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Avignon

Famed for hosting the largest arts festival in France each year, the sleepy, walled town of Avignon draws thousands of visitors in the summer months to explore its many theatres, boutiques and restaurants. But the year-round attraction of the quiet city is its cobbled streets and leafy squares, all centred around the Gothic fortress called the Palais des Papes, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The city is home to the Pont Saint-Bénézet, nostalgically known as the inspiration behind the song Sous le pont d’Avignon, and to a lively indoor market called Les Halles where you can buy artisanal food from a range of different stalls. On sunny days, make a trip to see the spectacular views from the Rocher des Doms, or see the city from the perspective of a cruise on the Rhône river. If you’re staying for a long time, make the most of the city’s excellent transport system and visit some of the charming neighbouring towns and cities, like Nîmes, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Orange.

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