In this post, we go through our top 5 recommendations for day trip destinations from Avignon Provence. Based on our own experiences from these day trip destinations, we think you will enjoy them a lot.
Avignon itself is a beautiful city to visit for a weekend or short break. But if you decide to stay a little longer, then there are so many options for day trip destinations within reach of Avignon. Either by car bus train or bicycle depending on your preference. Car rental is fairly priced, or you can make savings on day passes by train. If you prefer a coach tour, there are plenty to choose from, or you could opt to hire a bicycle for the day instead.
These top 5 day trip destinations are all highly recommended by us first hand. They represent just some of the popular places to visit in Provence, that we have managed to reach this year in our time here so far. We are not ranking them in order. They are all equally picturesque and charming in their own unique ways and we suggest if you get the opportunity that you visit all of them if you can.
So, without further a due…
Top 5 day trip destinations from Avignon Provence
Pont du Gard
We spent a whole day here in the summer and we will definitely be going back when we can. Well worth the entry fee and such a relaxing place to spend a lazy Sunday.
The obvious attraction being the bridge itself, but Pont du Gard is so much more than that. The crystal clear river is great for swimming or paddling, and very kid friendly. There is plenty of open space to unwind and bring a picnic along with you for the day. Also a good choice of snack vendors dotted around, as well as a nice restaurant providing full meals, and cafe/bar area selling snacks etc.
Once you cross the Bridge, there are a number of different trails you can follow if you wish. All well signposted and different distances to choose from for a nice afternoon walk around the countryside. Or if you prefer there are kayak/canoe hire excursions available locally as well for a bit of adventure.
Top tip: Take a spare pair of shoes and a change of clothes for getting wet. Something you can wear in the river to protect your feet and go exploring with.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
A beautifully picturesque old village built at the source of the River Sorgue. Perfect for long walks along the crystal clear river. Surrounded by mountains, and a fresh place to cool down a little in the height of summer months. Also the perfect place for a riverside picnic.
The source of the spring of Fontaine de Vaucluse itself is the biggest in France. The river winds its way down the mountains via way of many rapids and waterfalls before passing through the village itself. You can walk all the way up to the source of the spring by foot. Enjoying the many riverside cafes restaurants and vendors for refreshments as you go. Once you reach the town, you will find the river carves its way through the centre completely. Passing through many moulins and weirs along the way. Giving the whole village the impressive illusion of almost floating on the torrent.
Top tip: As we discovered ourselves, bring euros. Not everywhere here take card payments. There is a cash machine in the town if you get caught short, as we did, but cash or cheque is king here.
Famously renowned for its wine production. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is situated 12 kilometres north of Avignon and less than 2 kilometres from the banks of the river Rhone.
This quiet sleepy little village is teeming with wine caves, cellars and places to sample the local speciality. The old chateau itself is right at the peak of the hill and well worth the climb. Once you reach the summit you will be spoilt for choice in which direction to look. The views of the surrounding areas are breathtaking in 360 degrees.
Top tip: Rent a bicycle for the day and take in the beautiful winding countryside as you make your way there through the morning. This way, when you arrive for lunch you can partake of the beautiful wine this town is so famous for.
Around 30-40 minutes from Avignon by car or train. Nimes is a wonderful city to visit for a day trip and has a long history with the Roman empire. There is a great mixture of modern contemporary buildings surrounding some surprisingly well maintained ancient Roman architecture. This makes Nimes a very pretty city to visit.
Once in the centre of Nimes, most of the local attractions are accessible by foot. This includes the arena/amphitheatre, Maison Carree, and the beautiful Jardins de la Fontaine gardens. There are also plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants to choose from in the old town area situated just a couple of minutes from the main square.
Top tip: Purchase a combination ticket at the arena for all 3 attractions “Nîmes romaine”. Amphitheatre + Maison Carrée + Tour Magne (tickets are valid for 3 days). Full rate: € 13 / Reduced rate: € 11 / Family rate: €40 (for 2 adults and 2 children)
Approx 20kilometres east of Avignon and easily reachable by car or bicycle. As the name suggests, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is surrounded by the river on all sides as it carves its way through Provence.
Many moulins and weirs around the town centre make this a very picturesque place to visit in the summer. Tourists and locals come to cool off and dip their toes in the fast flowing river while enjoying an ice cream. The town is also known for its antique shops and weekly antique markets where there are many bargains to be had.
Top tip: Don’t forget your camera. This village is so pretty you will be sure to catch some fantastic snapshots of the beautiful sights you will find here.
We think you will love these top 5 day trip destinations from Avignon. They are a great place to start if you are travelling to Provence in the south of France. But they really are just the tip of the iceberg here. There are so many other places close by that we will be sure to update you on in the near future. So why not sign up to our newsletter here to make sure you don’t miss out on any of our latest blog posts in the future.
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