Explore the marquee attractions in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Avignon, whose fortified ramparts once enclosed the seat of the papacy.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a leisurely drive inland toward Avignon, passing through some of the most exhilarating scenery and historical villages in Provence. This is the very landscape that has moved artists the likes of Cézanne and Van Gogh for centuries, and it's still inspirational, especially the enchanted area around Avignon. A classic walled city, it was the seat of the papacy in the 14th century, and seven popes reigned from Avignon.
Upon arrival, you will enjoy a one hour guided walking tour through the Old Town, during which your guide will delight you with stories of Avignon's celebrated past. Highlights include the austere Palace of the Popes, which is one the largest Gothic buildings in Europe, and the remains of Saint Benezet's Bridge, a series of stone arches that once spanned a bend in the Rhone River. These two landmarks are so impressive that they were both deemed World Heritage Sites.
Following your guided introduction to Avignon, you'll have approximately one hour of free time to further explore on your own. You may wish to stroll the cobbled streets, dine at a brasserie, shop for local lavender products, or simply absorb Avignon's youthful, artistic energy. There are also several museums worth noting such as the Lapidary Museum, whose exceptional collection of sculptures is housed in a 17th-century Jesuit church. At the designated time and location, you will rejoin your group and board your coach for the drive back to the pier, taking in the sights of Provence along the way.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking over uneven cobblestone surfaces, plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.