11 of the Best Day Trips from Avignon, France

by Sam
11 of The Best Day Trips From Avignon, France Featured Image

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Situated next to the Provence region and other major areas in France, Avignon is a perfect base from which to explore elsewhere on a day trip.

That isn’t to say it isn’t worth exploring itself. When I visited, there was so much to conjure up a fun-packed adventure in Avignon.

From the architectural masterpiece of the Palace of the Popes to the serenity of Jardin des Doms, it is one of those cities that offers so much beauty that can be explored in little time, leaving room in your schedule for exploration elsewhere.

Where might you explore? 

Maybe you want to see France’s most beautiful villages and towns, go on an exclusive wine tour, gaze upon UNESCO monuments, indulge in the Provençal cuisine or walk along the lavender fields of Provence; all these can be possible in just a short car, bus or train ride from Avignon.

That said, this guide will narrow down the best day trips from Avignon and include recommendations, transportation options, and tips for when you’re there.

Here are the top 11 best day trips from Avignon.

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Best day trips from Avignon

1. Nimes

For an unforgettable day trip from Avignon, the city of Nîmes is the place to go for a thrilling day full of activities and sights. 

While you walk around Nîmes, you must explore the city’s Roman heritage!

Built in 100 AD, Nîmes Arena hosted various Gladiator combats, and visitors can take an immersive audioguide tour through its history during the Roman era.

In addition to the arena, Maison Carrée is also one of the few Roman monuments in the city. It was built in honour of Augustus Caesar’s heirs, Gaius and Lucius, and has a majestic exterior that is perfect for photo grabbing.

Outside the Arena of Nîmes on a day trip from Avignon
Outside the Maison carrée in Nîmes on a day trip from Avignon

If you’re hungry in Nimes, don’t worry; great food isn’t difficult to find. With its close ties to Italy, you won’t have to travel far for a hearty bolognese or carbonara. 

The famous food market Les Halles de Nîmes is also a great place to get some lovely fresh food. Grab a takeaway lunch and then head over to Jardin de La Fontaine, Nîmes’s best-kept secret and next Roman monument.

When you enter the park, you’ll greeted by spring water fountains, small ponds, and botanical gardens, all creating a peaceful, serene environment from the city’s busier parts.

Once you’ve finished your lunch, continue exploring the park; you won’t regret it one bit!

overlooking the part in Nimes - Jardin de La Fontaine with its roman architecture and greenery

Getting from Avignon to Nîmes

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Nîmes on a day trip;

By train (recommended option) : Get a train from Avignon TGV or Centre towards Nîmes Centre Station. It takes a maximum of 25 minutes each way.

By tour: Visiting just Nîmes on a tour isn’t possible. However there is a Pont du Gard, Uzès & Nîmes: Half-Day Tour. This tour explores the Roman side of France in more detail.

2. Marseille 

Marseille, France’s second biggest city, is best known for its rich culture and port side features. It is perhaps a little different on the agenda of your typical French countryside escape from Avignon, but one that can’t be missed.

Marseille is a beast of its own and is best explored on a 48-hour trip. However, the city’s highlights can easily explored in a day if you plan efficiently. 

For your day trip from Avignon, I highly recommend starting your day by exploring the Vieux Port. This is where the city comes alive, with restaurants, bars, entertainment, you name it. 

Marseilles Port with many boats lying on the ports waters

Then, be sure to prioritise visiting the Basilica of Notre Dame for a panoramic view of the city. You can reach it by a relatively steep 30-minute hike or get the number 60 or 49 bus from Vieux Port. 

One of the standouts about Marseille is that those on a budget can explore some of the main attractions for free, like Marseille Cathedral and Palais Longchamp. 

However, if you are willing to reach into your pocket, Mucem and Château d’If are brilliant choices for history and cultural activities.

Getting from Avignon to Marseille

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Marseille on a day trip;

By train: It takes 40 minutes by train, but you will have to wait 20-30 minutes for the transfer if you are travelling from Avignon centre instead of TGV. 

By car: It takes 1 hour and 10 minutes by car and parking is everywhere around the city. This is most recommended if flexibility is your preference. 

3. Pont du Gard

Without a doubt, Pont du Gard is one of the most impressive landmarks in France and is a must-visit from Avignon. 

Built by the Romans in the 1st century, this UNESCO site was significant. It was originally built to carry water across the bridge to walk over and away for 50km, all the way to Nimes. 

Thank goodness for Uber!  

Picture of Pont du Gard with its waters

During your visit, you can only access the bottom level of the bridge, which can be accessed after a short walk from the site entrance.

You will need to pay to enter the museum on-site; however, walking on the first level is free.

The museum provides a great immersive experience, teaching you all the fascinating facts about how the bridge came to fruition. 

If you are feeling  a little adventurous, the Gordon River that runs through it is free to swim in. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and ride up to the bridge across the Gordon River for a closer look.  

Getting from Avignon to Pont du Gard

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Pont du Gard on a day trip;

By bus: Take the number #115 from Avignon and get off at the Rond-Point du Pont du Gard. The journey takes around 37 minutes. You can view the current bus schedules here

From the bus stop, it is then a 10-minute walk to the site entrance. 

By car: This is perhaps the most convenient travel option as you don’t adhere to the strict bus schedule. It takes over 26 minutes to drive there as it avoids bus routes.

The closest parking to Pont du Gard is Parking Rive Gauche, which costs €9 for the day. 

4. Arles

Arles is the most accessible place on the list to visit on a day trip from Avignon, with just a quick 15-minute train away.

But that’s just the icing on the cake; Arles is an absolute gem of a city.

Like its neighbour Nimes, it too is of Roman significance, with much of its history and Roman heritage still intact from centuries ago.

This can be seen through ruins like Theatre Antique, Constantine Baths and its most famous, Arles Amphitheatre, which hosted gladiator battles to a large audience of 21000 people.

Discount passes are available for those wanting to see Arles’s monuments together.

View of the Roman Amphitheatre inside of Arles

From its quaint surroundings, narrow streets, and charming cafes, it is no surprise that famous artist Vincent Van Gogh used Arles as a canvas for his work. His notable worksStarry Night Over the Rhone” and “Cafe Terrace at Night” were all inspired by his surroundings.

Inspired by Van Gogh, Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry also designed the LUMA Arles, Arles’s new contemporary art centre.

You can instantly see the inspiration from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” from its exterior. 

Getting from Avignon to Arles

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Arles on a day trip;

By train: It is only a quick 15-minute train ride from Avignon. Then, you need to walk 10 minutes from the station to the main centre of Arles.

By tour: If you’re interested in the history behind Van Gogh’s time in Arles, plenty of guided tours from Avignon take you through his imagination and footsteps. 

5. Aix-en-Provence

Situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, this little city is a true gem and a brilliant place to visit from Avignon for a day trip. 

The history of Aix-en-Provence dates back to as early as 123 BC when it was once a Roman settlement.

Some of its old Roman features can be seen in the spa Thermes Sextius, the old location of the city’s Roman Baths.  

The roman ruins of what was once a roman bath in Aix-en-Provence

One of the must-do activities in Aix-En-Provence is to walk along the long 440m strip of Cours Mirabeau.

You’ll treated the most vibrant part of city, adorned by Fontaine de la Rotonde, a large fountain with sculptures of lions and mythical creatures laid right next to its structure.

The famous thoroughfare opens its huge market on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with just about anything, from delicious foods to intricate art. This is where I found myself nipping away at some French cheese – I’m a typical tourist, I know! 

They also have a gourmet food tour around Aix-en-Provence for those foodies out there – If you want great food, there is no better way to find it. 

Getting from Avignon to Aix-en-Provence

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Aix-en-Provence on a day trip;

By train and bus: Unfortunately, Aix-en-Provence is really awkward to get to from Avignon and requires every form of public transport under the sun. 

The most recommended route is to get the train from Avignon TGV to Aix-En-Provence Tgv. Then catch the bus from Gare Aix Tgv and get off at the Gare Routière Quai 11 bus stop. This journey is around 50 minutes, but expect some delays during transfers.  

Once you arrive at the bus stop, you will need to walk 5-7 minutes to reach the Fontaine de la Rotonde. 

By car: Renting a car is the best option for getting here. It only takes 1 hour to arrive from Avignon. 

6. Cassis and the Calanques National Park

Cassis is a beautiful coastal town just outside the city of Marseille that sits next to the setting of Calanques National Park, a collection of picturesque limestone cliffs with crystal clear waters at its base. 

I recommend starting the morning in Cassis and walking along the promenade next to the fishing port for your day trip. 

Then, head around the narrow streets, which are typically Provence-esque, all decorated with beautiful flowers. 

The pretty village of Cassis adorned in lovely flowers
The pretty village of Cassis adorned in lovely flowers

For food choices, Monsieur Brun is a brilliant place to pick up breakfast. It’s the cheapest I found on the promenade and has clear views of the harbour. 

Once you’re done with breakfast, it is time to head to Calanque de Port-Miou, which is a 25-minute walk away from the port. The Calanque I recommend visiting is Calanque d’En-Vau, a 4km hike from Port-Miou (4-hour return)

Yes, that does sound unbearable, but don’t worry – there are stops along the way, like Calanque de Port Pin, a stunning beach area and a true gem in itself. I wouldn’t blame you if you just stopped there. 

Calanques National Park
On you're way to Calanque d’En-Vau, you'll get so many picturesque views like this. 

Getting from Avignon to Cassis

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Cassis on a day trip;

By car: This is by far the best option as public transport is scarce from Avignon to Cassis. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. 


If you don’t mind the extra public transport commuting, there are tours from Marseille with drop-offs to the Calanques National Park. Opt for one that explores Cassis if you want to visit both. 

7. Uzès

Uzès is a beautiful little medieval town on the doorstep of Eure Valley. Its beauty lies in its old aesthetic and surroundings, with cobbled stone flooring and well-preserved buildings. 

For a culture stop, come on a Saturday and walk along the Place aux Herbes. This is where and when they host their local market, selling anything from linen to fresh cheese.

But don’t stop there. Spend the day exploring the town and walking through its narrow streets. It has some architectural masterpieces, including The Tour Fenestrelle, which will leave you wondering, “Doesn’t that look familiar?”

The Tour Fenestrelle in uzes, a high tower
It's almost too uncanny how similar it looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

If, like me, you love a good view, I also recommend going to the top of the Uzès Tower. It offers the best view of the town alongside the landscapes of Eure Valley.

Top tip

Uzès is right next to Pont du Gard! I recommend visiting here as a stop-off and combining the two for a day trip.

Getting From Avignon to Uzès

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Uzès on a day trip;

By bus:  To get to Uzès by bus, catch the #115 bus from the Avignon bus station towards Alès and get off at Uzès. The Pont du Gard bus stop is on the way, so if you plan to visit both together, hop on from the same stop after your time there.

Check out the latest schedule here, listed under Gard > Ligne (Line) 115

By tour: The Uzes, Pont Du Gard and Nimes tour is a convenient way of travelling to Uzès, placing you in the company of an experienced tour guide to show you around the three famous places.

The only downside to a guided tour is the limited time frame for exploring Uzès. I believe it is best enjoyed on its own half-day or day trip.

8. Châteauneuf-du-Pape

For a deep dive into France’s rich and expansive history in wine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape should be on the top of your list for a day trip from Avignon.

The village is dominated by its mass production of wine, with over 8,000 acres of vineyards. The best thing is that you can try all of them. I recommend a guided wine tour from Avignon to do this!

If you’re a fan of red wine and Grenache, then you’re in luck. Grenache dominates the area’s collection. However, there are many more reds to choose from, including Cinsault and Muscardin, and a few white wines to taste.

Fun Fact

There are over 200 wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This makes it almost one winery per 10 people, with the village’s small population of 2200 people. 

Although it’s renowned for wine, there are other things to see and do on a day trip. Its most famous monument, the Castle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, sits on top of the village almost like a crown and is 100% worth visiting.

Stairs leading to Castle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a 14th century ruins in France

The castle was built in the 14th century for Pope John XXII, who lived in Avignon at the time.

Visitors can walk up to the village ruins or drive around the back and park up. You’ll be treated to some of the finest views of Rhône Valley and its long stretch of vineyards when you are there. 

Getting from Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape on a day trip;

By car: The easiest way to get there is by car. It is only a 20-25 minute journey from Avignon.

By tour/bus: Again, I recommend the wine tour, especially if you’re not driving, as public transport is scarce.

You can get the #9201 bus line from Avignon, but it only runs once a day at 5:15 pm most days and isn’t fully functional for a day trip.

9. Villages of Luberon Valley

For a day trip from Avignon, visiting the villages of Luberon Valley is a definite must. Set in the heart of Provence, Luberon reflects all the qualities that spring to mind when you think of the Provence region.

Charming clifftop villages, beautiful lavender fields, long landscapes of vineyards, everything you can think of, Luberon Valley has it.

To avoid overwhelming yourself with so much, I recommend only visiting a few villages, as there are over 30+ for you to choose from. Gordes, Roussillon, and Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt are the choices I recommend!  

The stone houses of Gordes perched on top of a hill
The pastel coloured home of Roussillon in France

Gordes is known for its most beautiful views, Roussillon has a gorgeous hike in the Ochre Trail, and Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt has a cosy feel with far fewer tourists than the other two. They are perfect for an all-around adventure. 

However, Luberon Valley is unique, so opinions will differ on what looks aesthetically pleasing. I recommend just picking a few and going on the ultimate road trip! 

Getting from Avignon to the villages of Luberon Valley

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Luberon Valley on a day trip;

By car: Ideally, you need to rent a car to get around the villages. Otherwise, you will find yourself spending an awful amount of time commuting. 

By tour (Most recommended): I highly recommend booking a tour from Avignon. You’ll explore some of the most popular villages like Gordes and Roussillon. 

10. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Located just 12 miles south of Avignon is Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a beautiful little town set in the heart of the Alpilles.

It is everything a little Provencal town should be: Charming aesthetic, narrow streets, beautifully crafted fountains and quaint cafes and establishments.

Make sure to come on a Wednesday morning, when the main market takes over the town centre. The vendors sell anything you need for a souvenir shop and, of course..some CHEESE!

The market stalls in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence full of linen.

Like Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence’s history includes ties to famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, who spent one year in the Saint-Paul Asylum

Throughout his stay, he used the inspiration from his surroundings and memories to create a massive collection of 150 paintings, including the famous “Starry Night. ” 

The paintings include many of the former monastery/asylum, where Van Gogh’s works are heavily celebrated.

Visitors can explore the building and see the bedroom he used for his studio. His works are hung on the walls throughout the building like a little art show. Even if you’re not a Van Gogh fan, I always recommend visiting –  the whole experience is fascinating. 

Getting from Avignon to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on a day trip;

By car: Renting a car is the best option as it only takes less than 30 minutes to get from Avignon to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence by car. 

By tour: Guided tours are available for a combined experience of activities, including the Pont du Gard, Saint-Remy, and the addition of Les Baux. 

11. Les Baux-de-Provence

Frequently voted one of the most beautiful villages in France, this medieval retreat is set right atop the Alpilles mountains and is a perfect place to visit on a day trip from Avignon.

The village’s history is said to have reached 6000 BC, which the Celts used as a fort. 

Even today, when you walk around, you get the vibe as if it was left there centuries ago. There are old stone houses and medieval aesthetics; everything feels natural and has been left untouched. 

The stone cobbled alleyways in Les Baux-de-Provence
The old stone houses in Les Baux-de-Provence

At the top of the village, is also the main castle The ruins of Castillo de los Baux. This was once the villages main stronghold until it unfortunately got destroyed in the early 17th century.

The museum inside is a fascinating dive into the castle’s medieval history and showcases one of France’s few functioning Siege engines. Plus, at the top, you get a wide panoramic shot across miles of the Provence landscapes, which is stunning.

Carrières des Lumières is also a must-visit while you’re there. It has a fantastic indoor illuminated light display that projects light onto limestone walls, displaying anything from famous contemporary art to Tintin’s storiesI couldn’t recommend it highly enough!

Getting from Avignon to Les Baux-de-Provence

These are the most recommended travel options to get from Avignon to Les Baux-de-Provence on a day trip;

By car: Travelling to Les Baux-de-Provence by car is the best option and takes 40 minutes.

By tour: You can combine guided tours to Les Baux-de-Provence with other areas within Provence, but this will depend on your circumstances and be best chosen by you to suit your preferences.


With only a 20-minute separating Les Baux-de-Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, I recommend combining the two for a day trip from Avignon. 

Final thoughts

And there you have it! All you need for a jam-packed itinerary away from Avignon. 

From exploring the Roman ruins of Nimes to hiking along the Ochre Trail in Roussillon, your trip to the South of France will be one of awe and intrigue, leaving you with a difficult question:

” Should we come back next week?”

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