Avignon, the Rhône & Provence AVB20

Resort: Avignon, the Rhône & Provence AVB20
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Europe
Price From: £1245.00

Overview

Discover Avignon, the Rhne, and Provence. Inspiration for
artists including Vincent Van Gogh, this region of France oozes
history, charm, and atmosphere. Staying in the delightful city of
Avignon, we explore Roman Provence and enjoy a lunch cruise along
the Rhne.

Highlights

  • Guided walking tour of Avignon
  • Cruise on the River Rhone to Arles
  • Free time in Avignon
  • Full-day excursion to LIsle sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes and Roussillon
  • Visit to the Pont du Gard
  • Wine tasting Chateauneuf-du-Pape

whats Included

  • First Class Rail
  • Eurostar Standard Premier
  • Eurostar Meals
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
  • NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
  • Return Scheduled Flights
  • 6 nights’ hotel accommodation
  • Inclusive luggage transfers throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
  • To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) – prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking.
  • First and Standard Class rail travel as described (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar)
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras

Itinerary

Day 1 Avignon

We meet early this morning at our Departure Office at London St
Pancras. We travel by Eurostar across France to Avignon, enjoying
breakfast on board, followed by a light meal and drinks later in
the day. On arrival, we transfer to our base for the next 6 nights,
the centrally located 4-Star Hotel de l’Horloge, 4-Star Novotel
Avignon Centre or 4-Star Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis before dinner at
a local restaurant.

*Some departures will travel via Lille

Please Note: For
departures AVB2001
and AVB2002 you will travel via
Paris.

Day 2 – A lunch cruise along the Rhne

Today we take a relaxing cruise on the River Rhne, enjoying
lunch as we sail through picturesque scenery to Arles, once home to
Vincent van Gogh. Boasting a beautifully preserved historic centre,
the city of Arles boasts one of Europe’s best collections of Roman
ruins – which are UNESCO listed. Initially a Celtic city, Arles
became Roman after Julius Caesar distributed the land among some of
his most faithful soldiers in 46 BC. This was the city’s first
golden age, and came to be known as ‘Little Rome in Gaul’.

As we arrive in this delightful city, it is easy to see how
Arles inspired van Gogh to produce over 300 paintings and drawings
during his time here. Among the many highlights of Arles’ rich
history is the mighty Roman Arena, which would have seated about
20,000 people. It was partly converted into a castle in the Middle
Ages, but is still remarkably intact. We return to Avignon by
rail.

Day 3 – A guided walking tour of Avignon

This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of charming Avignon.
The city is well known for the Pont St Bnezet, its famous broken
bridge. All but four of its arches were washed away in a
devastating flood in 1668 – and today the surviving arches have
become an iconic symbol of the city, and the feature of a famous
song. The city is also famous for the Palais des Papes – Palace of
the Popes – which was the seat of the Papacy for six successive
Popes during the 14th century after Pope Clement V escaped the
violent chaos and corruption of Rome and moved to Avignon.

We admire both of these striking landmarks – which now form the
heart of a UNESCO World Heritage site – as we pass them during our
guided sightseeing tour. The afternoon is free for you to explore
Avignon at leisure. Stoll through the city’s broad,tree-lined
avenues and explore the intriguing network of alleyways and
passages that connect beautiful open squares and pretty
churches.

Day 4 – The Villages of Provence

Today we enjoy a coach excursion into the Luberon, a picturesque
region of Provence, known for its olive groves, vineyards and
fascinating hilltop villages. We visit L’Isle sur-la-Sorgue, known
as the ‘Venice of Provence’ for the canals which criss cross the
town. Here you can relax in one of the delightful waterside cafs
and see the attractive waterwheels located throughout the town, are
all in working order. This afternoon, we visit Gordes, a beautiful
old village built on and around an outcrop of rocky cliffs.

The buildings are packed tightly together, including the 12th
century castle, with narrow alleyways and stone staircases acting
as the village streets. The views of the surrounding fields and
forests are spectacular from any vantage point in Gordes, which is
listed as one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” – “the Most
Beautiful Villages in France”. Another village in that prestigious
list is Roussillon, located only a short distance away. Set on the
ridge of a steep red cliff, the village is surrounded by a pine
forest, its superb setting outdone only by the impeccable beauty of
the village itself. The small centre is filled with colourful old
buildings and a spiralling network of medieval streets. After
enjoying time to explore both villages, we return to Avignon.

Day 5 – At leisure in Avignon

Today you are free to continue exploring Avignon at leisure. For
wonderful views over the city’s sights, including the Palais des
Papes, the rooftops of Old Avignon and the Pont St-Bnzet, take a
walk up to the Rock of Domes, where a beautiful hilltop garden is
set on a bluff above the city. The gardens are also home to a
collection of rocky grottoes which are referred to as ‘the cradle
of Avignon’, where some of the first known inhabitants of the area
settled and lived. You could travel further afield by rail, with
exciting options available including the fascinating port city of
Marseille, one of the jewels of France’s Mediterranean
coastline.

Day 6 – Pont du Gard & Chteauneuf-du-Pape

Today we travel by coach to the stunning Pont du Gard, the world
famous threelevel stone aqueduct, which crosses the Gardon River
Valley. Built by the Romans in 19BC, the incredible engineering
feat was designed to bring water to the settlement at Nimes, for
use in public baths, fountains and private residences. The gradient
of the slope as it crosses the river is just 1 in 3,000 – a drop of
just 2.5cm – which shows the incredible precision of the Roman
engineers who designed and built the aqueduct with the simple
technology available to them over 2,000 years ago.

The Pont du Gard enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status, as one of
the greatest remaining iconic glories of the Roman Empire. Our
excursion continues to Chteauneuf-du-Pape, a medieval village
built on a hillside and overlooked by the ruins of an ancient
chteau. The village is perhaps the most famous red wine producing
village in the world and is surrounded almost completely by
vineyards, with the River Rhne winding across the landscape.

You have time to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, explore the
village and indulge yourself with an included wine tasting, giving
us the chance to sample some of the region’s most celebrated drinks
before we return to Avignon. Here a farewell dinner is served at a
local restaurant.

Day 7 – Avignon to London

After a leisurely morning, we leave Avignon mid afternoon and
join the direct Eurostar service to London*, with a light meal and
drinks on board. We arrive late this evening, when your tour
concludes.

*Some departures will travel via Lille

– Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for
departures on this tour. You can find out which class each
departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing
grid.

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