Tourist suggestions in Avignon, France

We very regularly organize public training sessions about embedded Linux and kernel and drivers training sessions in Avignon in France. Of course, we can also organize such sessions anywhere in the world.

AvignonThese tips only reflect our own interests and tastes. There are certainly others other worthy things to do and see in the area. We would recommend to buy a tourist guide book about Provence, which will have a much more exhaustive and objective coverage. See also the Avignon tourism website for updates and information about local events.

Sightseeing in Avignon

Popes Palace, AvignonThe historic city centre of Avignon, the Popes’ Palace, all the episcopal buildings and the Saint Benezet Bridge are listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO.  The Avignon city walls constitute the 2nd longest continuous wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China. The annual Festival d’Avignon (around July) is one of the biggest art festivals in the world.

The Popes Palace one of the 10 most visited monuments in France. It is the biggest Gothic edifice in all of Europe and awe-inspiring monument to the importance of Avignon in the Christian world of the Middle Ages. Starting in mid-August and continuing until early October, the Popes’ Palace is the venue for the Luminescences, a monumental video show and sensory experience.

You can go up to Rocher des Doms, the cradle of the city, for a refreshing break among the peacocks and swans by the pond. From this spot, you have panoramic views over the entire city, its tiled roofs and bell towers and over to Villeneuve-les-Avignon and all the surrounding areas (stairs behind the main building of the palace).

Saint Benezet Bridge, AvignonThe Saint Bénézet Bridge was built around 1180 – miraculously, according to legend, by a simple shepherd – to link the city to Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Over the years, wars and successive flooding by the Rhone partially destroyed the bridge. Today, the 12th century Saint Nicholas Chapel remains, as well as four arches of which the span constitutes, according to a prestigious civil engineer, an amazing feat for the period.

Museums

The Petit Palais Museum: exceptional collection of paintings from Italy and Provence (end 13th – beg. 14th century) and collection of Romanesque and Gothic sculptures from Avignon.

The Calvet Museum: in a splendid 18th century town house. Fine arts, painting and sculpture collection (15th – 20th century).

The Angladon Museum: ancient town house in the center of Avignon’s old town: masterpieces of the 19th and 20th century and 18th century living rooms, signed furniture, works of art, paintings and drawings.

Collection Lambert en Avignon: amazing showcase of modern art, spanning from paintings and land art to photography and video.

Shopping

At the bottom of the Place de l’Horloge, the main avenue, Rue de la Republique, divides the city into two. On one side, the Rue Saint Agricol leads to the chic and bourgeois neighborhood with the Rue Joseph Vernet, the 5th Avenue of Avignon where designer clothing and luxury goods shops abound, and the Place Crillon, with the prestigious Hotel d’Europe in a former private town mansion built in the 16th century for the Marquis de Graveson.

The Les Halles market of Avignon is a treasure trove for all kinds of products from the Provence area. Every day from 6:30 am to 1:30 pm vendors sell local vegetables, herbs, meats, olives and oil, and anything lavender-related. The market is housed in a big, modern building in the city center which facade is overgrown with plants and moss, making it stand out from the traditional architecture around it.

The Rue de la Republique, the central axis of the city, and the pedestrian areas are rather dedicated to big shopping brands: Fnac (books, music and technology), Zara, H&M, Eram, André, Naf-Naf, Promod, Kookai, etc.

You can also find many little designer shops in the very typical Rue des teinturiers.

Restaurants

To eat at the restaurants in town, it is recommended to book a table in advance. The best idea for up-to-date advice is probably to use sites that collect tourist reviews (here’s the TripAdvisor page for restaurants in Avignon).

Here are a few that we like and at least gave us a good impression the last time we went:

  • Chez Lulu, 6 place des Chataignes, 84000 Avignon, 04 90 85 69 44
  • Le 26, 26 rue des Trois Faucons, 84000 Avignon
  • D’ici et d’ailleurs 4 Rue Galante, 84000 Avignon, 04 90 14 63 65
  • L’Epice and Love, 30 Rue des Lices 84000 Avignon, 04 90 82 45 96

Here are more good restaurants worth visiting outside of Avignon:

  • Domaine de la Camarette 439 Chemin des Brunettes, 84210 Pernes les Fontaines, 04 90 616 078 (booking is compulsory)
  • Mas de Grès 1651 RD 901 – Four à Chaux-Isle sur Sorgue, 84800 Lagnes 04 90 20 32 85

More sightseeing in Provence

Culture and heritage

L'Isle sur la Sorgue
L’Isle sur la Sorgue:
“Comtadine Venice” with its
numerous canals and 300 antique sellers

Orange
Orange:
The Roman Theater and Triumphal Arch

Gordes
Gordes:
See the village, lavender fields and the Sénanque Abbey

Venasque
Venasque:
The medieval Baptistery and the old town

Vaison la Romaine
Vaison la Romaine:
Roman ruins and the old town

Carpentras
Carpentras:
The oldest synagogue in France

Pernes les Fontaines
Pernes les Fontaines:
The 40 fountains

Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence:
The mountain “Sainte Victoire” – subject of a number of Cézanne’s paintings.

Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence:
The Cours Mirabeau and the old town

Uzès
Uzès:
The famous Roman “Pont du Gard” aqueduct and the old town.

Arles
Arles:
The Roman amphitheatre and the old town.

Les Baux-de-Provence
Les Baux-de-Provence:
Cathédrale d’Images: sound and lights show in ancient and spectacular stone-pits.

Nîmes
Nîmes:
The Roman amphitheatre and the arenas.

Museums

Pernes les Fontaines
The museum of the Comtadin costume: in an ancient shop of the 19th century, exhibition of ancient Comtadin costumes and traditions linked to the materials.
The Maison Fléchier: reconstruction of the last santonnier’s workshop of Pernes les Fontaines, traditions of the Comtat Venaissin and of Provençal Christmas.

Fontaine de Vaucluse
Speleology museum: in a recreated life-size scenery, presentation of the researches and explorations of the Fontaine de Vaucluse and other speleological sites.
Library Pétrarque museum

Roussillon
Conservatoire des ocres et pigments appliqués: ancient ochre factory created in 1871.

Carpentras
Duplessis museum: collection of fine arts of the town and art works by artists of the Comtat Venaissin
Pharmacy Museum: preserved in order from the 18th century with its jars of Italian, Montpellier and Moustier earthenware.

Cavaillon
Provençal nativity scene museum: one of the nicest santon collections of the Luberon and the Alpilles.

Gordes
Pol Mara museum: 200 works to discover in the castle with the biggest Renaissance chimney of Europe.

Nature

The régional Parc of the Luberon: it provides a habitat to a exceptional variety of flora and fauna, as for an architectural and natural heritage of high value.

The Mont Ventoux: The giant of the Provence (1912 m).

Fontaine de Vaucluse: natural resurgence of the Sorgue that gushes forth at the foot of a 230 m cliff.

The Provençal Colorado: Remains of an ancient ochre quarry on more than 30 hectares.

The Alpilles: exceptional massif with famous towns and villages such as les Baux de Provence, Saint Rémy en Provence

The Thouzon cave in le Thor: discovered the 23rd of January 1902, it is the only natural cave laid out for tourism in the Vaucluse. It lies in the centre of the Pays des Sorgues.

The Dentelles de Montmirail: A small chain of mountain with a dramatically jagged shape of their peaks. A perfect place for hiking.

The gorges of the Nesque: imposing wild canyon, perfect for cycling and walking.

The gorges of the Toulourenc: walk that starts at the small village Saint Léger dans le Ventoux and that follows the river bed to the Vaux bridge.

The Orgnacpothole in Bollène: Cave and regional prehistoric museum

The villages

Our region is famous for its picturesque villages, with their Mediterranean flair. One can, while walking, make discoveries and plunge in the history of the region.

The villages with character in:
The Ventoux: Venasque, Le Beaucet, Séguret, Le Crestet, Brantes, Méthamis, Mazan
The Luberon: Gordes, Roussillon, Murs, Joucas, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ménerbes, Lauris,
Oppède le Vieux, Lourmarin, Cabrières d’Avignon, Saignon, Curcurron
The Alpilles: Les Baux de Provence, Saint Rémy de Provence, Eygalières and their markets

Between rosemary and thyme, melon or figs. The beautiful stallholders with their singsong accents sale peaches, apricots or a nice bunch of lavender.

Monday: Cavaillon, Bédoin, Saint Didier
Tuesday: Gordes, Vaison la Romaine, Aix en Provence
Wednesday: Saint Rémy de Provence, Malaucène, Le Thor
Thursday: Villeneuve les Avignon, Nyons, Orange
Friday: Carpentras, Lourmarin, Châteauneuf du Pape
Saturday: Apt, Pernes les Fontaine, Uzès
Sunday: L’Isle sur la Sorgue

Do not miss: the farmer markets in Coustellet (Sundays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.) and in Velleron (in the summer, every day as from 6 p.m., except Sundays and bank holidays).

The Wine road

Between the Luberon, the Ventoux and the Côtes du Rhône, the Vaucluse can be proud of being one of the nicest wine region of France. The clayey chalky soil, the different grape varieties, and the wine grower’s know-how produce world famous wines. Here under, a list of the best wine growers of the Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Luberon and Côtes du Ventoux.
To taste with moderation.

The Côtes du Rhône

Sablet:
Domaine de Piaugier

Rasteau:
Domaine de la Soumade

Vacqueyras:
Domaine des Amouriers

Gigondas:
Domaine de la Présidente

Uchaux:
SCEA Château d’Hugues

Châteauneuf du Pape:
Domaine de Beaurenard
La Cave du Verger des Papes
Château la Nerthe

Tavel:
Domaine de la Mordorée

Saint Gervais:
Domaine St Anne

Saint Victor la Coste:
Domaine Pélaquié

Beaumes de Venise:
Domaine de la Pigeade
Domaine de Durban

The Côtes du Luberon

Oppède:
Domaine de la Citadelle

Apt:
Domaine de Mayol

La Tour d’Aigues:
Château de la Dorgonne

La Motte d’Aigues:
Bastide du Claux

The Côtes du Ventoux

Mormoiron:
Château Pesquié

Mazan:
Domaine de Fondrèche
Terre de Solence

Flassan:
La Ferme Saint Pierre

The country products

Truffel
The famous truffle markets, with their special atmosphere, take place in winter (Fridays in Carpentras and Saturdays in Richerenches). Once in the season (the last week of December) takes place the big Truffle Market of Ménerbes, where is also to see the Maison de la Truffe et du Vin du Luberon (the House of truffle and wine of the Luberon), bringing lots of information on those subjects.

Olive oil
A list of oil mills in the Luberon area.
The mill Moulin de la Balméenne in Beaume de Venise

Goats cheese
Family Morard in Buoux

Tapenade (olive paste)
”Les Délices du Luberon” in Isle sur la Sorgue

Berlingots (boiled sweet)
Confectionner’s shop ”Confiserie du Mont Ventoux” in Carpentras
Calissons (sweets made of ground almond)
Confectionner’s shop ”Confiserie du Roy René” in Aix en Provence

Croquettes (almond croquettes)
Traditional biscuit factory ”Aujoras” in Morières-les-Avignon

Nougat
The nougat factory ”Silvain Frères” in Saint Didier

Activities for the young and the not-so-young

All year round

The Jarditrain in Saint Didier
miniature world dedicated to the train passion

Karting in Monteux

The Crocodile Farm in Pierrelatte

La Barben Zoo
The biggest animal parc of south-eastern France

Haribo Sweets museum in Uzès
Come and discover the great story of the sweets and try them.

Hot-air balloon
One of the most original and beautiful ways of discovering the Luberon, gliding with the birds over the beautiful landscapes. One can do that just next to ours, in Joucas:  
https://www.montgolfiere-provence-ballooning.com

During the summer

Kayak Vert in Fontaine de Vaucluse (March – November)
From Fontaine du Vaucluse down to l’Isle sur la Sorgue, discover the joys of canoeing during the 2 hours of the descent of the Sorgue. https://www.canoefrance.com

Passerelle des Cimes (bridges in the trees) in Lagnes (March – November)
Young and not-so-young will go for an adventure on differents secure itinaries: https://www.parcours-aerien.com

Mini golf de la Peupleraie in Isle sur la Sorgue (Mai – September)
Outdoor activity Espace for the whole family

Circus castle Alexis Gruss in Piolenc (Mai – September)
Visit of the Circus Gruss museum, make up, ride in a barouche, circus workshop, trapeze, horses. https://www.alexis-gruss.com/piolenc/accueil.htm

Colorado Aventure in Rustrel (March – November)
3 hour adventure for the whole family, courses for children and juniors.
https://www.colorado-aventures.com

Bambouseraie en Cevennes (March – November)
A unique journey in the heart of giant bambou forest and hundred-year-old trees, approximately 100 km away from Avignon.

Author: Michael Opdenacker

Michael Opdenacker is the founder of Bootlin. He is best known for all the free embedded Linux and kernel training materials that he created together with Thomas Petazzoni. He is always looking for ways to increase performance, reduce size and boot time, and to maximize Linux' world domination. More details...