Arles is located at the foot of the Alpilles (low alpine).The city was founded by the Greeks and further developed by the Romans into a miniature 'Rome'. At the southernmost crossing of the river Rhône they built baths, a racetrack and an amphitheater. At that time Arles was the capital of a region that included Spain, France and Great Britain. During the 10th century, Arles was the capital of the kingdom of Burgundy.
The city is often called 'the gateway to the Camargue'. Just outside town, the Rhône forks. The saline lake Etang de Vaccares and places like St.Maries-de-la-mer are located in the delta. One of the most famous inhabitants of Arles was the painter Vincent Van Gogh.
It's quite a trip from Marseille to Arles, but it is doable when having enough time. Leave early in the morning. A full day is required to visit the most important sights.
Popular ports for an excursion to Arles are: