ARRIVAL IN LSMDLM
There is the direct route into town which you will go via the round about
with the Camargue Croix or two others, Par Cacharel via Pioch Badet or
the other one on the right, whose name I don�t know.
Take the Par Cacharel route, its GORGEOUS. It�s a nice way to begin the
Camargue Adventure. Note that you should allow for extra travel time if
you arrive on the day of fete as you will be on the road with the other
bizzillions people trying to get into town and veering for a parking spot.
Or you may not even be allowed into town (Gendarmes may stop you) and
you will have to park along side the route coming into town and hoof it
on it. It�s a nice stroll into town though.
Good luck! Parking on the side walk is allowed, just don�t block
a driveway. There are a few parking lots in the town, one at Place Mirelle
with about 20 stalls. Check the city map, it has details on parking areas.
The most central stop is the Razeteurs stop. The first stop within
the city limits of LSMDM It puts you about 200 yards from the church.
It�ll stop just short of a gas station (you�ll see the official bus stop
across the street). If you walk 50 yards past the gas station in the direction
of the church (south) you will be at Place Mireille. It�ll have the statue
of a lady suffering from a migraine. Well, that�s what I kinda look like
when I have one.
4 rue Audibert
13460 Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Tel : +33 (0)4 90 97 99 63
Port : +33 (0)6 09 08 44 41
Fax : +33 (0)4 90 97 70 01
Tél : +33 (0)4 90 43 33
Tél : +33 (0)6 25 17 78 87
|Shop the web, and drop the hotel an
email in French. Begin the adventure from home! Or pass on the weblinks
to your travel agent. In SMDLM, we rent an apartment that is within a 30
second run from the church if we're in need of a toilet and can easily hear
if there's music playing outside the church.
Location, Location, Location. There are hotels, rooms, apartments located
throughout the town. Its all a matter of what you require. There is also
the option of renting outside of SMDLM and driving (or walking) into town.
Many beautiful Mas-Type hotels are located throughout the Camargue region.
There are some that base themselves out of Arles or even further out. If
you don't mind the drive and the search for parking, then hey, you're set!
Prices range in accordance to type of facility. As an example, we rent an
apartment for 4 people at 350 a week. There are loads of other tips which
don't seem to surface at the moment.
If you've got any more questions ... just ask your travel agent. Have a
blast! And for pete's sake, keep an eye on your belongings!
HOW TO GET THERE?
The only direct route to Saintes Maries De La
Mer is via Car or Boat. All others will require transfers. Flying? Rental
Car/ Bus/ Train. Transfer in Arles to a Bus.
Walking? Start now...
If you�re flying into Montpellier and plan to rent a car (highly recommended),
its pretty much a straight shot into SMDLM. It's about a 30-40 minute
beautiful drive into the Camargue if you take the "back roads".
No rental car? Then it�ll be a shuttle or taxi to the Train Station, a
train ride into Arles, then a bus to Les Saintes Maries De La Mer. Get
your timing right, read the schedules correctly or you�ll be sitting at
the Train Station or Bus Stop just a wishing you got the rental car instead.
There are no buses from Montpellier to Les Saintes during the Fete period.
You must travel via Arles. How to do it? Take the airport shuttle bus
(approx. 5 Euros, located directly outside the terminal) or Taxi (about
16 Euros) to the Montpellier Train Station. The ride time is about 15
minutes. Trains to Arles from Montpellier run about every hour, ranging
from 40 minutes to 1:40, depending on the train you take.
There are two options: a direct to Arles, or a transfer in Nimes. Tickets
cost about 12 Euros. Last train departs at 23:30 and will get you into
Arles a few minutes after midnight. If you get into Arles after midnight,
just go to bed, there�s nothing open. Take the bus into Les Saintes the
BTW, if you�ve got at least an hour on your hands in Montpellier, check
your luggage into storage and stroll through the town and have a drink
at one of the cafes on the Place de Comedie. It�s a 1-minute ride via
trolley or a 5-10 minute walk.
Via Marseille Airport
The Marseilles Airport is not really in the town
of Marseilles; it's in a town whose name I�ve forgotten. The city of Marseilles
is about 30 minutes further away. Got a Rental Car? Hey you�re catching
on quick. Follow the signs towards Arles, should take you about 40 minutes,
then the signs to the Camargue.
This is your best bet to avoid logistical headaches, that is, unless you
get caught in one of their transportation strikes, then you�re pretty
much screwed. Hope you brought extra batteries for your CD player.
No Rental Car? Haven�t you learned yet?? Okay, you�re gonna have to take
the airport shuttle (located outside the terminal on the left as you exit)
to the Train Station in Marseilles. Its called Marseilles-St Charles.
The billet will cost about 8 Euros and will take about 25 minutes. If
you are unable to get the shuttle as you arrived in the wee hours of the
morning, the costs is about 50Euros
Once you arrive at the Train Station, get in quick, especially if you
arrive at night. The train station area is kinda scuzzy. Get a ticket
for the next train to Arles, which I believe also runs at least every
hour or maybe even more frequent. I�m guessing at the cost being about
Yes, it's in English too. Don�t forget to validate
your ticket in the orange machines (located throughout the train station)
before you get on the train. Validate with magnetic strip up.
Budget Rent a Car http://www.budget.com
National Car Rental http://www.nationalcar.com/
Avis Rent a Car http://www.avis.com
All these companies have rentals in
Europe. Its very easy to reserve online. It helps if you can drive a standard
as they are cheaper to rent. You don't need any special license, just
a US one will do.
If you have car insurance in the states, you can use it to cover the rental.
What class car to rent depends on your needs. I always rent a compact
or intermediate. Make sure to rent a car that seats at least 5, you can
never tell who might be needing a ride around the Camargue and you do
want to have room for the guitars.
At the Marseille airport, the rental offices are right outside the door
after you pick up your luggage, you can't miss them. In Montpelier, the
offices are in the main terminal. In Arles you can rent a car 1/2 block
from the train station.
As far as worrying about all those pesky signs in a foreign language,
no problem. Symbols are used on most of them. Just figure out the Interdict
signs and stay out!!! Driving through the center of Arles is a fascinating
way to check your nerves of steel and depth perception.
Be sure to bring plenty of Gypsy music with you, it really sounds better
there. Nothing quite like driving around the Camargue, checking out the
white horses, taureaus, flamants and of course the people, with music
This year we got fooled by getting a car with a CD player, usually we've
gotten only tape players. Bring tapes and one cd for the drive from the
airport. If you have a CD player you'll easily find music to buy from
shop, vendors on the streets, and from many of the groups
directly. Bon voyage!!!!
Getting to SMDLM by Bus from Arles
The fare is 4,60 Euros and will take
about an hour. There is a web link to the bus schedule, but it appears
to be lost somewhere in my computer.
From memory, M-F there is a bus at 0750, 1050, 1250, 1550 and the last
one at 1750. Of course, I could just be making this shit up. The weekend
schedule has only three buses going into Les Saintes, early morning, noon
and the 1700 ish bus. Be aware on the return trip to Arles via bus, the
1700ish bus M-F functions also as a school bus. Plan on adding at least
another 15-20 minutes to your travel time if you�re planning a train connection.
There are many restaurants
around LSMDLM but our all time favourite is the FLAMENCO BAR, where one
can enjoy GREAT music, EXCELLENT service and WONDERFUL food...
13, Rue V. Hugo 13460 Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
T�l : 04.90.97.84.11 Fax: 04.90.97.84.11
Those who would like to party until
wee hours of the morning can check out the below DISCOTHEQUE
Mme Bonnet Magali Route d'Arles
T�l : 04.90.97.82.40 / 06.22.47.29.00 Fax: 04.90.97.82.40
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