France is certainly one of my favorite nations on the earth to go to. There’s an limitless variety of experiences for actually each space of curiosity; from its various nature to vibrant cities, wealthy cultural heritage, historic monuments and fabulous delicacies, to call a number of. I not too long ago joined a France river cruise and I need to say, it was a beautiful expertise exploring part of France from the comforts of a floating resort! I sailed with Avalon Waterways on their Lively & Discovery Rhône River cruise from Lyon to Marseille. The big variety of excursions and relaxed tempo allowed me to really recognize the nice range of France.
I sailed with Avalon on a Danube river cruise a number of years in the past and I used to be very impressed by the number of excursions. There was fairly actually one thing for everybody. This time round was no totally different. The cruise positively lived as much as its ‘Lively & Discovery’ billing!
There have been mountaineering, kayaking and biking excursions in addition to immersive meals and tradition experiences. As well as, company have been free to make use of the ship’s bicycles at any cease. There was ample time to exit and discover by myself, one of many features of this France river cruise I appreciated most. These have been a few of my favorite excursions:
The meals and hidden passageways of Lyon
This beautiful strolling tour of Lyon highlighted its wonderful meals merchandise in addition to the traboules, secret passageways within the historic metropolis centre.
Our information, an area girl, took us by means of a maze of lined passageways which have been created way back to the 4th century. Alongside the way in which, she entertained us with a pleasant mixture of historic details, anecdotes and hilarious tales. As well as, we visited a number of deli’s to style among the metropolis’s well-known cheeses, patés and sausages.
A style of Beaujolais
This tour to the Beaujolais area north of Lyon was one other spotlight of the cruise. Alongside the way in which, we bought to benefit from the stunning hilly landscapes and medieval villages. We stopped at a household vineyard, the place we have been welcomed by the (sixteenth era!) proprietor.
He proceeded to inform us the historical past of Beaujolais wines earlier than guiding us by means of a step-by-step tasting of his scrumptious wines.
After the go to, we continued to Oingt, a beautiful hilltop medieval city. I liked the quaint streets and beautiful panoramic views throughout our stroll across the city.
Learn extra about my experiences on this Avalon Rhône River cruise.
Our hike within the Ardeche Gorge was one other spotlight. Usually known as the ‘European Grand Canyon’, this 30 kilometer lengthy canyon is known for its Pont d’Arc (pure arch) in addition to the Chauvet Cave, the place among the best-preserved prehistoric cave work on the earth have been found.
Visitors may select between the easy- or advanced-level hike, or a kayaking journey, all of which supplied wonderful views of Pont d’Arc and the cliffs.
Strolling tour of Avignon
I’d been to Avignon earlier than however this strolling tour offered new insights to the town and its wealthy historical past. The previous seat of the Popes, Avignon is a stupendous city with formidable medieval partitions, spectacular palaces and charming streets. The spotlight of the tour was our go to to the Popes’ Palace, the residence of the Popes within the 14th century. Learn extra about issues to see in Avignon.
The tour ended at Avignon’s Les Halles meals market, which was a fully mouthwatering expertise!
I left the group and spent some free time people-watching at a café. I then continued by exploring the maze of energetic, vibrant streets and located a restaurant in somewhat sq., the place I loved a elegant lunch.
This little city close to Avignon is house to one of the vital well-known wines on the earth. The tour included an informative and entertaining wine-tasting on the Bouachon vineyard, adopted by ample free time to discover the city, with its picturesque streets, numerous wine shops and imposing citadel ruins. I ended my stroll with one other glass of native wine at a café. Learn extra about issues to do in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Hike within the Alpilles and Carrières de Lumières
This tour from Arles, a mixture of nature and tradition experiences, was completely unforgettable! As we hiked up the hilly Alpilles, with their thick pine forests and towering limestone outcrops, the beautiful views slowly unfolded. Alongside the way in which, I repeatedly caught the scents of rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender.
The spotlight of the hike was a lookout level with panoramic views of Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the vital stunning villages in France. This medieval village is perched precariously on a hillside and is topped by the ruins of a citadel.
The 1.5 hour hike ended on the entrance to the Carrières de Lumières, a multimedia present inside an outdated stone quarry. This spectacular present featured the works of Kandinsky and Cezanne. Learn extra about my expertise at Carrières de Lumières.
On the way in which again from Les Baux-de-Provence, I requested the bus driver to drop me off in Arles. I spent the entire afternoon wandering round Arles, stopping for lunch at a beautiful café and absorbing the ambiance of the city’s quaint streets. Well-known for its Roman amphitheatre, Van Gogh heritage and charming lanes, Arles was a pleasure to discover!
Oyster tasting within the Camargue
This was one other spotlight of my France river cruise! From our closing docking place, Port St. Louis, we went on a drive across the lagoons of the Camargue the place we noticed many flamingos. We stopped at a family-owned oyster farm the place the son guided us by means of the method of oyster farming.
Their ardour for oysters was infectious and I appreciated their give attention to high quality and sustainable oyster farming. On the finish of the tour, we have been invited to style their oysters together with a glass of native wine. That turned out to be an unforgettable expertise as these have been among the greatest oysters I’ve ever had!
Why I liked the Avalon itinerary
This Avalon Lively & Discovery river cruise in France was completely fantastic! Apart from the staterooms with panoramic home windows and nice service onboard, the factor that I discovered most spectacular was the sheer quantity, selection and high quality of the excursions.
Once I acquired my itinerary, I had a tough time selecting. Excursions corresponding to studying to color like Van Gogh in Provence, making chocolate on the world-famous Valrhona chocolatier, bike-and-wine excursions and a ‘ghost stroll’ within the medieval village of Viviers sounded so attractive! Alas, I had to decide on and I loved every certainly one of them!
Through the excursions, the teams have been all the time small (±15 folks), the guides have been glorious and there was ample time to exit and discover by myself.
I additionally recognize the truth that Avalon Waterways typically chooses to work with smaller, native operators or family-owned institutions which give an genuine expertise. I had a terrific time and I can wholeheartedly suggest this Avalon Rhône River cruise!
Observe: this publish is a results of the #AvalonAD venture, a collaboration between iambassador and Avalon Waterways. Nevertheless, all views expressed above are mine, and mine solely.