Visual Adventure: Provence

Rachel Wasser March 4, 2013 18

France can be a pretty magical place. Between the food and wine, the cobblestoned streets, the sidewalk cafés, the overflowing local markets and the historic sites, you can spend months getting lost in tiny towns and sprawling cities. Provence is one of those regions you can settle into and soak in for weeks. Avignon is a city known for its famous bridge and Papal Palace, and it’s a great starting point for a Provençal adventure.

Avignon is the perfect place to wander down tiny alleyways in search of mediterranean-influenced Provençal cuisine. The capital, Aix-en-Provence – known for its many fountains and the author Victor Hugo – is only a one-hour train ride away. Even closer are the world-famous wine region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the ancient Roman bridge Pont du Gard, and the provincial town of Orange. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace)- this was the papal residence during the 14th-century. This building is massive and offers self-guided tours throughout.  It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995

Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) – this was the papal residence during the 14th-century. This building is massive and offers self-guided tours throughout. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 – photo by Rachel W.

A view of the fortress/palace from the bridge Saint Benézet, commonly called Pont d'Avignon, made famous by the French children's song "Sur le pont d'Avignon". A walk across the bridge is worth it to stand out over the river and watch all the adult tourists sing and dance in circles like kids.

A view of the fortress/palace from the bridge Saint Benézet, commonly called Pont d’Avignon, made famous by the French children’s song “Sur le pont d’Avignon.” A walk across the bridge is worth it to stand out over the river and watch all the adult tourists sing and dance in circles like kids – photo by Rachel W.

Pont du Gard- a stunningly well-preserved ancient Roman aqueduct crossing the Gardon River. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bridge was built in the 1st century AD and is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges

Pont du Gard- a stunningly well-preserved ancient Roman aqueduct crossing the Gardon River. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bridge was built in the 1st century AD and is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges – photo by Rachel W.

The rocky vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in spring. The area is hot and dry with a rocky soil – perfect for wine-making.

The rocky vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in spring. The area is hot and dry with a rocky soil – perfect for wine-making, photo by Rachel W.

The vines a bit fuller in late summer. Châteauneuf-du-Pape permits thirteen different grape varietals include Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre for reds and Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne for whites

The vines a bit fuller in late summer. Châteauneuf-du-Pape permits thirteen different grape varietals include Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre for reds and Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne for whites, photo by Rachel W.

While the papacy was in avignon, the popes contributed vastly to the production and promotion of wine in the southern Rhône region. Originally the wine in this region was known as "Vin du Pape" but Pope John XXII built the famous castle seen in this photo and the name was changed to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

While the papacy was in avignon, the popes contributed vastly to the production and promotion of wine in the southern Rhône region. Originally the wine in this region was known as “Vin du Pape” but Pope John XXII built the famous castle seen in this photo and the name was changed to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, photo by Rachel W.

(source: wikipedia)

18 Comments »

  1. John Burdett March 5, 2013 at 1:09 am - Reply

    What European tours are you offering late Sep. or early October 2013 ?

    • steveG March 6, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Hi John,

      We have a wide range of tours that are available in Europe during September or Early October.

      You can browse all our Europe tours on the link below. To filter for tours that depart in September or October, use the departure dates filtering options in the left sidebar. http://www.gadventures.com/trips/europe/

      If you want additional help, we encourage you to contact our amazing travel consultants at: 1-888-800-4100.

      Happy Travels!

  2. Kristen March 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    This single photographer/mom of FIVE is crossing her fingers!! how exciting! ;)

  3. Joyce Thompson March 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    This would be a super-awesome trip!!!!!!

  4. Roz March 6, 2013 at 4:38 am - Reply

    If I live in South Africa can I enter your competition this month to visit Italy?

    • steveG March 6, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Hi Roz, Yes you can as the contest is open globally :)

      • Roz March 9, 2013 at 10:08 am - Reply

        Thanks Steve – have entered. Would be awesome. Love having you on fb – when I go to bed at night I go through all the travel “stuff” – look forward to viewing. We have no kids (we are 60 and 48) and since 2006 have tried to tick off a few of the items on our bucket list – the world has some stunning adventures hasnt it. Cherio

  5. Judy Holmes March 8, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I love Italy

  6. Joyce Thompson March 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Italy is on my bucket list….would be awesome to win this trip!!!

  7. vanessa foster March 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    plzzzzzzzzz oh plzzzzzz my bdays sunday so make my life :)

  8. Trish Sirna March 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    “The first thing to do in life is to do with purpose what one proposes to do.” Pablo Casals

    I propose to go to Italy, Trish

  9. Eilish March 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Italy is the one place Europe I have not visited and can’t wait to go so to win the trip would be amazing

  10. vanessa foster March 11, 2013 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Id sight see and theres soooo much I wana see and do

  11. colette March 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    i can feel the breeze hear the sounds smell the scents,to be there even better

  12. Angela Golotta March 12, 2013 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Mamma mia! !Food, Wine, Arcitecture,beautiful scenery, wonderful culture is truly La dolce vita!!
    I would love to see and experience my heritage.It would be a trip of a lifetime!!

  13. Howard Drough March 12, 2013 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Italian history and culture is ancient and fascinating.To visit original sites and witness living history in the modern setting would be a fantastic, unforgettable learning experience.

  14. Angela March 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Italy!! My dream vacation! Discover my roots , enjoy the food
    and experience the culture- kids have left the nest now it’s our turn!

  15. Angela March 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    What an experience to win this

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