Avignon (to be pronounced ah-veen-yohn)
How to get to Avignon ?
Avignon is the beating heart of Provence - and is very easy to access. From Paris downtown, there are many direct TGV trains a day that will take you to Avignon in about 2hrs40. From Paris CDG Airport, there are direct TGV trains to Avignon (3hrs10).
If you plan to remain in the South of France, we warmly recommend to fly into Marseille or Nice International Airports. This way you will save time and tiredness traveling via Paris.
AVIgnon's history is fascinating and still alive
Known for its medieval architecture and monuments such as the Palace of the Popes, Avignon is built on the side of the Rhône and the Durance Rivers. Avignon was the residence of the Popes for over a century until 1403. The presence of the Papal seat contributed to the wealth of Avignon and its regional and European importance at that time. The impressive medieval ramparts envelop a city which has become today an energetic and urban place up-to-date, appreciated for the nice weather and it flourishing culture. We will advise you to tour the city by foot. In July, during the famous theater festival called le festival d’Avignon, the city becomes overcrowded with artists and spectators transforming the entire city into a stage.
The Pont d’Avignon (Avignon Bridge also called St Bénézet Bridge) became famous thanks to a nursery-rhyme, it was used to connect the Papal seat to the rest of France. At that time, it was the only bridge crossing the Rhône River.
Pont d'Avignon ©JL. Zimmermman
For those who love being in the heart of the city, we selected few B&B accommodations in the very center of Avignon, for the others who prefer tranquility and space, we warmly recommend Bed & Breakfast lodging in the countryside within a 5 minute drive, in charming houses surrounded by vast gardens or parks with swimming pools and spacious rooms.
If you want to avoid the hordes of tourists, we recommend the visit of Avignon’s twin town, with an impressive heritage, an excellent restaurant and an unobstructed view of the medieval city of Avignon and the Palace of the Popes.
Avignon as a base camp to explore Provence
Avignon is the perfect base camp to tour Provence region. If you only have few days to spend in Provence, you should definitly plan to stay in Avignon. From the City of the Popes, the Alpilles, Mont Ventoux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards or the Camargue areas are less than 1 hour drive.
For those who will spend more time in Provence, then we recommend to split their journey between the wilder North of Provence (Mont Ventoux, Dentelles de Montmirail, Orange Roman ruins) and the bustling Southern Provence (Aix-en- Provence, The Alpilles, Marseille and Cassis creeks).
We can craft your Provence itinerary based on your wishes, you just need to let us know the type of trip you are looking for.