France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Fontvieille, Provence, France Guide




The village of Fontvieille, in Les Alpilles 10 km (6 miles) northeast of Arles, was historically a quarry town where Arles limestone was cut and shaped.

The village's Grande Rue, now lined with houses, shops, boulangerie-patisseries and restaurants, was once a quarry access road.

Today Fontvieille is an agricultural village with a strong sideline in tourism. Visitors from France and abroad come for its quiet charm, fine inns and restaurants, and unhurried pace.

They also come to visit the Moulin de Daudet, the historic windmill used as an inspiration by Alphonse Daudet for his Lettres de mon Moulin. Now set in its own park, the windmill offers panoramic views of the Provençal countryside and Les Alpilles range.

Also on the outskirts of Fontvieille are the ruins of a Roman aqueduct.

Just over 4 km (2.5 miles) southwst of the village on the road to Arles is the great Abbaye de Montmajour, a grand medieval (12th-century) and 18th-century monument now open to visitors.

Fontvieille makes a good base for visiting les Alpilles—a lot cheaper and quieter than Les Baux.

Les Baux-de-Provence




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Le Moulin de Daudet, Fontvieille, Provence, France

Alphonse Daudet's windmill on a
limestone hill above Fontvieille.

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