Here is an opportunity to cross the Escoutay River on a bridge built by the Romans in the second century. Eleven arched spans form the 110 metre structure.
The bridge is located about one and a half kilometres north-west from the town centre (2.1kms from the port). see the map in the Travelogue below.
It is easy walking along relatively flat sidewalks on the D86 which starts off as Faubourg Cire (in town) and changes its name a couple of times. At the D86 road bridge, it eventually joins Chemin du Pont Romain - at which point you will shout "Eureka! we are getting close!!"
You may notice as you walk towards the bridge some blazes placed on footpaths, road-side guttering, light poles etc. Someone has preceded you on this hike and he doesn't want you to get lost.
Viviers is overlooked by two statues located on nearby prominent limestone features.
The most prominent one, seen from afar as one approaches Viviers, is that of the Archangel Saint Michael. (1.5 kms south east from the centre of town). The statue was erected after World War II to thank St Michael for having protected Viviers from bombing. It can be accessed via a carpark about 600 metres from the statue. The hike up the hill is quite a challenge for the unfit. Walking from the port , the hike is probably three hours return for a fit person.
A more approachable hike of about an hour is to the Statue of the Virgin also known as the statue of Joanade which is located just west of the town. Pity about the ubiquitous communications tower nearby!!
A visit to the Office de Tourism at 5, place Riquet will provide guides to routes of both hikes and their history.
Visit France's smallest cathedral, the Saint Vincent Cathedral and Saint Michel Tower.
Visit the nearby upper ramparts to see wonderful views of the town and the surrounding countryside from the belvedere.
The church houses Gobelins tapestries.
Much of the charm of Viviers is experienced as you take the winding narrow streets up the hill....probably laid out in the middle ages. Some of the buildings look like they were built back then.
We considered ourselves very lucky to have missed a table at our first dine-out choice close to our stop for the night. We walked a little further into the alley-ways of Viviers and discovered La Voûte.
From the outdoor terrasse to the paper place mats which come with crayons so one can eat and give vent to artistic urges, we found the restaurant most charming. The warm welcome from our hostess whose English was very good set us up for a top night.
La Voûte specialises in buckwheat Crepes with a choice of nine (€11-17) all accompanied by salad and crudites.
Plats include Piece of Beef or Pork served with potatoes roasted, mushrooms, confit a la graisse d'oie and sauce maison - €15
The choice of desserts is extensive - sweet crepes , ice cream and other options.
At last some drinkable wine at reasonable prices. Pichet 25 cl €3.5 - 50cl €6.
In bottle, reds and whites from €15.50 to €22.
Favorite Dish: "Feed the man meat" - advertising catch cry of purveyors of various cuts of non-vegetables.
In our case, it was "feed the person meat". The ladies too, enjoyed plates of beef and duck.
My pork cheek was very tasty. Madam's rump steak was cooked perfectly to her order.
The Galette de Canard Magret was most impressive.
We started with an aperitif then drank house wine and finished up with chocolate fondue (€8 for shared plate for 2 persons).
The bill came to €88. Bargain. I'll make a detour to visit again when in the area.
Note Australian fans of Channel 9's Travel Show "Getaway" would have seen Catriona, star of the show, eating a galette for lunch at La Voûte at the end of the "Cruise the Saone/Rhone" telecast on Oct 14, 2012. I note the front-of-house lady at La Voûte was not interviewed on the show....she would have out-shone the star!!!