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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

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4.4 stars(28 reviews)
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Small Group

A French holiday including a cruise along the Rhône

7 days From £1,645 per person

2022 Tour code: AVB22

About the tour

A destination that's inspired artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, this region 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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

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 for the next six nights before dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • 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 long 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 seated about 20,000 people, which sits 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.

Includes
  • 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 in 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 beautiful open squares and pretty churches.

Includes
  • 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, sitting down for lunch before some free time. Later, we stop at Gordes, a beautiful old village built around an outcrop of rocky cliffs and crowned by its 12th-century castle. There's free time here to discover one of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France', before we return to our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The flavours of Avignon

Today includes a delicious treat as we set out on a gourmet food tour. Telling the history of Avignon through its food, we wander the city's lesser-known side streets with our knowledgeable guide to 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.

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

An excursion takes us 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. Next, we visit the small town of Uzès, where there's time for lunch before we continue to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. One of the most celebrated red wine producing villages in the world, we uncover its incredible wine heritage with a visit to Vignobles Mayard for a presentation on local wines. There's chance to sample some of the region's acclaimed Châteauneuf wine before we return to Avignon for dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Avignon and London

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

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Please note

We are able to offer Standard Class rail departures of this tour. Please call for more details.

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.

Hotels

Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon

Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon

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Novotel Avignon

Novotel Avignon, Avignon

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Train

Eurostar

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 28 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (14)
  2. 4 stars
    (10)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Peter Johnson

3 stars

Submitted 23/Oct

On paper, a most interesting holiday but October was clearly NOT the month to travel. The holiday season was over, so the river cruise from Arles to Avignon was cancelled and the visit to Arles by rail helpfully organised by the Tour Manager was a poor substitute as virtually every café there was shut. The climate in Avignon was cold and windy so it was almost impossible to sit outside for coffee anywhere. The latter part of the tour using a coach was more interesting and successful, with some good visits as advertised, though too long looking at the production of Nougat. We could all have enjoyed more time at Vignobles Mayard where the wine tasting was a great event Hotel l'Horloge was acceptable with friendly staff, but our room on the top floor was hard to access, as was the Breakfast Room without going outside. Our Tour Manager Philip Ellson was brilliant and deserves commendation for rewriting part of the programme to cater for the cruise cancellation and doing a daily update to keep us all informed.

Collected by Trustpilot

P Hewetson

4 stars

Submitted 22/Oct

Well planned. Tour Guide excellent

Collected by Trustpilot

Ann Senior

3 stars

Submitted 22/Oct

HOTEL VERY POOR, THE ROOM WAS FAR FROM BEING SUPERIOR WHICH IS WHAT WE BOOKED AND PAID EXTRA FOR. THE HOLIDAY ITSELF WAS ALRIGHT, BUT SOME TOURS WERE CANCELLED. THE TOUR MANAGER WAS VERY GOOD CONSIDERING THE PROBLEMS HE HAD TO SOLVE.

Collected by Trustpilot

Dr P Hill

5 stars

Submitted 20 Oct 2019

excellent organisation. No problems

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr D Williams

5 stars

Submitted 13 Oct 2019

A very satisfying holiday and a most enjoyable time was had with a good friendly bunch of fellow travelers.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Woods

5 stars

Submitted 21 Jul 2019

I have already completed a survey form. Why are you asking again?

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

A French holiday including a cruise along the Rhône

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
Helen Laverack
Helen