You’ll be picked up from your Avignon hotel for your morning or afternoon tour. Travel by air-conditioned mini-coach through the beautiful Provençal countryside as your guide begins to explain the mysteries of Provence’s ancient Roman history.
Your first stop is the Roman aqueduct on the Eure River, between the cities of Uzès and Nîmes. Dating back to the 1st century BC, the aqueduct was built to supply water to Nîmes, and its most famous stretch is the Pont du Gard, which carried fresh water over splendid arches across the River Gardon. Visit the Pont du Gard to get an up-close look at this UNESCO World Heritage site and learn why and how it was built. An incredible engineering feat, this was the tallest bridge ever built by the Romans, rising 160 feet (49 meters).
Back aboard the mini-coach, continue driving to the city of Nîmes, whose ancient temples, amphitheaters and towers offer an intriguing glimpse into Roman times. Visit the Maison Carrée, one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world built in 16 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who also built the Pantheon in Rome during this period. Discover how the temple survived the fall of the Roman Empire and learn about its uses throughout the centuries.
Head next to the Arena of Nîmes, a Roman amphitheater that was built in the year 70 and remodeled in 1863 to serve as a bullring. Continue to the impressive Tour Magne. Built under the Emperor Augustus in the 1st century BC as part of the fortifications of Nîmes, this is the town’s sole remaining tower from this period. As your guide will explain, the Magne Tower goes beyond Roman times, having played a role in the Hundred Years’ War as a stronghold against the English.
Climb to the top of the tower for a fantastic view of the city and a look at a map of what Roman Nîmes looked like. Then, descend down and re-board the mini-coach for a relaxing drive back to your Avignon hotel.