Immerse yourself in history.
Richly cultural Avignon, ancient home to Popes and kings, is a mere 50 miles or so from the delights of the French Mediterranean coast, but feels a world away. Eminently explorable on foot, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in history, and even go sur le pont (which part-crosses the beautiful river Rhone), just for the sake of it.
|Time zone:||GMT +2 in summer|
|Flight Time:||3 hours|
|Weather:||Average maximum temperature: 19.5°C
The huge Papal Palace (or ‘Palais des Papes’) is a world heritage site and rightly so. 70 years in the making, this fortified Gothic building was home to a number of popes in exile from Rome... but don’t leave without taking a rooftop walk.
Must eat at:
If you fancy eating upmarket, try La Compagnie des Comptoirs on Rue Joseph Vernet for local favourites all served-up in a palm courtyard.
Must be there for:
The Avignon Festival – for which you get two festivals for the price of one – brings the world to Avignon every July, with established theatrical acts and a galaxy of ‘fringe’ performances.
• 110km of bike tracks in and around town make it easy to get around on two wheels – there’s even a local bike sharing scheme.
• If the Renaissance is your thing, check out the collection at the Musee du Petit Palais, which brings together works from the Italian and Avignon schools.
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