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Avignon is situated on the left bank of the Rhone, a few miles above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360.4 mi) south-east of Paris, 229 km (142.3 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (52.8 mi) north-north-west of Marseille. Avignon occupies a large oval-shaped area, not fully populated and covered in great part by parks and gardens.
Avignon has a Mediterranean climate characterised by relatively dry summers and cool, damp winters. The city is often subject to windy weather; the strongest wind is the mistral. The popular proverb is, however, somewhat exaggerated, Avenie ventosa, sine vento venenosa, cum vento fastidiosa (windy Avignon, pest-ridden when there is no wind, wind-pestered when there is).
What to see in Avignon
A popular tourist destination is the Place du Palais, just next to the Place de L'horloge, though the casual tourist may find these places shockingly expensive, and flooded during the summer months with tourists. Within a short distance in just about any direction are the smaller squares frequented by the locals, and much lower prices. Recommended is the Place Pie, with its covered market (open 6AM to 1PM everyday) which sells fresh produce, cheeses, wines, and produits du pays.
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Avignon is a historical city in south-eastern France, on the banks of the Rhone River. It is most respected for its preservation of the medieval ramparts on the outskirts.
Known as the city of popes because of years spent as the seat of the Catholic Church, it is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Its Mediterranean climate makes it a popular destination for holiday makers, both foreign and local.
Eight Things to do in Avignon France
• The Avignon cathedral built during the 14th century is a prime example of Gothic influenced architecture. It is mainly popular because of the many works of art on display inside.
• The Papal Palace was built in 1370 and was the seat of Christianity throughout the 14th century. Official opening hours are from 9am to 7pm. There are over 20 rooms to explore and art exhibitions are held throughout the year. This is one of the most visited attractions in the whole of France and a UNESCO world heritage site.
• Ramparts and bridges exist all over the city and there is nothing better than spending a whole day exploring them at a slow pace, mixing up with the walk with tea or lunch in a French bistro. Explore the outer city walls which also are home to mini museums.
• The Pont du Gard can be easily reached within an hour by using car hire. It is a fine example of Roman bridges built in the style of aqueducts. Set in among the beauty of nature and a river, it gives the picture perfect holiday photo.
• The Calvert museum is a collection of paintings and over 140,000 books. It first opened in 1811 and contains many pieces of arts and sculptures from around the world including the previous Roman Empire.
• Les Halles is an introduction to a large local market. It is worth exploring to gain an insight into traditional and regional cuisine. Food stands also open for lunch and there is a flea market on the outskirts.
• Boat trips are sold daily to tour the river Rhone. There are many variations including canoe or kayak tours, sunset cruises or a romantic lunch for two.
• The Avignon festival held in July is a celebration of culture and arts. Featuring many singers, performers, actors and painters, the city becomes very busy during this month so pre book accommodation if you want to attend.
Tip: A map of all the major tourist attractions is sold at the local tourism office.
Avignon Rental Locations
Avignon Car Hire
Very good service, we have used UDRIVE in our trips (North of Italiy and Avignon, France). Both times UDRIVE prices were cheaper than the major online companies and also the car quality was excellent! Thanks. I'll be using the service again for sure.