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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

4.5 stars(25 reviews)
Small Group

A French holiday including a cruise along the Rhône

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From £1,495 per person

2021 Tour code: AVB21

About the tour

A destination that 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 wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Avignon

We meet at our Departure Office at London St Pancras, and travel 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.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - A lunch cruise along the Rhône

Today we take a relaxing cruise along the River Rhône, enjoying lunch as we sail through picturesque scenery to Arles, once home to Vincent van Gogh. Boasting a beautifully preserved centre, the city has one of Europe's best collections of Roman ruins, including a mighty arena that would have seated about 20,000 people. We have free time to explore before returning to Avignon by rail.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Days 3-4 - Discover Avignon

This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of charming Avignon. The city is well known for the Pont St Bénezet, its 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, and the feature of a famous song. The city is also famous for the Palais des Papes - Palace of the Popes - which was the seat of the Papacy for six successive Popes during the 14th century after Pope Clement V escaped the violent chaos and corruption of Rome and moved to Avignon.

We admire both of these striking landmarks - which now form the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage site - as we pass them during our guided sightseeing tour. The afternoon is free for you to explore Avignon at leisure. Stoll through the city's broad,tree-lined avenues and explore the intriguing network of alleyways and passages that connect beautiful open squares and pretty churches.

On Day 4, you're free to continue exploring.

  • Day 3 - Breakfast
  • Day 4 - Breakfast
Day 5 - The Villages of Provence

We travel by coach to the petit village of Saint Didier for a visit to Nougaterie Silvain, the home of local nougat production. Breathe in the scent of honey and toasted almonds as we explore the manufacturing workshop, learning about the history of this sweet treat before sampling a selection for ourselves. We continue by coach to Isle sur-la-Sorgue, known as the 'Venice of Provence' thanks to the canals which criss cross the town. We sit down for lunch in a local restaurant before some free time. Later, we visit Gordes, a beautiful old village built on and around an outcrop of rocky cliffs and crowned by its 12th-century castle. There's free time here to discover why Gordes is listed as one of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France' - 'the Most Beautiful Villages in France', before we return to our hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Pont du Gard & Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Today we travel by coach to the stunning Pont du Gard, the world famous threelevel stone aqueduct, which crosses the Gardon River Valley. Built by the Romans in 19BC, the incredible engineering feat was designed to bring water to the settlement at Nimes, for use in public baths, fountains and private residences. The gradient of the slope as it crosses the river is just 1 in 3,000 - a drop of just 2.5cm - which shows the incredible precision of the Roman engineers who designed and built the aqueduct with the simple technology available to them over 2,000 years ago.

The Pont du Gard enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status, as one of the greatest remaining iconic glories of the Roman Empire. Our excursion continues to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a medieval village built on a hillside and overlooked by the ruins of an ancient château. The village is perhaps the most famous red wine producing village in the world and is surrounded almost completely by vineyards, with the River Rhône winding across the landscape.

You have time to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, explore the village and indulge yourself with an included wine tasting, giving us the chance to sample some of the region's most celebrated drinks before we return to Avignon. Here a farewell dinner is served at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Avignon and London

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

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

- Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.

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.


Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon

Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon

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Novotel Avignon

Novotel Avignon, Avignon

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4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 25 reviews

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

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

Mr D Werrett

3 stars

Submitted 21 Jul 2019

The tour would have been fine if the weather had cooperated. Walking was very tiring for the group ( most of us were well into our 70's).

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr C Allingham

4 stars

Submitted 21 Jul 2019

The bad bit first. We had an early Eurostar train (7.20 a.m.) and have been used to arriving 2 hours early to get our tickets etc. However on this occasion the Great Rail meeting time was for 6.20 a.m. I had telephoned a few days earlier to query this but was told it would be 'fine'. Despite the office opening at 6 we could not access our tickets until 6.20. The queues were a nightmare at security and by the time I had passed through I had to go straight to the train, which I and other group members just made. The holiday itself was brilliant (other than being the hottest town in France during an unseasonal heatwave!); well and thoughtfully organised. The hotel was excellent as were the included meals. All in all really good value for money.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr C Thompson

5 stars

Submitted 28 Oct 2018

Most enjoyable holiday, good itinerary and excellent tour manager

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe & UK by Rail 2021

Europe & UK by Rail 2021

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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

A French holiday including a cruise along the Rhône


Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack