Travel to the Romanesque town of Avignon, where the seat of the Popes was held from 1309 to 1376.
This is Provence, a countryside dotted with villages in between rolling hills and valleys. Enjoy the ride.
Your time in Marseille is short lived as you will head out to the countryside, en route to one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites that dot Provence. Avignon, known for its time serving as the capital of Christianity when it was moved from the Vatican City during a time of religious war and rebellion in Rome, is worth your visit. The Palace of Popes was the center of Avignon, and is still a major focal point of the city.
Stop for a walk on the famous Saint Bénezet bridge, over the Rhône River, of which only four arches out of the initial 22 starting from Avignon remain. Built between 1171 and 1185, it had an original length of nearly 3,000 feet, but suffered frequent collapses during floods. It had to be reconstructed several times, and many of the arches were already missing before the rest was damaged beyond repair in 1660.
Walk along the narrow streets of the city to reach the Palais des Papes, or Popes’ Palace, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Avignon became the residence of the Popes in 1309, and the Palais was built between 1335 and 1364 on the northern edge of the city, overlooking the Rhône. The majority of the structure is now open to the public, and you will have plenty of time to visit and explore, taking special note of the frescoes and Romanesque architecture that have remained virtually unchanged since the 14th century.
After visiting the Palace, you will have about an hour of free time to do as you please. Head to the Cathedral Notre Dame des Doms, or just wander through the many cobblestone alley ways of Old Avignon. Avignon is ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity. Just to "see" the town itself, you could wander the narrow streets inside the fortified walls for days without tiring of them. Unfortunately this is just a taste to get you to return.
- Entrance fees to the Palace of the Popes are 12€ per person.
- No food, beverages, entrance fees, or gratuities are included in the price of this tour.
- Tour is done using a driver/guide, not a licensed guide. Please note that he/she will not be able to enter sites with you.
- There are many narrow and steep steps inside the Palace of the Popes. You can enter and not do the full tour, yet see parts of the interior if you cannot handle the steps.
- Please note: There is a supplement for tours taking place on Sundays and holidays. This supplement is per group, not per person. Holiday dates for 2020 are: Jan 1st, April 10th & 13th, May 1st, 18th & 21st, June 1st, July 14th, August 15th, November 1st & 11th, and December 25th and 26th.
Days offered: 7 days a week