the evenings beginning around Easter, when the season begins. Restaurants will be open later, as will cafés.. so more nightlife.

PBProvence is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Thanks to everyone for their replies and well wishes. PBProvence, we will be there from May 18 to May 24, so based on your comment I am thinking it will be livelier in both places. At this point, I think St. Remy is the way to go because we definitely will be renting a car during our stay there. It sounds like a car in Arles would be difficult. Thanks again for your replies and advice.
jleal is offline  

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