Avignon (summer only)
Bienvenue to Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site set in the midst of the Vaucluse départment in southeast France. Bordered by the Rhone, Avignon is one of the prettiest gateways to the splendours of Provence, with plenty to offer the visitor. A former papal city, it’s a beguiling place, packed medieval ramparts and charming, ancient streets.
Chances are you may already know its famous nursery rhyme ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’, or you can simply fall in love with its art collections, streetside cafes, grand architecture, or linger over a café or a coupe in the Place D’Horloge.
Beautiful squares offer welcome shade in the summer months when the famous Festival d’Avignon literally takes over the city. Or take off to the hilltop towns of the nearby Luberon to explore fragrant lavender fields and that very special Provençal light so loved by artists.
Top things to see and do
Ever fancied nosing around an apartment lived in by a pope? You can in Avignon, home to the largest gothic palace in Europe. Summer evenings play host to the amazing light show, Les Luminessences d’Avignon – booking essential.
Set high above the city, this rocky outcrop is great for families, with gardens, caves to explore and ducks to feed on pretty ponds.
Avignon is an art lover’s paradise. Discover the more traditional Musee Calvet and the Musee du Petit Palais as well as contemporary art at Collection Lambert.
Off the beaten track
Find the Cinema Utopia to see paintings of popes before the main event. A favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, it runs a great schedule of home grown and international films.
The petit tourist train is a fun way to orient yourself within the city, especially if you are pressed for time. Catch it from the square at the Palais des Papes as it ambles all the way to the Rocher des Doms.
Mid August sees the Fete de Lavande come to the region, lavender lovers should head to Sault for a feast of all things fragrant.