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River Cruising through Provence, France

25th July 2013

Whether you are a food connoisseur, a scenery lover or an eager historian, a river cruise through the beautiful countryside of France is sure to please. Avalon Waterways takes guests on a cruising adventure through the Provence region of France on the scenic Rhone and Saone Rivers, completing the tour in the romantic city of Paris. From admiring ancient Roman ruins to appreciating pristine scenery and stunning coastal views, Avalon’s Burgundy and Provence cruise presents France at its finest.

Here are our top five destinations to enjoy on Avalon Waterway’s Burgundy and Provence Cruise.

French Riviera Nice, Côte D' Azur

Côte D’Azur
Often referred to as the French Riviera, Côte D’Azur encompasses the Mediterranean coastline of southeast France. Famous for its endless beauty, this region has gorgeous harbours filled with yachts and quaint hillside villas lining the coast. Venture up Castle Hill in the city Nice, for breathtaking views out to sea and across Vieille Ville, otherwise known as Old Town. Avid art collectors can head to St-Paul-de-Vence, a small village famous for its collection of paintings by Picasso, Rouault and Matisse or spend time wandering the cobblestone streets of the hilltop villages Peillon or Peille.

As the third largest city in France, Lyon has established itself as a historical and gastronomical city. The streets and unique traboules of Lyon must be explored and the city’s fascinating architecture admired. Cathédrale Saint Jean-Baptiste is a magnificent sight with its astronomical clock originally built in the 14th century. Enjoy a sumptuous French meal at Rue de Boeuf, a popular street home to an array of high quality restaurants and cafes. Presqu'ile is the place to go for shopping and entertainment, while this city is also home to a number of museums, galleries and gardens that are worth exploring.

Situated on the left bank of the Rhone River, this historic French commune is often nicknamed the City of Popes. Take the time to visit the Palais des Papes, built in the 14th century and believed to be the largest gothic fortress in the world. Visit the lovely gardens of Rocher des Doms set over the stunning Rhone Valley and surrounding countryside with fantastic views of the famous bridge Pont Saint-Bénezet, also known as Pont d’Avignon.

The town of Arles is steeped in history with impressive ancient Roman ruins. In the main square, Place de la République, you’ll find the ornate town hall and the beautiful St Trophime Church complete with fascinating artworks and Romanesque sculpture. Roam the ancient Roman Arena still in use today and learn of life in Provence at the Museon Arlaten. Arles is proud of its connection to Vincent Van Gogh and as such you can take an intriguing tour of his old haunts. There are also plenty of museums and galleries to visit.

Sail along the Seine River and finish your river cruise with a spectacular ending in the City of Love. Paris, the capital of France, is the country’s largest city boasting a bounty of attractions. The most famous includes the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a baguette or macaroon on Champs-Élysées, visit Disneyland Paris or hop onboard the Roue de Paris for breathtaking city views.