trains between Ebbsfleet International and Avignon run during the summer, making it popular for tourists as the best time to book tickets is for June or July due to the Mediterranean climate- the route passes through Lille and Paris. Average journey times are between 5 hours 44 minutes and 7 hours 1 minute depending on the time of day.
Trains between Ebbsfleet and Avignon usually run around 12 times a week, but the train due to arrive at 22:07 also runs on Saturday 19th, 26th December 2009 and 2nd January 2010.
Avignon, or Altera Roma (City of the Popes) offers a variety of natural wonders which make it particularly attractive. The most famous sites are close to the town, which retains the mark of the Popes’ stay there.
It was for a while the capital of the Medieval world and is today the capital of the Vaucluse department and a prestigious cultural capital with its world-renowned Theatre Festival. There is also a good farmer’s market and wine trade in the area.
Points of Interest
The Saint-Bénézet Bridge
According to legend, a young shepherd heard a voice commanding him to build a bridge over the Rhône, and was guided by angels to Avignon where the townspeople refused to believe his story until he carried an enormous stone over to the river. Construction of the bridge was started in 1177 and completed in 1185. It is 920 metres long, 4 metres wide with 22 arches, and is called the “marvel of time” because it has threatened to collapse so often.
Place de l’Horloge and Place Pie
The nightlife areas of Avignon. There are many bars and nightclubs, as well as live music venues such as the AJMI Jazz club (Association for Impovisational Jazz Music).
The Nîmes Arena is the best preserved example of a Roman amphitheatre. It was built under the reign of Emperor Augustus in the 1st century A.D. An audio-guided tour is available with information in the gladiators’ section on the games. The Maison Carrée is the only completely preserved Roman temple in the world which now shows 3D films on a giant screen inside and the Magne Tower gives a stunning view over the city of Nîmes. Children are encourage to take part in the history of the Arena through the Cultural Treasure Hunt.
Palais des Papes
This Papal Residence is a key attraction for visitors interested in religion and art, but also has magnificent architecture. The Palace of the Popes was built due to the removal of the Curia from Rome to Avignon under the reign of Clement V, and has been expanded with each papal visit. Parts of the residence to view include:
Facade of the Palais Nouveau
Interior frescoes and sculptures
The Chapelle St-Martial
The former Banqueting Hall (Grand Tinel or Magnum Tinellum)
The Robing Chamber, the ante-room to the Papal Bedchamber
The Cloister of Benedict XII
The Consistoire (Consistory)
The Great Audience Chamber
The Historic Centre a UNESCO World Heritage site
The Rocher des Doms formal gardens
Provence Day Trips showing tourists the best of Avignon and the region
Wine safaris and wine tours to Chateauneuf du Pape
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