have you tried, Les Saintes Maries De La Mer?
Just on the outskirts of the town a very large car park, run by the local council I think. It's within 5/10 mins walking to town.
I enjoyed this area, but was later in the year around Easter when we went so can't speak of the weather around Christmas time, but gets very busy around Easter.
Lots of little restaraunts, bars and shops, but will be very quiet at the time of year you are travelling.
I know what you mean about the thieves on the coast of Spain, but they are everywhere, including the S of France! Just be carefull, and have a nice trip.