Avignon is definitely not a town to stay in if you're interested in sightseeing the surrounding countryside and don't have much time. Once in Avignon, you won't want to leave, and the town is too interesting to let you go. Avignon is ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity. Just to "see" the town itself, you could wander the narrow streets inside the fortified walls for days without tiring of them. Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nearby: | Aix-en-Provence 82 km (1h10) | Apt 40 km | Arles 36 km | Cavaillon 24 km | Chateauneuf-du-Pape 18 km | Châteaurenard 5 km | Fontaine-de-Vaucluse 30 km | Isle-sur-la-Sorgue 23 km | Lourmarin 55 km | Marseille 95 km (1h15) | Monteux 20 km | Montfavet 5 km | Nice 254 km (2h45) | Nîmes 44 km | Orange 31 km | Le Pontet 5 km | Tarascon 23 km |
A great shopping area, with pedestrian streets without automobiles (not always the case in France), and loads of shops of all kinds. Southeast of the Place de l'Horloge: rue des Marchands, rue Rouge and ajoining streets are full of clothing and other shops.
Most of the Beyond villages are so small that everybody meets in the center square. Avignon is big enough to get lost in, at least if you're trying to meet someone.
Place de l'Horloge
A long square in front of the Hôtel de Ville, with terrace cafés along both sides and the "Belle Epoque" carrousel at the top end. Both streets at the top end of the Place d'Horloge lead to the Place du Palais and the Palace of the Popes.
Place du Palais
The large square in front of the Palais des Papes is easy to find, and an entertaining place to wait.
La Civette - Café-Restaurant
Place d'Horloge, at the top, near the carrousel.
La Regence - Café-Restaurant
Rue de la République, across from the Office de Tourisme
You can't miss it (as long as you don't walk too far across it), but a bit exposed for waiting.
The festival of Dance, Music and Theatre was founded in 1947 by the actor and director Jean Vilar. (The 1996 festival was the 50th.)
The events occur all over town, often staged at historical monuments and in the streets, and with close audience rapport. This is now an international festival, with people from all over France, Europe and the rest of the world arranging vacations around the festival dates.
Festival catalog and information - tel: (33) 490 27 66 50; fax: (33) 490 27 66 83
First record, in Roman texts from the first century BC: Avenio.
The name Avignon comes from "Avenio" which means "town of violent winds" or "town of the river".
Prehistoric: The Rocher des Doms in the center of Avignon was the site of neolithic habitation.
Celto-Ligurian: Several centuries prior to the Romans, this was a Celtic-Ligurian river port called Cavares.
Gallo-Roman: Avignon was a major Roman town until about the 5th century.
Medieval: Through the medieval period, Avignon has a strong and well-documented history, including the Popes who ruled from here, ecclesiastically and sometimes politically.
Office de Tourisme
Rue de la République
Tel : 0490 82 65 11; Fax: 04 90 82 95 03
Open: Mon-Fri 9h-13h, 14h-18h; Sat: 9h-13h; 14h-17h
Open: 9h-13h; 14h-17h
Every Feb - Tour des remparts; several races in different series, 1000 m to 11 km; open to all amateurs.
Every Mar - Semaine de la danse - Spectacles, conférences, stages
Every Apr - Festival d'Art Baroque en Provence: Avignon, Apt, Cavaillon, Isle sur la Sorgue, Saumane
Every June - Film Festival "Recontres cinématographiques euro-americaines d'Avignon" (last week of June)
Every June - Triathlon d'Avignon
Every July - FESTIVAL d'AVIGNON - Theater, Dance, Music. Tel: (33) 490 27 66 50; fax: (33) 490 27 66 83 - (they also have their own web site)
Every July - Festival Provencal - Palais du Roure", theatre and music in the Provencal language
3rd Weekend Sep - Journées du Patrimoine
3rd Thur Nov - Wine - Fete des Cotes du Rhone Primeurs
Sat, Sun: Marché, Remparts St Michel
Tue: Marché, La Trillade, Monclar, Montfavet
Wed: Marché, St Jean-Monclar
Fri: Marché, Pont des 2 Eaux
Daily except Mon: Marché, Marché des Halles
Sat: Brocante, Place Crillo
Sun: Brocante, Parc Expos
1st Saturday: Cours J-Jaurès; books, records
Location: 5 rue Laboureur
Open: Wed-Sun, 13h-18h; Summer 13h-19h
Entry: 6 euros
Tel: 0490 822 903; Fax: 0490 857 807
A rich art collection with some of the most prestigious signatures, in the private home of the art lovers who inherited them.
Calvet Museum - Musée Calvet
A small 18th-century mansion, with classical and modern art, Greek sculpture and a local prehistorical collection.
Lapidaire Museum - Musée Lapidaire
Located in the chapel of the 17th-century Jesuit College. Contains stone carvings and sculptures from the different civilizations, including a "bestiary".
Location: Rue de la République
Open: daily except Tue, 10h-19h
Louis Vouland Museum - Musée
Decorative arts, especially for 18th-century French furnishings, porcelain and faience and tapestries.
Requien Museum - Musée Requien
A large herbarium (worldwide collection); local botanical, geological and zoological collections; excellent natural history library.
Théodore Aubanel Museum - Musée Théodore Aubanel
Printing implements and methods, and rare editions and documents about Avignon from the 13th to 20th centuries.
The airport is 8 km southeast of the center, at the Exposition Center, and along the main N7 highway.
1-1/4 hour boat excursions on the Rhône, 6 times a day, every day in July and August.
Tel: 9085 622 225; Fax: 90 85 61 14
July-August, 1h15 tours. Embarquement: Avignon, Allées de l'Oulle; Villeneuve, Philippe le Bel Tower. Tickets: Office de Tourisme in Avignon or Villeneuve Cost: 35 F adults; 15 F children
Avignon-Camargue river cruise.
Tel: 0490 498 608
Avignon-River Cruises Arles/Aigues-Mortes; Arles/Saint-Gilles; Arles/Tarascon; Roquemaure/Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Mireio - Grand Bateaux de Provence
Avignon-River Cruises. Local dining and dinner-dance cruises as well as tours for Arles, Tarascon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the Camargue.
Location: Allées de l'Oulle (on the edge of the Rhône)
Tel: 0490 856 225; Fax: 04 90 85 61 14
Avignon-River Cruises Period: 1 Apr - 15 Oct - Cruises Arles, Camargue, Royaume, Roquemaure, Vignobles, Chateauneuf, Diner-Dansant, Diner-Spectacle.
Avignon - Apt - La Brillane Bus
Bus line 22A (Avignon - La Brillane - Digne) has two parts:
(1) Avignon, Cavaillon, Apt, Forcalquier, La Brillanne;
(2) La Brillanne, Chateau-Arnoux, Digne-les-Bains.
The complete route for part-1 is: Avignon, Caumont, Cavaillon, Robion, Coustellet, Lumières, Apt, St Martin-de-Castillon, Cereste, Reillanne, Les Granons, St Michel l'Observatoire, Mane, Forcalquier, Niozelles La Brillanne, Oraison.
Avignon - Apt Bus 15.1
Vaucluse bus line 15.1 connects Avignon, Coustellet, Les Beaumettes, Goult/Lumières, Gare de Bonnieux, Bonnieux Pont Julien, Apt Le Chêne, Apt. The trip between Avignon and Apt is about 1 hour.
A list of schedules for the Vaucluse bus line are at the bottom of the Vaucluse department transport page (http://www.vaucluse.fr/1119-recherche-de-lignes.htm") - click on the link 15.1 Avignon Apt to download the bus schedule PDF file.
Avignon - Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Bus 6
Vaucluse bus line connects Avignon, Morières, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, Le Thor, L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue.
A more limited service is also provided between L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue, Saumane-de-Vaucluse, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Lagnes, and Coustellet.
The trip between Avignon and L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue is about 50 minutes.
A list of schedules for the Vaucluse bus line are at the bottom of the Vaucluse department transport page (http://www.vaucluse.fr/1119-recherche-de-lignes.htm") - click on the link Ligne 6 Avignon - L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue to download the bus schedule PDF file.
Avignon, Cavaillon Bus 7
Bus line 7, (Avignon - Cavaillon. Several buses a day; takes about 40 minutes between the center of Avignon (gare routière), Caumont-sur-Durance and the center of Cavaillon (gare routière). Three of the scheduled buses serve the Avignon TGV station.
A Cavaillon - Aix-en-Provence bus line can be used for a one-stop trip between Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.
Avignon, Pertuis Bus
Two Vaucluse bus lines are required to travel between Avignon and Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Cadenet or Pertuis.
(A) Line 15.1: Avignon, Coustellet, Les Baumettes, Goult/Loumieres, Gare de Bonnieux, Bonnieux/Pont Julien, Apt Le Chene, Apt; Line 9.1: Apt, Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Puyvert, Lauris, Cadenet, Villelaure, Pertuis.
(B) Line 7: Avignon, Caumont, Cavaillon; Line 15.2: Cavaillon, Cheval-Blanc, Mérindol, Puget, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Cadenet, Villelaure, Pertuis.
Avignon, St-Remy-de-Provence Bus
Line 57 (of the Bouches-du-Rhône bus company LePilot) connects Avignon with St-Rémy-de-Provence, via Rognonas, Châteaurenard and Eyragues. There are a dozen buses a day between Avignon and St-Rémy. The trip takes about 46 minutes.
Bus line schedules for the Bouches-du-Rhone department are available from the www.lepilot.com website, section Les Réseau - CARTREIZE, subsection Infos/Téléchargement.
Click on Fiches-horaires du réseau CARREIZE for a linked list of the bus lines
- click on Line 57 for the schedule (PDF file). [http://www.lepilote.com/ftp/FR_documents/FH0057.pdf]
Bus A15: Avignon, Uzes, Alès
Gard department bus line A15 connects Avignon, Uzès and Alès.
Buses to Avignon arrive at the Gare Routière; most (but not all) continue on to the Gare TGV (another 15 minutes).
Most (but not all) buses from Avignon depart from the Gare TGV, then the Gare Routière.
Approximate trip times are: Avignon - Uzès 1hr; Uzès - Alès 0h45.
The complete route is: Avignon, Saze, Estezargues, fournes, Remoulins, Castillon-du-Gard, Vers, Argiliers, St Maximin, Uzès, Montaren, Serviers, Aigaliers, Gattigues, Foissac, Baron, Euzet, St Hippoyte, Monteils, Mejannes-les-Alès, Alès.
Bus schedules are on www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires/?rub_code=23 — Select A15, Alès, Avignon
Bus E51: Nîmes, Beaucaire, Avignon
Gard department bus line E51 connects Nîmes and Avignon.
The complete route is: Nîmes, Rodilhan, Manduel, Redessan, Jonquières-St-Vincent, Tarascon, Beaucaire, Vallabregues, Aramon, Theziers, St Pierre-de-Mezoargue, Boulbon, Vallabregues, Barbentane, Rognonas, Avignon.
Approximate trip time is: Nîmes - Avignon 1h30.
Bus route map, Nîmes area-3 (Beaucaire, Tarascon, Avignon) is available on
Bus schedules are on www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires/?rub_code=23 — Select E51, Nîmes, Avignon
Department 84, Vaucluse Buses
See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
• Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
• Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
• Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
Avignon is on the main Paris-Lyon-Nice-Italy line. [rail map]
The new TGV station is at the southern edge of town, between the ring-road and the Durance river (Michelin map #245)
The Provence section of Tours-France.com lists tours starting from Avignon. Different tours include sites and themes, such as Avignon, Cassis, Marseille, Camargue, Lavender, Olives.
Entry: Individual rates are in the 55-100 euro range.
Rental and Repair
Location: 109, av. Pierre-Sémard
Tel: 0490 885 348
Location: 52, boulevard Saint-Roch
Tel: 0490 279 261
Rental of VTT (mountain bikes) and motorcycles, and they rent decent road bikes.
Location: 41 cours Jean Jaur
Tel: 0490 279 261
To rent it is best to start at their website which links to the home office in Lyons where they seem to do all the organizastion/administration. (info Aug 2002 by Gary McClelland)
Rental and Repair
Location: Place Pie
Tel: 0490 823 219
Cycles Peugeot 84 - Dopieralski Léon
Rental and Repair
Location: 80 Rue Guillaume Puy
Tel: 0490 863 249; Fax: 0490 86 32 49
Locations VTT/VTC-Courses & villes Scooters-Motos Du 50 cm3 au 1100cm3. Livraison et reprise possible.
Location: 52 Bd St Roch
Tel: 0490 279 261
Rental and Repair
Location: 13, bd Sixte-Isnard
Tel: 0490 866 272
Location: chem Vignes
Tel: 0490 865 208; Fax: 04 90 86 41 23
Piscine municipale, Chevalier de Folard
Location: av Chevalier de Folard
Tel: 0490 875 914
piscine municipale, stade nautique
Location: av Pierre de Coubertin
Tel: 0490 870 090
Piscine Olympique des Arènes
Location: La Barthelasse
Tel: 0490 825 425
IGN (1/25,000) #3041 OT "Avignon"
- • The GR42 and GR63 (Grande Randonnée) pass by Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, just across the river to the west (an easy walk across the bridge).
- • The GR42 goes southwest to Montfrin, then joins the GR6 which heads southeast to Tarascon and the Alpilles.
- The GR42 also heads north, past Roquemaure and Laudun.
- • The GR63 goes west, past the A9 autoroute, to Pont du Gard and points west.
Sports and Montagne (supplies)
- and Alain Hantz - Guide de Haute Montagne
- 50, rue Carnot
- tel: (33) 490 85 61 45
A small restaurant at the Place Jerusalem, just a few minutes walk from the tourist-center Place de l'Horloge.
Style is provencal-Corsican. Four tables and bar on the ground floor and a few more upstairs. A lot of magazines and books of corsica laying about if you feel like reading while relaxing after your meal.
Simple and plain but good quality. We paid 200 F for two meals (about 30 euros), with a litre of sparkling water and coffee. Some possibilities [were]: Tartare de Saumon à l'aneth (42 F), Cannelloni au Brocciu épinards (54 F). Plat du jour, 41 F.