Continuing our ‘A Week In’ series, next on the list is the wonderful city of Avignon, located in the south-east of France in the Provence region. This historical city has plenty to offer visitors, who’ll be rewarded with a range of diverse architecture, beautiful bistros and endless views across the Rhone which lines the north side of the city. If you’ll be spending some time in Avignon, why not check out the itinerary below for some ideas?
Day 1 – Arrival
The airport is conveniently located and is just under 10KM from the centre of the city. It is possible to walk if you want to stretch your legs after the flight, however, there will be a range of taxis available to take you to your destination should you not feel so energetic. Assuming you arrive during the day, you’ll have time on day one to get to grips with your location and what you have to hand. If you’re staying in one of our luxury holiday villas in the South of France, you’ll have a welcome pack waiting for you upon arrival with notes on local restaurants and other useful info.
Day 2 – Explore the City
What better way to ingrain yourself within a new place than to get lost there? With the advent of Google Maps and data roaming, we’ve turned completely against the idea of getting lost in a foreign place. We advise you to switch your phone off and just follow your nose, explore the winding streets of the city in an authentic fashion and drink in the beautiful architecture that Avignon is known for. If you’re looking to visit particular landmarks, why not make your way to some of these:
- Palais des Papes: Largest Gothic palace ever built and was home to Pope Clement V during the 14th-century.
- Pont St Benezet: Initially completed in 1185, the bridge had a reach of 900m. Unfortunately, 18 of its 22 spans were washed away by the Rhone in the 1600s leaving just four marooned at the centre of the river.
- Musee Lapidaire: A museum that showcases Greek, Etruscan and Roman artefacts along with a display of Gaulish artefacts. These include some bizarre figurines and horrifying masks.
If you’ve travelled with young ones, we’ve highlighted some of the great child-friendly activities you can do in Avignon.
Day 3 – Shopping
What would any good city break be without some time dedicated to retail therapy? Being France, one of the countries at the forefront of style and fashion, there are plenty of clothes shops along with other independent traders. The main shopping location is Rue de la Republique, offering a charming array of well-known brands along with a few French favourites. Cap Sud is a shopping centre located on the outskirts of the city which offers a good selection of outlets where you’ll be able to while away the hours!
Why not split the day in two by stopping for lunch in one of the myriads of restaurants on offer? There are a number of places that offer cuisines from around the world, however, as you’re in France, we’d recommend checking out the fantastic French eateries. La Fourchette is a beautiful restaurant which offers both lunch and evening meals with a fine set menu; you’ll also be able to sample some of the fantastic French wine too!
Day 4 – Discover the Rhone
The Rhone river is one of the major rivers in Europe, running a total length of over 800km. For many, it is the lifeblood of the wine region, therefore, numerous day trips run up and down the river allowing guests to sample some of the local wines. If you don’t fancy boarding a boat, there are also driven tours which can be boarded from the city, meaning you won’t have to worry about finding your own way home!
Day 5 – Venture Out of the City
Don’t get us wrong, we love Avignon, but the area that surrounds it is equally beautiful so you’ll be missing out if you don’t venture out of the city. If you have access to a car, a short half an hour drive to the south will allow you to access the Alpilles Natural Regional Park – check out our blog on this here. Equally, travelling to the east of the city you’ll find small communes such as Noves and Chateaurenard which will offer an insight into a more traditional French way of life. Close by there is some beautiful countryside which means you’ll be able to stop along the way and take in the views, maybe even grab a few holiday snaps!
Day 6 – Relaxation and Leisure Time
After this busy schedule, it’s only fair you have some time for yourself! Avignon has a range of leisure activities and places for relaxation. Dotted throughout the city, there are various parks and green areas that are perfect for a bit of time away from the crowds. Additionally, there is a golf course at the east edge of the city that boasts crisp green fairways, offering those who enjoy a game, some sancutary.
If you want to take your relaxation to the max, there are a number of spas located at the heart of the Avignon that offer massages, saunas and hot tubs for an opulent afternoon of tranquillity.
Day 7 – Final Day
The key to enjoying a final day away is to pack your bags early, set an alarm for the time you have to start heading to the airport and try to forget about it. If you’ve got a morning flight, you’ll have to head to the airport fairly early, however, if you have an evening flight you may be able to squeeze in some last minute exploring. Maybe there’s somewhere you’ve been meaning to visit but haven’t yet? This is the time to tick it off the list!
We’d love to know if there’s anything else you would do during your time in the city of Avignon, let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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