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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

4.2 stars(74 reviews)
Small Group

A French city and countryside break that includes a cruise along the Rhône.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From £1,595 per person

2023 Tour code: AVB23

About the tour

A destination that's inspired artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, this part of France oozes history, charm and culture. Staying in the delightful city of Avignon, we explore Roman Provence, cruise along the Rhône and sample the regional flavours with a gourmet food tour and a wine tasting at Châteauneuf-du-Pape.


What’s included


Day 1 - London and Avignon

We meet at London St Pancras, travelling on the Eurostar to Avignon via Paris. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel before dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - Rhône cruise

We take a relaxing cruise along the river Rhône, enjoying lunch as we sail through picturesque scenery of vineyards and historic houses to Arles. With a history dating back to Celtic times, Arles' diverse past has left it with a rich variety of architecture. Boasting a beautifully preserved centre, the city has one of Europe's best collections of Roman ruins, including a mighty UNESCO-listed arena that would have once seated about 20,000 people, which sit alongside Romanesque monuments and sun-baked houses. There's free time to explore the rich heritage of the city, including the Van Gogh Foundation, which celebrates the work of the famous artist who once called Arles home, before we return to Avignon by rail.

Please Note: For departures 07/09/2023, 30/09/2023, 14/10/2023 and 21/10/2023 you will now travel by rail to Arles.

For departure 21/09/2023 Days 2 and 3 have swapped around.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Avignon

Setting out on a guided walking tour of Avignon, we see the Pont St Bénezet, the city's famous broken bridge. All but four of its arches were washed away by a devastating flood in 1668, and today the surviving arches have become an iconic symbol of the city. We also stop by the Palais des Papes, the Palace of the Popes, which was the seat of the Papacy during the 14th century after Clement V escaped the violent chaos and corruption of Rome. Your afternoon is free to explore further. Stoll through the city's broad, tree-lined avenues and wander the intriguing network of alleyways and passages which connect the beautiful open squares and pretty churches.

Please Note: For departure 12/08/2023 Days 3 and 4 have swapped around.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 – The villages of Provence

We travel by coach to the petit village of Saint Didier to visit Nougaterie Silvain, the home of local nougat production. Breathe in the scent of honey and toasted almonds as we tour the manufacturing workshop, learning about the history of this much-loved local sweet before sampling some ourselves. We continue to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, also known as the 'Venice of Provence' thanks to the canals which criss-cross the town, where there's free time to explore. Later, we stop at Gordes, a beautiful old village built around an outcrop of rocky cliffs and crowned by its 12th-century castle. Here, you're free to discover one of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France' before we return to our hotel.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The flavours of Avignon

We set out on a gourmet tour that tells the history of Avignon through its food. Wandering the city's lesser-known side streets with our knowledgeable guide, we meet local producers before visiting many of the different stalls at the city's renowned food market, Les Halles. Here, we sample unusual delicacies such as papaline, a type of chocolate unique to Avignon, and other regional specialties that will excite your taste buds and inspire your home cooking.

  • Breakfast
Day 6 - The Pont du Gard and Châteauneuf-du-Pape

We make our way to the stunning Pont du Gard, a famous stone aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River Valley. Built in 19 BC, this incredible structure is UNESCO-listed and is one of the greatest remaining glories of the Roman Empire. We lunch at the small town of Uzès, and continue to Cellier des Princes to learn more about Châteauneuf-du-Pape's famous wines. After a presentation and tasting, there's free time to browse and shop before we return to Avignon for dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Avignon and London

We leave Avignon after breakfast and join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, travelling via Paris.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon

Hôtel de l'Horloge, Avignon

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Novotel Avignon

Novotel Avignon, Avignon

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 74 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

H Yesson

5 stars

Submitted 27 Oct 2022

A very good tour exploring a beautiful part of France. Excellent tour manager and interesting day trips. The Novotel rooms were spacious and comfortable, and though there were occasional breakfast blips (how can a hotel allow itself to run out of standard black tea when it knows there are British guests staying?!), that did not mar the overall experience. My father had a lovely time too.

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Ian Channing

5 stars

Submitted 26 Oct 2022

We thought it was an all round excellent holiday, well organised travel, good hotel, very good fellow passengers, interesting trips and a first class tour manager. Would certainly recommend GJR to our friends (in fact have already done so)

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Mr William Bean

4 stars

Submitted 26 Oct 2022

Superb holiday let down a little by the Novotel ( hence only 4 stars ). No tea bags in restaurant or rooms from the Tuesday and no croissants from Wednesday to Friday ??.

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Trevor Bottomley

5 stars

Submitted 23 Oct 2022

Excellent Tour Manager, good hotel, congenial group of fellow travellers and an interesting itinerary. Lots of walking on cobbled streets in ancient sites was a bit challenging for an older traveller.!

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Martha-Anne Montlake

4 stars

Submitted 21 Oct 2022

All train travel well organised especially under the care of our Tour Manager, David. Disappointing no Rhone river trip but an excursion organised by David to Arles very good as were the other excursions and the guided walks around Avignon. A well thought out itinerary. Hotel a comfortable enough but soulless and breakfast a bit hit and miss with no croissant on occasion! However overall a good holiday and would go away with Great Rail Journeys again.

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Mr Michael Sheppard

4 stars

Submitted 14 Oct 2022

Well organised trip. The guide, Steve, was brilliant.

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