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Avignon

Although successive tribes settled in and took control of Avignon, the town was generally seen as insignificant until the early 14th century. At this time, the city became home to the first of seven successive popes, based here to avoid factional fighting in Rome. In a bid to rival Rome's Papacy, Avignon's architects designed many of the city's magnificent surviving features, including the grand city fortifications and the marvellous Palace of the Popes - one of the most important Medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Throughout the entire era, Avignon developed into a thriving centre of culture; the celebrated Avignon School of painting derived from Italian artists sent for by the popes, and Avignon's University was established in the 1330s.

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3 results matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Avignon

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Avignon, the Rhône & Provence
Last 50 Spaces
4.3 stars(111 reviews)
2024AugSepOct
7 days from
£1,595 pp
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7 days from
£1,595
per person
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  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Premium Rhône Cruise
Rail & Cruise
Save £400pp
4.5 stars(58 reviews)
2024JulAug
2025JunJulAug
8 days from
£1,795 pp
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Save £400pp
8 days from
£1,795
per person
View Details
Tour map
  • DestinationFrance
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Avignon tours
Provence and The Elegant Rhône
12 Sep 2023
G Franklin
5 stars
“Third time with GRJ but first time on a river cruise with them. Everything 5 star as you would expect from our English tour operator, backed up by the Austrian cruise ship on the French waterways! Superb dining on an International menu and the crew did manage to include a local Provencal menu on one lunchtime. We chose to fly to Lyon from Luton rather than train from London and appreciated a private minibus to transfer to the ship. Nice leisurely excursions each day and I really enjoyed the new Tour App., but would have liked our flight tickets more readily available rather than chasing for an emailed pdf the week before our flight. Thoroughly recommended.
Collected by Trustpilot
Avignon, the Rhône and Provence
24/May
Sally Cearns
4 stars
“Very enjoyable trip. Could have had longer in pretty village of Sault. Our tour guide liz was excellent.
Collected by Trustpilot
Provence and The Elegant Rhône
12 Sep 2023
Colin Fry
4 stars
“A very pleasant trip with excellent organisation and a friendly and helpful crew. Great Rail managers
Collected by Trustpilot

Sur le pont d'Avignon

After the Papacy was restored to Rome, Avignon lost some of its power, but remained an important seat for the Catholic Church. Incredibly, the city was held by the Papacy until 1791 - more than 370 years after the last pope resided there. Avignon then became part of France, and soon became one of its most popular tourist attractions. Along with the beautiful palace and fantastically preserved houses, Avignon is also known for the Pont St Bénezet, its famous broken bridge. All but four of its 22 arches were decisively washed away in a particularly devastating flood in 1668 - today, the surviving arches have become an iconic symbol of the city.

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