The earliest archaeological signs of permanent habitation in the Ales area date from around 5000 years BC and developed during the Roman period. The Cevennes capital is located in the Gordon area and close to 5 castles. Ales is a historical city famous for its Pentecost ferias, heritage, gastronomy and for its environmental commitment which offers a peaceful lifestyle. Nowadays, the city is redeveloping a green center with ecological area and environmental activities.
Ales is located at 24km from Nimes and 37km from Avignon. You can travel by TGV to Nimes and then take a train to Ales. The nearest international airports are Nimes and Montpellier.
There are many cultural and peaceful events to enjoy. The most famous event is the Pentecost Feria where throughout a week-end, more than a few festivals take place in Ales streets. The city is rythmed with Pegoulage (a procession with floats, bands, singers and dancers), encierros and abrivados (which are typical activities during the Feria where bulls are running into a closed area in the streets), activities in bodegas (wine bars) and especially by the 2 bullfights which end the Feria. Ales is famous for its flourish environment (4 flower decoration from the French flourish city classification) and offers a lot of walk tours (half a day or a day) such as flower exhibitions, park visits, picnics and explanations about flower shows. Furthermore, 4 walk tours are organised in the city where you can visit the upper city, the lower city, the Temperas arenas (C19th) and the historical areas (with the Roman influence on the city and the Gaul relic house).
Lots of festivals are organised in Ales and especially during the summer period with Estiv’Ales (40 free shows), July carnival, Crazy singer week (last week of July) where 1000 choristers give shows and a final concert, street art festival in the beginning of July, theatre festival and cinema festival with short movie competition.
Each year, 3 commercial exhibitions are organised in the winter (17th January), spring (27th April) and at St Barthelemy day (24th August). Moreover, there are funfairs and several food, flea and flower markets planned throughout the year.
In Ales you can go to lovely place such as Erminage hill (with Roman relic), Chapel panoramic viewpoint (Ales and Cevennes) with virgin statue, Vauban fort (C17th castle) with its beautiful park where there are summer shows, town hall (C18th) and a botanical park with a miniature golf. There are several beautiful religious buildings: St Julien des Causses Church (on the Ermitage hill), Rochebelle Church, Saint Jean-Baptiste Cathedral (C12th with organ music and a Roman, gothic and neo-classic architecture) and a protestant church.
Ales is also an outdoor activity city with a lot of country clubs and sport facilities.
Food and drinks
Ales gastronomy speciality is chestnut. You find it in Bajanat marmalade (goat milk and chestnut soup), liqueur, bakery and pasty. There are also other specialities in the Gard such as olive oil, tapenade (finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil), fruity wines, Brandade de morue (thick and creamy emulsion of hydrated salt cod, garlic, olive oil and cream), Gardionne (bull), Paella or seafood.
L’Assiete Alesienne, 20 rue de Bresis, +33 (0)4 66 52 65 48, from €11.5
L’Atelier des Saveurs, 16 rue du Faubourg de Rochebelle, +33 (0)4 66 86 27 77, from €15
Once you know you want to own a property in Ales, you can contact Sextant properties who will be able to put you in touch with a local bi-lingual estate agent. The agent really knows the area, as well as what would suit both you and your budget. They all speak fluent English, being able to meet any of your requirements… and help you find your dream property for sale in Ales