Although known as the capital of the Cevennes, you may have a hard time getting to Alès, partly because it's off the well-trod tourist track, and partly because everyone will assume you want to go to nearby, and bigger, Arles.
Tourism Office (open 9 - 12, 1:30-5:30) Place de l'Hôtel de Ville - BP 345 - 30115 Alès Cedex. 04 66 52 32 15 - Fax. 04 66 52 57 09
- Local trains run from Avignon via Nîmes. A change is sometimes required.
- Local buses also stop in Ales at the train station.
- By car is probably the most convenient way to reach Ales and to see the surrounding countryside. From the A7, exit Bollène. From the A9 exit at Nîmes-Ouest.
- The nearest airport is in Nîmes.
The town is small enough to see on foot. A few taxis are available, either at the train station or by phone.
- Cathédrale Saint Jean
- Fort Vauban / Le Bosquet -- Historic fort, gardens and summer outdoor theatre.
- La Tour Vieille -- Botanical Garden and playground.
- La colline de l'Ermitage -- Small hill with a chapel on the top with great views over Alès. It's a lovely place to walk up to and take a picnic.
- Mine Témoin -- Museum about Alès' mining history.
- Film Festival -- March. Art-house cinema.
- Feria d'Alès -- May 20–24. The town is taken over by this four day festival. Good food and drink, music, traditional bull fighting and the running of the bulls through the streets.
- Cratère Surface -- Beginning of July. Street theatre and music.
- Les Fous Chantants -- Last week of July. Choir with a thousand singers, performances throughout the week and a spectacular final concert.
- Alès has a number of small shops and boutiques. There is a central covered food market every weekday morning, and a larger general market on a Monday which sells traditional items.
- Punky Conners, 44 Place Pierre Semard, across from the train station. Irish Pub. Traditional pub food including a great lamb stew. Very friendly English-speaking staff and locals.
- Punky Conners (see Eat).
- Hotel Orly is a comfortable 2* hotel in the very centre of Alès.