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Avignon and the inspirational villages of the Vauclause - L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Fontaine de Vaucluse,  bric-a-brac, antiques & renaissance frescos (scroll down for more details)

Tour summary

L'Isle sur la Sorgue, an ancient town surrounded by a moat of flowing water, dates from the 12th century when fishermen built huts on stilts above what was then a marsh. By the 18th century, canals lined with 70 giant wheels powered silk factories & paper mills. Many still in place; you'll see them as you walk around the town. Today L’Isle is the Venice of Provence, home to antiques villages housing over 300 dealers.  A hub of unique independent boutiques & artisans, a really great way to begin exploring the Vaucluse. Next Fontaine de Vaucluse where the largest natural spring in Europe wells up outside the village creates a fast flowing river running through the village dotted riverside cafés & shops. A drive on to Avignon which for 70 odd years in the early 1300s, was centre of the Catholic world & been left with an impressive legacy of ecclesiastical architecture, most notably the World Heritage listed palace the Palais des Papes that includes an array of impressive renaissance frescos. Avignon hosts the annual arts festival, the largest in France. The rest of the year, its rampart-ringed old town, famous bridge - Pont St Bénézet, leafy squares, shops & restaurants are some of its main attractions.

Tour itinerary & highlights

I will arrive to collect you from your hotel or guest house. (If you are staying in a rented apartment or villa, we can arrange that too) I will be at the Cruise Ship terminal in Marseille if arriving by ship. This tour is available from Aix-en-Provence, Marseille or Avignon. We will coordinate with you where to meet.

Leave by car arriving first to the village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue, we spend around an hour and a half exploring the tiny narrow streets in search of antique shops, galleries, numerous cafes & boutiques. Time here for a snack, morning coffee or an early lunch. The highlights of this visit include 'la Sorgue, Fontaine & Avignon, capital of the region.

Heading towards Fontaine de Vauclause, explore the tiny riverside village and the gorge at the source of the spring that cascades through the centre of the village. Finally head towards Avignon, a guided visit to Palais des Papes and Pont St Bénézet, the famous bridge at Avignon. At the end of the visit return to Aix-en-Provence & Marseille. (or local drop-off in Avignon)

Language: English or French

Tour duration & schedule

The total duration of the tour is 8 hours, assuming pick-up in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence or Marseille. The order for the tour takes into account the starting point changing depending on your location.  There is a scheduled lunch break, at leisure, not included.

What's included

Pick-up & drop-off at either the Cruise Terminal in Marseille or your hotel in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence or Marseille. If your staying elsewhere we can coordinate a pick-up from your address.  (There may be a suppliment payable) We can also coordinate a collection and drop off at the TGV station (high speed train) in Avignon or Aix.

Travel to all of the destinations proposed with dedicated guide/driver & return to your hotel, address or the cruise terminal. Admission to the sites listed - the Palais des Papes & Pont St Bénézet is extra. You can pre-pay when making a reservation or on site when we visit.

Refreshments, snacks & lunch not included.

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