Both towns lay in the Bouches-du-Rhône department by the Mediterranean Sea. Honestly, I didn’t find Arles particularly interesting. Yes, there was the Arles-arenes but given as it is fall/winter, there weren’t any fights on. In the empty arena, one can only imagine where the taurau would come out from and where they would battle the brave Corrida. The architecture was interesting though, with lots of interesting roman-style columns. When we were there there was a large market going on, but nowhere near as beautiful as the one at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
I much preferred Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer. A seaside town it exudes a laidback beachbum kind of charm. Again, because we were there off-season, it was really quiet, we were the only other table in the restaurant where we had lunch. I personally prefer the quiet. Its much more condusive for taking in the sights. I am sure during the summer, its a crazy, hot, swarmy mass of people. It was rather cold though, so perhaps an ideal time to visit would be in October, when the weather is perfect.