Room at the Top of the Popes’ Palace

Coming soon to Avignon, France

One of our favourite cities in France is Avignon. When we joined a virtual tour of the Palace of the Popes presented by Explore France, we found the perfect reason to return.

Front entrance to th
Front entrance to the Palace of the Popes

A room to rent soon available at the top

The room is the brainchild of Avignon’s tourist bureau. In collaboration with the one- minute walk away 5-star hotel, La Mirande, the room is exclusive and exceptional. The décor is in the spirit of the 18th century.

Model of the complete Palace
Model of the complete Palace

One room only with culinary delights

It will be the only room with a view for rent in the Palais des Papes.

The virtual tour showed off the room’s ambiance and promoted its additional culinary delights. The latter included a gourmet picnic basket prepared by the Michelin-starred La Mirande chefs.

The basket featured local organic foods like truffles, cheeses, chocolate treats, and of course, a Côtes du Rhône wine.

Hors d'oeuvres from La Mirande
Hors d’oeuvres from La Mirande

Availability

This one-of-a-kind room is expected to be available to rent in the Spring of 2022.

View from the top

One can imagine waking up on the palace rooftop to a beautiful view of Avignon. At first, you will see the 4.3 km stone wall that has surrounded the historical centre of the city since mediaeval times.

Then your eye will catch 13 different Chapels, the Bell Tower, and the famous Bridge of Avignon. The bridge is renowned through the children’s rhyme, Sur Le Pont, D’Avignon, L’on y danse, L’on y danse….

Pont D'Avignon
Pont D’Avignon

The Popes’ Palace

The Popes’ Palace is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Once a fortress as well as a palace, the papal residence was the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century.

It was a rare move for Pope Clement V to locate in Avignon, leaving Rome. But political considerations, civil unrest and fear for personal safety drove the change in location. Eight successive popes continued the papacy in Avignon.

A tour of the palace helps visitors appreciate and understand the magnitude of life among the popes of that period.

Courtyard inside the Palace
Courtyard inside the Palace

Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine is divine nectar that is internationally renowned. Its origins go back to the Popes in Avignon, specifically Pope John XXII in 1316.

The new pontiff, who came from an upper-class family in Cahors, southern France, settled permanently in the Palace of the Popes.

However, he chose to go 20 km north of Avignon, to establish the popes’ new summer residence, Châteauneuf du Pape.

Since winemakers from his hometown were part of his pontifical court, the new Pope ordered the planting of the first papal vineyard here.

And this is where and how the now-famous vineyards began producing the finest wines in the world.

Ruins of the summer residence of the Popes – Chateauneuf du Pape (literally new palace of the Popes)
A bottle of the famous wine of the region.

Keep the room at the top on the top of your rooming list!

Map of France

Paris south to Avignon by high speed train (TGV – Train a Grande Vitesse) took us about 3.5 hrs with one stop in Lyon.

Sights and Sounds of Avignon

Sights of Avignon
Sur le pont D’Avignon….

How to get to Avignon

Air France flies to Paris (CDG airport) from many major cities in the world. Most major airlines also have flights to Paris. From Paris take a high speed train

The train from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Avignon TGV usually takes 4 hours 19 minutes on average to travel 367 miles (590 km), although the quickest services can take as little as 2 hours 41 minutes. You can expect to find 14 trains per day running on this popular route. Good news! There are direct trains available to Avignon TGV, so you can just make yourself comfortable as soon as you board the train and just enjoy the journey. Cost ~$20 to over $100 CAD, one way. Upon arrival in Avignon take a taxi to the centre of town.

Where to stay in Avignon

We found a small apartment through Airbnb just outside the ancient wall of the old city and near the domestic train station. Easy walking distance to everywhere in the old city.

A list of hotels in Avignon can be found here.

In the back of the apartment there is a shared terrasse complete with gas grill.

Next time we may try the Hotel La Mirande, a 5 star hotel steps from the Palace of the Popes. The restaurant has a Michelin star. This hotel will manage the new room in the Palace of the Popes. The rooms are pricey but elegant. Service superb. Booking information for the room in the Palace is through Avignon Turisme in Spring 2022.

Where to eat in Avignon

Our favorite restaurant in Avignon is Le Petit Chaudron. It is small and chef owned. Food and service were excellent. The chef actually served us. It was a quiet night and at our request he prepared an outstanding saboyan dessert. It is at 4 Av. de la Foire, a few streets outside the historic walls.

Visa for France

All the information for visas is here

Travelled: Last there in November, 2018

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