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Avignon tours and excursions

Avignon tours

Boat tours

Nothing beats seeing Avignon's medieval fortifications and landmarks from the River Rhône. Grands Bateaux de Provence offers several river excursions, including trips between Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and dinner cruises. In addition, there's a frequent free ferry from Pont St Bénezet to Barthelasse Island.

Tel: +33 4 9085 6225.
Website: http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/mireio

Walking tours

A selection of guided city walks, in English and French, can be booked through the Avignon Tourist Office. Tours are based on specific themes and cover the major sights. The office also has details of a self-guided route that takes in the city's key attractions.

Tel: +33 4 3274 3274.
Website: http://www.avignon-tourisme.com

Avignon excursions

Vaison-la-Romaine

With its two large Roman archaeological sites and high Roman bridge, the pleasant country town of Vaison-la-Romaine is a spectacular stop for history lovers. The remains here are in exceptionally good condition. There's a big, colourful traditional street market every Tuesday morning too. Vaison is located some 40km (25 miles) north of Avignon.

Tel: +33 4 9036 0211.
Website: http://www.vaison-la-romaine.com

Arles

Charming Arles is 40km (24 miles) south of Avignon at the gateway to the Camargue wetland wilderness. The town's well-preserved Roman amphitheatre is still in use for bullfights – as well as plays and concerts in summer. There's a Roman theatre here too, the strange Alyscamps necropolis, and some good art galleries.

Tel: +33 4 9018 4120.
Website: http://www.arlestourisme.com

Featured Hotels

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La Mirande

Opposite the Palais des Papes, this former cardinal's palace from the 14th-century is all sophistication and attention to detail. The rooms are delightful, and the hotel's restaurant is one of the best in town. The sumptuous décor has been chosen with flair and imagination. Expensive, but this is luxury with charm and personality.

Hotel de l'Horloge

Well placed on the main square, this handsome old 4-star hotel is in the midst of all the life of the town. Noise is not usually a problem, but if you're concerned, ask for one of the quieter rooms at the side. Rooms are small but comfortable and attractively decorated.

Novotel Avignon Centre

Well positioned just outside the gateway into the walled city, the Novotel has easy road and rail access, an underground car park, a decent restaurant, swimming pool and spa, as well as bright, spacious, comfortable bedrooms. And it is only 10 minutes' walk to all the attractions of the city.

Hotel de Blauvac

This small, inexpensive hotel is just off the place de l'Horloge in a sensitively converted 17th-century mansion. It feels redolent with history, especially in the rooms with mezzanines and walls of massive exposed stone blocks. A warm welcome and 16 very basic but comfortable rooms make this a fine, well-placed budget choice.

Hotel Splendid

The Splendid offers six simple, well-kept, brightly decorated little rooms. It occupies an ordinary terraced house in a quiet residential street within the city walls, opposite the garden of an old cloister. It's well placed for anyone arriving by train, as it's just a few minutes' walk up the street from the station.

Hotel Colbert

The Colbert's arty style, with bright decor, pictures on the walls and unusual breakfast plates, are all the product of the creative and generous spirit of hosts Patrice and Annie. Rooms are tiny but adequately equipped. Access is very convenient, and all the sights and city centre are just minutes away.