Costume Arlésienne

Top 5 food and local crafts tours in Arles

During your stay in Arles, follow your guide-lecturer to meet the inhabitants who perpetuate the ancestral traditions of the Camargue. New itineraries await you: Camargue gastronomy, local crafts, artists and sacred bulls are on the program.

Arles and fashion

Among the different varieties of Provençal costumes, only that of Arles has managed to stand the test of time. It was worn by all women until the 1950s. A native of Arles, the great couturier Christian Lacroix has always been inspired by the traditions of a city that he “feels in his guts”. “I found myself ambassador of Arles without knowing it” confided Christian Lacroix after having revamped the Hotel Jules César. Follow your guide in the footsteps of Arles fashion and design from the 18th to the 21st century in the heart of the Arles Museum (Museon Arlaten in Provencal) founded by Frédéric Mistral and discover the creations of Christian Lacroix that dot the city.

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The tradition of crafts

Meet the master weavers of Arles and discover the work of textiles and fibers on a traditional hand loom. By visiting a workshop, you are at the heart of the action and observe the art of weaving. The master weavers of Arles create unique pieces in wool, mohair or merino; the fibers are carefully selected in French spinning mills for their insulating and resistant virtues which make it possible to make hats, coats, ponchos or bags. Your guide opens the doors of Arles’ crafts for you to travel back in time to the origins of textiles.

 

10,000 years of ceramic history

Meet the master potters of Arles and discover the many techniques of working with terracotta in the heart of an artist’s workshop. After a tour in the city center in search of the origins of ceramics since the first civilizations, your guide-lecturer opens the doors of a ceramics workshop specializing in tableware. Here the master potter, who makes stoneware pieces from Saint Amant, explains in detail the manufacturing steps and invites you to come and touch the material.

 

Arles & Camargue Cuisine

Benefiting at the same time from the products of the land, the river and the sea, Arles and Camargue cuisines are intimately attached to their land. Indeed, Arles and the Camargue form the richest agricultural territory in Provence and the variety of products has always allowed local gastronomy to evolve in isolation. Follow your guide in the city center of Arles to meet the city’s food artisans and to discover and taste a wide variety of products and local specialties such as Gambetta (a plant syrup), fougasse (local bread), tomme d’Arles (local cheese), the Arles tart (dessert with apricots and strawberries), the agriade (beef stew), the broufade, the raïto (tomato sauce with capers and red wine), the tellines soup and the famous bull stew.

 

Camargue traditions

At the heart of Camargue traditions there is the king bull. The Camargue bull is the subject of unparalleled veneration. By the way, did you know that some bulls have dedicated tombs? During this visit, your guide-lecturer will share with you the passion for the Camargue by explaining the origins, codes and importance of popular festivals, of which the Camargue races are the main attractions. The Croix des Gardians, the « raseteurs » and the « cocardiers » will soon have no more secrets for you.

 

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