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Avignon and guided tours

My husband and I are going to be in Provence for six days in May. I have found a tour company named Provence Reservation that is putting together a customized tour for us which includes hotels, shared sightseeing tours and airport transfers. I gave them a "wish list" of about 15 towns/sites I wanted to visit, and they worked in almost all of them. They have us staying in Aix en Provence for three nights, Arles for one night, and Avignon for two nights.

During our first afternoon in Avignon, we will be visiting St. Remy , Les Baux and Pont du Gard. The following day is a tour to Orange and Chateauneuf du Pape for wine tasting in the morning and a tour to Nimes, Uzes and the Pont du Gard museum in the afternoon. Our flight out is at noon on the third day. My concern is the only time we have to explore Avignon are the two evenings and early morning of departure date. Is that enough time to see Avignon on our own? Or should we sacrifice one of the three tours to give us more free time in Avignon? If so, which one is expendable? They all sound wonderful.

On our day in Arles we will be visiting Cassis and the Calanques for half a day, and while Aix we will have a morning walking tour and then whole day visiting four or five Luberon villages. I know it sounds very ambitious, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our 40th anniversary and sadly we won't be going back.

The price of the tour is 980 euros/pp. We will be staying at 2 star hotels. Does this price sound reasonable?

Thanks! I greatly appreciate any thoughts and/or advice that anyone wants to share!

Posted by
7 posts

I don't have as much knowledge as many people here but I have spent time in Avignon and I would recommend that yes, you save time to explore the city and at least tour the palace. I would do the first afternoon's tour events and save the second day for Avignon. There is so much history there and plenty to see in a day's time.

Posted by
806 posts

We did a fabulous 1-day tour with Provence Panorama during which we visited St Remy, Les Baux, Orange, pont du Gard, chateauneuf du Pape, and a wine-chocolate tasting. We were picked up at 9 in Avignon and were back by 6. Cost was 95€ per person. I don't understand why you go to pont du gard one day and the p du g museum the next day - seems very weird. We did enjoy touring the Palace of the Popes in Avignon so I suggest you might want to allow yourselves some time to enjoy the town. I would suggest spending your first afternoon exploring Avignon and try to pack a bit more into your second day of tours.

Posted by
34 posts

Hi Barbara,
Avignon is a small city with a even smaller old center, and it's not that busy, half a day is enough to tour it. By all means, visit the Palais des Papes, it's interesting. And don't pay to enter the St Benezet bridge, it's a total waste of money, you can see it perfectly from the Place du Palais des Papes and there's nothing more to be seen when you get on the bridge. The Pont du Gard museum is small and not very interesting, I wouldn't waste time getting there. I think that your guide is trying to pack to much for that day (and the other days seem quite busy too). Nîmes and Uzès are quite enough for one afternoon. Being a slow pace traveller, I wouldn't do so many things in one day, but it's just me, and if you have little time in France, I understand that you want to tour as many sites as possible. If you go to Orange, do visit the Roman theater, it's breathtaking. While you are in Avignon, you can also visit one of the beautiful Gard villages, like Lussan, or have a walk in the Concluses, an impressive canyon (ask your guide to take you there if you have time and like hiking, it's not easy to find if you don't know the place, and might be slightly off your path). Take your bathing suit when you go to the Pont du Gard, you can swimm there and it's great!

Have a great trip,