Avignon Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
From Orange to Avignon is only 25 km, but I did it lentement with a visit to, what must sound as music in the ears of wine lovers, the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Nowadays the "Popes new castle" is not more than a ruins on top of a small hill overlooking the village and the surrounding vinyards. There are many different winehouses and many of the caveaux have there dégustations (mostly free tastings). One of the most famous castles is the Chateau des Fines Roches with an original entrance "gate" and long drive to the house, which you can see at the horizon from the main road. You can spend the night - and a fortune - here, as it is also a multi-star hotel. The village it self is tiny, but has some nice streets and, of course, many wine boutiques.
After stocking some fine bottles of this well-known Cotes-du-Rhone wine I left the village and drove south to nearby Avignon. Here I noticed that the most famous bridge with a song, the Pont Saint-Bénezet, turned out to be half a bridge. So, from now on we only sing half of sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse, on y danse... Center of the city is the Place du Palais with the amazing Palais des Papes. The 7 popes ruling in the 14th century built this grand, fortess-like palace. I joined a tour in the buildings and was rather impressed by this miniature Vatican. Don't miss a visit in this complex!