Life in the streets
Summer is for living in the streets. Even in Avignon thare are plenty of restaurants offering external tables along the pedestrian area in the historical centre. Lots of music, funny people walking in the streets and amusing themselves.
l'île de la Barthelasse
The Barthelasse island lays between two river arms. Just facing the Avignon's city walls, it spread on 700 hectares, making the biggest river island in Europe. It is criss-crossed by little roads and pathes very pleasant to walk, run or bike.
When Avignon's medieval popes needed a break from the hubbub of their walled city, they crossed a bridge to this island in the middle of the Rhone River. Centuries later, Ile de la Barthelasse and adjoining Ile de Piot--whose vineyards, vegetable gardens, and pear, apple, and cherry orchards cover more than half of their nearly three total square miles--still make for a wonderful getaway.
The best way to reach the island, is to hop on the boat (navette) which runs just up river from the Pont St Bénezet to the Ile de la Barthelasse. A five-minute ferry service is free and crosses frequently every day. It runs between easter and end of summer. Watch out, it is France so there is a lunch break!
Visitors can take a bicycle and ride around the paths or just stroll or explore the islands on horse at Centre Equestre d'Avignon (+33(0)4-90-85-83-48, cheval-avignon.com, reservations required).
Once there, you'll feel truly out in the country, walk along the riverbanks, Chemin des Canotiers, for magnificent views over the Palais des Papes, the city ramparts and the St. Bénézet Bridge.
300 metres from the drop off point of the boat you'll find Le Bercail. While away an afternoon, have an aperatif on the leafy terrace, enjoy the magnificent views of the river, but be aware the food is less than mediocre! It closes in Autumn & winter.(162 Chemin des Canotiers, +33 (0)4-90-82-20-22)
Rome? - No Avignon
The Pope lived in this small southern French town for nearly - and the magnificant Palias des Papes or Palace of the Popes stands still today.
A fascinating look back at the history of the Catholic Church in the early part of the last millenium will leave you with a sense of unease about the way the church was lead.
Certainly fascinating - and makes Avignon well worth the stop off if your on your way to the Southern coast for the beach from Lyon of Paris.
Rocher des Doms
This is a beautiful park on the hill above the Palais and offers great views including this one of the lovely Rhone, the city itself and the Pont St. Benezet. It is a lush garden with lots of trees, shrubs, blooms, statuary and a very nice little pond with a fountain and swans. It closes in the evening so go either early morning or late afternoon to get the best light. It is a short but somewhat steep walk up from the Palais plaza. You could also catch one of the trams.
Beautiful Old Cathedral
Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon is better known as the Cathedral of Avignon. The Cathedral is Roman Catholi is a Roman Catholic cathedral a national monument of France. The CAthedral sits high above the Palais des Papes and is the seat of the Archbishop of Avignon.
The Romaneque building is quite beautiful and has a striking cross in the front of the cathedral. The guilded statue of Mary is a big attraction of visitors to the western tower. The cathedral is beautiful and a dominant figure of the square. The Cathedral perched high above the Palais gives a "God is Watching You" feeling....maybe that was the reasoning behind the location.