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Provence by rail
This is only part of the truth, it is also a region that boasts some of the best preserved Roman sights in the world, beautiful cities with world class museums, galleries and restaurants, stunning scenery including rich vineyards and fragrant olive and peach groves.
- Return rail travel on Eurostar and TGV from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet via Lille to Avignon.
- Six nights accommodation on room and breakfast basis at three star Hotel Bristol, based on shared occupancy of a twin room with private facilities.
- Full coach touring programme as detailed in the itinerary conducted by experienced tour manager
- Tour manager/guide throughout
NB: All groups are confirmed at the Bristol hotel with upgrades available at the four star Avignon Grand hotel
- Holiday insurance
- Single room supplement
- Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
- Avignon Grand Hotel Upgrade
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
- Porterage and gratuities
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Lille and onwards to Avignon by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to our hotels, the Bristol hotel or the Avignon Grand.
Full day tour to Aix-en-Provence and the Luberon. The elegant city of Aix-en-Provence is immediately attractive with its medieval centre a knot of grand architecture and atmospheric lanes, peppered with squares. Home to artist Paul Cézanne, you will find his studio preserved exactly as he left it on his death in 1906. There are many cafes to sit in and watch the world go by along the Cours Mirabeau. The Luberon starts out as lush foothills covered with vineyards and farmland before peaking in an area of rugged cliffs, rough-hewn gorges and rustic villages. Like many of the region’s villages, Gordes tumbles down the Luberon foothills and makes a wonderful place to wander.
Morning visits to Uzès and the Pont du Gard with the afternoon free. The hilltop town of Uzès sits on the source of the Eure, the river that supplied the Roman town of Nimes via the Pont du Gard aqueduct in the first century BC. Its narrow streets are wonderfully atmospheric and perfect for strolling. The Pont du Gard is a remarkable symbol of the engineering capabilities of the Romans. Built over the Gardon river in 19BC and remarkably preserved, at 48 metres, it is the highest bridge the Romans ever constructed.
Full day to relax and explore Avignon at your leisure. Home to Popes in the early part of the Middle Ages and a centre of art for centuries, the old is separated from the modern by the restored medieval ramparts. Within you’ll find the Palais des Papes, excellent museums and old churches.
Full day tour to Orange and Chateauneuf-du- Pape. From the town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue, known for its antiques market, we approach Orange through the countryside. Home to two of the finest Roman monuments in Europe; the Theatre Antique d’Orange and the Arc de Triomphe, Orange’s old town is also worth exploring with its Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame cathedral and peaceful shady squares. The Popes of Avignon built Chateauneuf (new castle) and the surrounding vineyards, which now produce one of the finest Côtes du Rhône red wines in the world. There is plenty of opportunity for tasting in the village.
Full day tour to Arles, Les Baux de Provence and the Camargue. Arles is best known for its fine Roman arena, baths and theatre – there are lovely views over the town from the arena’s top tier. It was also the sometime home of artists Van Gogh and Gauguin. The ancient, ruined citadel of Les Baux clings to a high ridge of the Alpilles range, a stark contrast to its bustling, Renaissance other half situated just below. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Camargue is a nature-lover’s paradise, famed for its flamingos and white horses.
Transfer by coach back to Avignon station to catch the return TGV to Lille. At Lille, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary of Provence by rail may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
Located on the main throughfare in central Avignon, the Bristol hotel is in the heart of the city. Facilities at this traditional three star hotel include bar and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV and telephone. There is also a ground floor brasserie serving inexpensive meals throughout the day under separate management.
The superior four star Avignon Grand hotel, is located directly opposite the old city walls and a 10 minute walk to the main square. All rooms are spacious with modern facilities. Unfortunately, the Avignon Grand does not offer a restaurant for individual guests but a room service menu is available as well as many excellent restaurants nearby. Please note that there is a supplement applicable to upgrade to the four star Avignon Grand.
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Brilliant! The itinerary was fantastic. We saw so much, yet we could roam freely without feeling rushed. Angela our guide was super, with practical advice when needed. Thank you.