Spend your time in port exploring historic Avignon and the wineries of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on this full-day private shore excursion from Marseille. Enjoy guided and independent touring through Avignon, a gorgeous medieval town decorated with opulent architecture such as the Pont Saint-Bénézet and Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral. Visiting the famous Popes’ Palace (own expense) before continuing to Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a lesson in Provençal winemaking and a tasting session.
Indulge in an 8-hour shore excursion from Marseille to the gorgeous town of Avignon and the prestigious wine estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Meet your guide at the cruise terminal in Marseille and take a seat for the hour-long drive through Provence’s magical fields of lavender, almond groves and vineyards.
Though Avignon’s history extends back well beyond the sixth century BC, the city is most celebrated as the papal seat during the 14th and 15th centuries, beginning with Pope Clement V in 1309, who incited a flood of money to adorn the ‘City of Popes’ in opulent architecture and art. With your guide, visit Avignon’s fabled Pont Saint-Bénézet, a lovely bridge built more than 900 years ago, and the restored Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral. Enjoy historic anecdotes as you view the town’s medieval fortifications.
Afterwards, take time to explore town on your own. If you choose, tour the interior of the Popes’ Palace (own expense), the world’s largest Gothic palace and a UNESCO-listed site. Learn about the famous – and often infamous – histories of Avignon’s popes, and see the 25 rooms open to the public, including fresco-adorned chapels, the papal apartments and grand ceremonial rooms.
Next, take a short drive to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a lovely town in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region surrounded by expansive wine estates. Admire rolling hills laced with vineyards, learn about the local varietals, and stop at a charming winery to sample two fine wines. Chat with the sommelier and discover characteristics of the area’s unique terroir.
Following your wine tour, relax for the short ride back to your cruise terminal in Marseille, where your shore excursion ends in mid-afternoon.
Very nice tour, the pace was nice and did not feel rushed. Guide was excellent and really knew her stuff. Would recommend this trip instead of the cruise ship ones. They did not get to do as much and see as much.
Tour guide was very good and very knowledgeable about the area and the history. I would recommend, that the Palace of the Popes is included in the walking tour instead of on your own, as it would be helpful to have the guide. My one compliant is with Viator offering the tour on a Sunday as most of the Wineries in Chateauneuf-du-pape were closed, so we ended up doing a wine tasting at 10am. Not an ideal time to start drinking wine.
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