Image excellent Provence has been a dream location for travellers for centuries. And as soon as there, it is effortless to see why. Breathtaking mountainscapes are crowned by fortified castles which, in turn, give way to meandering waterways and medieval towns. Here’s your ultimate guide on how to devote the excellent five days in Provence by taking the Eurostar from London to Avignon!
#ad | This post is written in collaboration with Eurostar and @London. Having said that, all words and opinions are my personal.
How to get from London to Avignon with Eurostar
You could effectively not know this, but as soon as a week, from May perhaps till September each year, Eurostar gives a direct service in between London and Avignon. No having off, no lengthy queues, no switching trains: pure relaxation proper up till the moment the train pulls into the Avignon TGV station. And at below six hours journey time, reaching Avignon from London is closer than you’d assume. Extra particulars about London to the South of France right here.
We personally journeyed in Eurostar Regular Premier, which meant two scrumptious meals en route, lots of coffee, and even a glass of wine! Trust me, the upgrade is worth it! Between chatting, spying fairytale castles out the window, and reading the numerous magazines Eurostar has aboard, the journey couldn’t have gone more rapidly. Just before we knew it, we have been packing our situations into taxis and whisked away en route to the walled city centre.
Day 1: Loosen up in Avignon
It is an early begin at St Pancras International, but do not worry… There’s lots of coffee and croissants on the other side of verify-in and passport manage! These travelling in Regular Premier require only be at the station 45 minutes in advance, even though these travelling with Organization Premier have the flexibility of arriving just ten minutes ahead of departure! The train journey requires just five hours 49 minutes, and ahead of you know it, you will be in Avignon sipping on a glass of crisp rosé.
As soon as you have checked into your hotel, be certain to wander about the town. Free of charge maps with recommended themed walking routes are readily available at the tourism workplace (41 Cours Jean Jaurès) so make the most of it. Following all, this is your possibility to see the city’s lots of churches, museums, and discover some of Avignon’s hidden gems. Tomorrow could be about sightseeing in Avignon, but currently is about relaxing and having to know the city on a deeper level! If you require a tiny caffeine, then Café Tulipe serves the most effective coffee in town!
In terms of what to do on your very first day in Provence, I personally advise walking up to the Rocher des Doms for 1 of the most effective views of the Pont d’Avignon. There’s even the possibility to spy a secret vineyard! The Pope’s Vine was planted in 1997 and the grapes grown represent the 4 most important varieties of the Côtes du Rhône.
Other hidden gems worth noting are the Église Saint Didier (exactly where Saint Bénézet is buried) and the free of charge-to-stop by secret set of cloisters beside Église Saint-Symphorien-les-Carmes. Otherwise, be certain to obtain your self a tiny time to stop by the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-des-Doms d’Avignon (Avignon Cathedral) which dates back to the 12th-century and is constructed in the Roman Provençal style. Thanks to the cathedral’s position subsequent to the Palais des Papes, you will very easily spot it!
Day two: Avignon & Villeneuve-Les-Avignon
Invest the morning enjoying the most effective of Avignon attractions. Take the time to stroll about the 14th-century Papal Palace, and of course, make your way onto the bridge. If you are arranging on enjoying each destinations, then you can even acquire a combi ticket and save your self a couple of euro in the approach.
Even though the walled Provençal city has been inhabited for millennia (and was even as soon as identified as Avenio through the Roman Era), the town really rose to fame with the arrival of the popes through the 14th-century. Seven successive popes lived in the city in between 1309 to 1376. Now, you can discover the effectively-preserved painted rooms of the Palace and visualize what it have to have been to reside in the city all these centuries ago.
Nearby, the Pont d’Avignon is very easily 1 of the most well-known bridges in France, if not all of Europe. And not just since its half-washed away remains have because grow to be a symbol for the city. As an alternative, the well-known French nursery rhyme ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’ is discovered and sung by French youngsters all more than l’Hexagon and dates back to the 15th-century.
Probably rather interestingly, the song is meant to be ‘sous’ (below) rather than ‘sur’ (on) as, through the Middle Ages, there would have been a tiny island in the centre of the River Rhône. Following seeing the bridge and Palais des Papes, it is time for lunch! For the most effective picnic supplies Avignon has to give, I advise heading to Les Halles market place hall. Assume fresh make, tasty sandwiches, and sweet patisseries. Otherwise, Maison Violette Patisserie (30 Spot des Corps Saints) gives a wide array of generally French baked goods!
Post lunch, it is just a forty-minute stroll (and even much less if you take the bus) to the nearby fortified town of Villeneuve-Les-Avignon. Picture excellent and straight off a postcard, wander right here and you can count on to obtain cobbled lanes, unrivalled views of Avignon, and even a 14th-century fort exactly where you can meander along the ramparts.
For 1 of the most effective views of the Papal Palace back in nearby Avignon, you require only La Colline des Mourgues Park. Otherwise, the Saint-André Gardens subsequent to Fort Saint André are listed as a Exceptional Garden of France and surround a Benedictine monastery.
Day three: Les Baux-de-Provence & Aigues-Mortes
Following exploring the city that was as soon as identified as Avenio and then strolling to the nearby fortified city of Villeneuve-Les-Avignon in day two of this Avignon itinerary, it is time to head out into the countryside to discover much more of what Provence has to give by car or truck. Ought to you opt to stop by Avignon with Eurostar, you will also advantage from 10% off rental solutions with Hertz.
Start out the morning by driving about forty-5 minutes to stop by Les Baux de Provence. Broadly regarded to be 1 of the most gorgeous villages in Provence, the upper town of this historic settlement has just a couple of dozen residents. Properly-preserved and dating back centuries, the tiny pedestrian streets hide hidden churches, tiny chapels, and lots of a boutique shop.
If you are feeling a tiny peckish, then Les Baux Jus (La Fontaine aux Fées Rue de la Calade) gives mouthwatering vegan raw fare. Otherwise, be certain to verify out the Carrières de Lumières. This interactive art museum is really actually constructed into the mountainside in a former quarry whose stone was utilized to develop the homes above. If you want to go but also want to beat the crowds, then book your tickets in advance, at least 24 hours ahead of!
Following a meander about Les-Baux-de-Provence in the morning, hop back in the car or truck and it is an additional hour-lengthy drive to the historical and fortified city of Aigues-Mortes. This walled city is in Occitanie and was founded in the 13th-century by Saint Louis for the purposes of developing trade routes with nations beyond France.
Following all, 1 of the greatest sources of this location are the huge salt lagoons that turn the sea red. Now, Aigues-Mortes has a population of below 10,000 residents and really feels like stepping back in time. Should-see attractions of the town contain strolling about the city’s ancient ramparts, enjoying unparalleled views of the nearby Camargue, and stepping inside the Gothic cathedral.
Day four: Châteauneuf-du-Pape
If you make it your mission to stop by just 1 wine location even though in Provence, or merely take 1 day trip from Avignon, make it the planet-well-known Châteauneuf du Pape. As soon as the summer time property escape for the Popes in nearby Avignon, currently all that remains of their as soon as grand Château are two crumbling walls presiding higher above the rest of the town.
Start out your wine route at this gorgeous lookout point. From right here, you can admire the lots of vineyards spilling out endlessly into the distance. Be certain to appear down as well. The river-polished stones that line the vines of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are distinctive to this area and not only help in heating up the plants, but also let for fantastic water drainage.
We personally took a wine tasting tour with Romain Gouvernet from Provence & Wine tour enterprise. Romain is ever-so-knowledgeable about the area, and soon after a short speak about the varieties of grape grown there and the climate of the location, it was time to stop by a couple of wineries. Initially up was Château de Vaudieu, exactly where we tasted wealthy reds in the grounds of a 17th-century château. Then, it was onto Domaine Roger Sabon, exactly where we sipped on wines in the cellar.
Day five: Avignon
Finish your remain the proper way by embarking on an epic meals tour about the city. Taste the most effective of Provence on a plate: assume lavender-infused chocolates, crisp wines, mouthwatering-cheese, and the sort of olives you could consume all day, basking below the warm Provence sun.
We personally took a tour with Avignon Gourmet Tours and I couldn’t advise booking a walking foodie tour with Aurelie much more. If you’d choose restaurant suggestions for your complete trip, you could even take into account booking the meals tour for your very first complete day in the city. The morning started with a melt in your mouth crumbly croissant and ended with a feast celebrating nearby make from the city and the area beyond.
Following a mouth-watering morning, it is time to collect your belongings and head to the Avignon TGV station to board the train back to the UK. The return train journey to London from Avignon with Eurostar pulls out the station at just ahead of four PM on a Friday afternoon and you are back in London through the evening, permitting you an further morning and lunch to discover the Provençal city.
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