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Avignon, the Rhône and Provence

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4.2 stars(37 reviews)
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Small Group

A French holiday including a cruise along the Rhône

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
7 days From £1,495 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

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 37 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (16)
  2. 4 stars
    (14)
  3. 3 stars
    (7)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

David

3 stars

Submitted 26/Jun

Some good trips with Chateuneuf du Pape the highlight for me. Novotel was disappointing mainly as the food on offer was sub standard.

Collected by Trustpilot

G Beel

4 stars

Submitted 4/Jun

Holiday spoilt by luggage late arrival problems.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Baglee

5 stars

Submitted 1/Jun

Writing a review worries us as we prefer anonymity. The holiday was excellent as it was so well arranged. Our technology skills are not good enough to send photos or videos

Collected by Trustpilot

Brian Donnelly

4 stars

Submitted 1/Jun

A fascinating & activity packed Tour in a beautiful part of France.

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H Goldsmith

4 stars

Submitted 27/May

Your administration and pre-travel information let you down badly on this trip. Nowhere in your literature do you disclose that travelers will have to walk up a steep cobblestone street lugging hand baggage and other chattels every time we arrive at or leave the hotel. You could easily arrange for a taxi or van to carry the luggage. I, and another member of the group chose to share taxis every time because the walking was too much for us. Pre-travel information was late in being sent out and emails asking for information went unanswered. I spent over an hour on hold on the telephone on one occasion, only to be told I had called the emergency number and the office was closed. The welcome dinner did not live up to expectations. Poor service, and another 15 minute walk in each direction (Only one way for me and then taxi back!) But once we got into the swing of things, our mood improved. Our tour manager, Margaret, was outstanding and she dealt with a myriad of issues competently, professionally and with good humour. She did a fine job "herding cats" through busy train stations and crowded platforms and even got us all on or off the train in record time! We would certainly travel with her again. We were fortunate to have received our luggage upon arrival -- many others (including Maragaret) - did not. She spent a lot of time working on that issue. Our tours were generally well planned and well presented. The guides were knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. The meal served on the river cruise to Arles was very good and this was a nice day. You manage to cram a lot into a one week program -- we think that a little less activity might have been good on at least one day. In particular, the last day (Pont du Gard, Uzes, wine tasting) and then only an hour to rest and recover before the farewell dinner was too much. By the way, this was a better meal and service was somewhat improved but still below par. You might want to consider switching this day with the previous day's program (Les Halles and Le Cure du Gormande) so that we could enjoy the afternoon for last minute shopping and preparation for the final evening get together. Your booking team should scout some new restaurants -- there seem to be plenty available as we had very good meals on the other nights. We enjoyed our stay at the Hotel de l'Horloge. Rooms are compact, to put in nicely, but the staff were all super friendly and helpful and the breakfasts set us up for a good start every morning. It would have been nice to have had a lounge or bar in the hotel for a nightcap with our new found friends, but there were plenty of options only a few yards (or metres) away in the square. To sum up, overall we enjoyed our holiday but we feel that with a little tweaking you could go from four to five stars in our opinion. Thank you.

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Mr Joseph Haigh

5 stars

Submitted 27/May

The weather, the group, the rail journey the area and the tour manager were all brilliant. As you will know by now your luggage delivery department was very poor.

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Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

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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
Rhianna Coote
Rhianna
Luke Simpson
Luke