Enjoy a flexible day trip from Marseille to historic Avignon and visit a local wine estate. Your private excursion begins with a guided walking tour of Avignon—the home of papal power in the 14th century—and then you're free to explore on your own. Visit the Popes' Palace (own expense), peruse the Cathedral Notre-Dame des Domes, or stroll across the Point St-Bénezet bridge, inspiration for a famous French children's song. Stop off at the celebrated Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine estate on your return for a sampling of two of their best varietals.
Spend time in the scenic Chateauneuf-du-Pape region
Leave your Marseille hotel by luxury minivan and head inland, passing through picturesque Provencal countryside in the direction of Avignon – just over an hour away. Known as the City of Popes, Avignon was once home to a succession of 14th- and 15th-century French popes who lavished the town with eye-catching architectural gestures.
On a walking tour, see several monuments that date back to these times, like the Point St-Bénezet – the elegant bridge immortalized in the French children’s song Sur le pont d’Avignon – and Cathedral Notre-Dame des Domes. Hear tales of history from your guide and admire the city’s restored medieval ramparts as you wander around the center.
Spend the rest of your time in Avignon exploring independently and visiting any sites you wish. Perhaps visit Popes’ Palace (Palais des Papes) to learn more about the power, prestige and corruption of Avignon’s papal heritage. Entrance to this incredible Gothic palace is at your own expense; once inside you can see more than 20 different rooms, including the pope’s private chambers, and see beautiful frescoes and architecture.
After a break for lunch in town (own expense), leave Avignon by minivan and head to a wine estate in the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. On a tour of the wine estate, learn about the terroir (characteristics of the local environment) that influences the taste and color of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, and then sample two of the best, noting the deep yet well-balanced flavors that make these exquisite red and white wines so prized.
Your tour finishes back at your Marseille hotel in the early evening.