Avignon is a beautiful medieval city in south-east France, on the banks of the Rhone. Several popes made Avignon their home between 1305 and 1378, leaving a legacy of impressive architecture. On the TGV, Avignon is just 2 hours and 40 minutes from Paris, making it ideal for a history-rich city break.
- Passing through?
Stop by the Pont d’Avignon, where the ruined arches of St Bénezet Bridge just out into the Rhone. Another must-see site for a short break is the Palais des Papes, home of the Avignon Popes. This gothic palace is adorned with stunning frescoes and is ranked by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
- Staying a while?
The area around Avignon is a great place to sample the wines of the Rhone valley. A tour of the local vineyards is your best bet, and you can get good prices on a bottle or five to take home.
- The inside track...
If you visit the Palais des Papes, try and get on one of the weekend guided tours. Running from September to May, you can go behind the scenes to see private apartments and gardens, secret stairways and concealed corridors.
For more about Avignon, go to: