The old part of Arles is where most visitors will want to focus their time. The best way to negotiate the narrow streets is on foot. The city is fairly flat and easy to navigate as long as you have a map in hand.
Actually getting to Arles in the first place is possible by various modes of transport. Being that it is in the highly popular holiday region of Province, Arles is well connected.
The nearest airport is Nimes, about a thirty minute drive or there is Marseille, which is an hour by road. During the summer months (10th July – 11 September in 2010) Eurostar runs trains direct from London and Ashford to Avignon, which is only fifty minutes north of Arles. Direct trains depart to and from Avignon on Saturdays, otherwise travelers are looking at a change at Lille, which is a fairly minor inconvenience but may add a bit to your journey time.
Travelling by train in and around France is usually a pleasure as the trains are fast and efficient. We took the Eurostar, departing London around 7am and arriving in Marseille eight hours later. It obviously takes more time out of your day than flying and sadly is often more expensive. We were forced into the train option by the infamous Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in April 2010. If you can afford it, trains really are a much more pleasant way to travel than taking a budget airline from Stansted.
At Marseille TGV station, we picked up a hire car at Holiday Autos. They have offices all over France and Europe and one week rentals start at £192. If you request a diesel vehicle your fuel consumption over the week should be fairly low. In fact over the course of a week, we probably spent as much if not more on road tolls than diesel.
Driving is probably the easiest and cheapest way of getting around in this part of France but you do have to make a choice between fast and direct (travelling on Autoroutes) or taking the slow roads to avoid paying every few kilometers.