Drive to Avignon and fall in love with this fortified city, famous for its theater festival and remarkable for its history. Passing through any of the seven gates of the superbly preserved walls, one discovers the city of the Popes. You'll have plenty of free time to do whatever you want. Stroll through the enchanting pedestrian shopping area, enjoy lunch at one of its many great restaurants or perhaps visit the impressive Palace of the Popes, built in the 14th century. After time at leisure, drive to Aix en Provence. This was the capital of the Provence region and its attractions are many. First you'll embark on a walking tour of the Cours Mirabeau. This wide avenue is shaded by trees and was built in the 1600s on the site of the city's medieval ramparts. Its verdant tunnel of foliage protects pedestrians from the heat of the Provencal sun. Aristocratic facades of the old hotels line the Cours and their wrought iron balconies and finely carved doorways invite the visitor to explore. The drive back to Marseille lets you enjoy the scenery of Provence.
Note: Tour involves walking for approximately 3 hours on uneven ground and cobblestone, with a few steps in Avignon. Not recommended for guests who are wheelchair confined. Public restrooms are available at both Avignon and Aix.
(4 Reviews) 4
Rating Snapshot(4 reviews)
4 of 4(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
We started our day in Aix en Provence with an early morning walk down Cours Mirabeau. The tree lined street with small cafes reminded us of walking down the Champs Elysees in Paris (on a small scale). After a walking tour of the city, we had ample time to shop at the street markets and shops for lavender soaps and sachets and French pastries. Then, it was on to the walled city of Avignon. We explored the shop-lined streets and viewed the Palace of the Popes from the outside (there was ample time if you wanted to tour the palace on your own). There were a lot of small restaurants in the city square and long the streets for a quick bite to eat. After lunch, there was still time to do some shopping and exploring the city before leaving through one of the gates in the city wall for our trip back to the ship.
This was the only port I had not booked an excursion in advance because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. We enjoyed Avignon but liked Aix En Provence much better. We had plenty of shopping and dining time. It was so beautiful. Make sure you shop in Aix En Provence because there is much more than in Avignon, It was one of the most laid back tours we had all week. We did not feel rushed at all which was kinda nice for the last day of the cruise.
Provence is such a beautiful region and this excursion really maximizes the time in port and brings you to two wonderful towns in the area. The Western Mediterranean cruise on Epic docks at Marseille on Saturday which is a great day to see the market in Aix (produce, flowers, fabric). During my excursion, I saw more shops for souvenirs (lavender, soap, herbs) in Avigon (visited 1st) than Aix. I made my mistake for not buying them in Avigon thinking Aix might have more and better options which turned out to be not true. Once I got in Aix, I came across mostly clothing and accessory stores on my route. I understand that is probably due to the route I took and shouldn't be generalized. But both towns offer equally high quality merchandises so comparison shopping is really not that necessary. My suggestion is when you see something adorable, just get it. Anything is better than the feeling of "should have" "could have" when you get back home.
This tour hit two places that we wanted to see and that was good, but the guided portion of the tour was not extensive. This was not a huge surprise, since the tour description indicated as much. Still, the tour of Avignon didn't include the Papal Palace, which would have been nice. Some say that the inside of the palace is empty and non so impressive. I can see why free time was the order of the day. Both cities are interesting and deserve a visit. Aix is a great place for ambiance, since it lacks many historical wow places.