Avignon

#1
So off to Avignon is the summer time, just started to book hotels etc?
Any good places to visit, eat, drink and be tourists in/at?
 

goodoldboy

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#2
So off to Avignon is the summer time, just started to book hotels etc?
Any good places to visit, eat, drink and be tourists in/at?
Nice enough place with good transport links. Recommend that you are a tourist there and in Arles, Nimes and the Carmargue area. Avignon is very busy in July and August, as you would expect. Have fun.....
 
#3
The bridge obviously, the Roman Amphitheatre in Orange is impressive. There are plenty of vineyards to visit and taste the wines at, and the weekly market in Avignon is very nice ( it's actually in a parking garage the name of which escapes me now ) with all sorts of guaranteed useless shit that your other half will probably buy loads of. The food was good, but buggered if I can recall any names, Mostly we ate in sidewalk cafes that just caught our eye.
 
#4
Try to avoid August in France, it will be full.
 
#5
As to how to get there, Eurostar goes daily to Marseilles in the season. Leaves stupidly early from London but it's nicer than flying, plenty of space, BYO and costs about the same. Check, but it stopped at Avignon's TGV when I last went, a couple of years ago
 
#6
Ahh - that place ....sur le Pont...eh ?

Not sure how far it is,but you may be close enough to the Legion Etranger Home for retired Legionnaires - there's Wine there you can buy and a place nearby to eat ( forgot the name ) but it's all good - Enjoy !!
 
#7
Pont du Gard. Saturday morning market at Uzès (great mussels and home made chips at Les Piétons) then visit the Haribo factory. Lunch in the market at Nîmes. Lots of Roman architecture to visit there. Bambouseraie and steam train at Anduze. Silk making at Saint Hippolyte du Fort.

Drive through the Camargue with bulls and flamingos and lots of birds. Salt making at walled town of Aigues Mortes. Saintes Maries de la Mer. Tarascon castle. Santons at Les Baux de Provence. Bull running at Arles and Nîmes (which has a bull fighting museum).

Lunch at Puyloubier the FFL retirement home. Wander round the museum and vineyards and try and not spend too much in the shop.

Royal Hôtel - La Bodeguita - Nîmes

LE PIETON D'UZES | Restaurant - Café - Tapas

http://www.leshallesdenimes.com/restauration-bar-halles-auberge.html

http://iile.legion-etrangere.com/mdl/info_liste_a.php?article_theme=25&block=25&titre=Visite-guidee
 
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#8
Avignon itself is a beautiful town so just walk around and enjoy yourself.

The Palais de Papes is well worth a visit. I met John Paul Gaultier there (for the avoidance of doubt he was in front of us in the ticket queue with the two campest blokes I have ever seen. Made Julian Clary look like Arnie). My eldest daughter just went up to him and started talking to him. I’m not sure he knew what a female was.

There is lots of good stuff within an hours drive to the east. Three things that spring to mind are:
  • Mount Ventoux (avoid Sat/Sun as it is crawling with cyclists)
  • Gorges de la Nesque - spectacular.
  • The Sunday market at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (sp). Bit of a tourist thing now but worth a butchers.
 
#9
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#10
If you are interested in daubs you can do the Van Gogh Route. Runs sort of vaguely between Avignon and the coast. The Mrs did it (art historian) and seemed to enjoy it.

I took the kids to the seaside and built sandcastles.
 
#13
Drive down to Aubagne and visit the French Foreign Legion museum. Then do the MUCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) at Marseille, amazing architecture and right on the sea. Stroll round the harbour then have some seafood before heading back to Avignon.
 
#17
Sold! Sounds like heaven :)
It is !!!! There is the museum bit with lots of buttons to press and packets of sweets to win, then the shop itself ...

Haribo sponsors some of the trail races down there, handfuls before, after and in the goodie bag! In fact I love the races down there, no medals but goodie bags with wine, honey, jam, local specialities and at the finish line mussels, onion soup, fizzy wine, beer or whatever. Give me food and wine over a medal any day!
 
#18
Stayed at Le Petit Paradis in centre of town. Small boutique-type hotel run very efficiently by Sabine who is the German Consul, Very comfortable and clean. It did confuse me when we rolled up in the taxi and saw the Bundesrepublik eagle above the main entrance.
Must see the Palais des Papes (well, you can't miss it) and go up the Roc de Dom to see the views up the Rhone and mt Ventoux.
The bridge goes only halfway across the river but it's obviously a must to visit. We got a full appreciation of the Mistral on the day we visited. You cannot imagine how windy it gets.
Good meals in the following restaurants; La Fou de Fafa, d'Ici et d'Ailleurs and Nani's, all in the centre of town (the last one doesn't take cards, though). There's also a cracking patisserie in the Rue de la Republic and some up-market shops in Rue Joseph Vernet
The town walls are impressive.
The lasting impressions I have is that everything is coloured red and yellow and the smell of lavender. You cannot avoid lavender !
Oh, and if you're into Romans take the local train out to Nimes or drop into Orange.
 
#19
I have lived about twenty minutes from Avignon for the past ten years so know the city fairly well. What dates will you be there so I can provide more info?

Eating out is always budget dependent, but a number of places won't toast your credit card.
83 Vernet and La Cour d'Honneur both in Rue Vernet are good value and have nice outdoor terraces. Also nice is L'Essentiel in rue Petite Fusterie, but it has limited outdoor space. If you want to blow the budget there are always Christian Etienne and La Mirande, both close to the Palais des Papes. Around the area known as Corp Saints are plenty bars and bistros worth a visit.
Just across the river in Villeneuve les Avignon are the Bistrot du Moulin and Aubergine.

For transport there are little green electric carts that take people in a circuit around the old city. Fifty centimes is the flat fare and although they are mostly used by old folks out shopping, they are a great way to meet the real locals. You can hop on and off anywhere and stop them by sticking your arm out. Driving around is a nightmare at the moment as the place has been dug up for installation of the new tramway. You never know one day to the next what roads will be closed off, rendering satnav useless.

There is a good train service running between the central station and Marseille with some nice towns on the route. The timetable is geared towards commuters though with the last trains leaving either end around eight in the evening.

The villages around the Luberon, where I live, are worth a visit for the scenery and history and as someone mentioned above, L'isle sur la Sorgue is famous for its Sunday market and antique shops. The town also has over sixty eateries ranging from McDonalds to Michelin. Gordes, Menerbes and Pernes le Fontaine are worthwhile visiting if driving around.

Up the road at Châteauneuf-du-Pape they hold a massive medieval fair during the first weekend of August. Buy a wine glass for €5 on the way in and sample free wine all day at the various caves in the town centre (I kid ye not!)

I'll try to keep an eye on this thread and will drop in with any hints or suggestions as I think of them.
 
#20
Pont du Gard. Saturday morning market at Uzès (great mussels and home made chips at Les Piétons) then visit the Haribo factory. Lunch in the market at Nîmes. Lots of Roman architecture to visit there. Bambouseraie and steam train at Anduze. Silk making at Saint Hippolyte du Fort.

Drive through the Camargue with bulls and flamingos and lots of birds. Salt making at walled town of Aigues Mortes. Saintes Maries de la Mer. Tarascon castle. Santons at Les Baux de Provence. Bull running at Arles and Nîmes (which has a bull fighting museum).

Lunch at Puyloubier the FFL retirement home. Wander round the museum and vineyards and try and not spend too much in the shop.

Royal Hôtel - La Bodeguita - Nîmes

LE PIETON D'UZES | Restaurant - Café - Tapas

Restauration Bar - Halles Auberge

Visite guidée
PUYLOUBIER......Ahh, THAT'S the name I was looking for - Thank you very much.

....and ALL those other places to visit - had a Map of the area once , all marked out - now vanished into the mists ( probably some thieving wotsit got it ) and I hope they spend bucket loads in the Shop, for all those guys - can you remember the Name of the tasty Red Wine that's considered the Best of them please ?
@Egg Banjo told me the name,but he's gone away,as haven't seen or heard from him for some time ?
Have to save this post - so I don't forget it all - on my way to my FOST this
summer...
@fairmaidofperth - Thank you again for such precise details - appreciated, ^^
 

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