WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Pont du Gard and Avignon

Group Photo at Pont du Gard

Group Photo at Pont du Gard

WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Pont du Gard and Avignon

Day 10 – Pont du Gard
Hooray, the day’s weather was sunny, dry and felt like summer. So our 7 a.m. wake-up call wasn’t too bad and we were able to enjoy breakfast on the hotel patio before our 8:45 a.m. departure. The first stop of the day was to take a group photo at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Pont du Gard in Provence. During the 40-minute drive, Vic continued to amaze us with his vast knowledge of Provence, Languedoc and olives.

Pont du Gard Aquaduct is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Pont du Gard Aqueduct is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

By 9:25 a.m. we made a 30-minute stop at Pont du Gard – just enough time to walk from the parking lot to a viewpoint to take a group photo and return to the coach.

Pont du Gard Fun Facts:

  • Is an aqueduct bridge built by the Romans in ancient times
  • Was built to allow the aqueduct of Nimes to cross the Gard River
  • Is one of France’s top five tourist attractions
  • Is both a technical and artistic masterpiece
  • Is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites
  • Your visit should also include the museum and visitor center at the site

    Palace of Popes in Avignon

    Palace of Popes in Avignon

Avignon:
Situated along the Rhone River and home to the Papal Palace, the nearby city of Avignon was our next stop. When we arrived, Vic gave us a 20-minute guided walking tour into the old town center. Then we had an hour of free time before continuing the drive towards Monte Carlo. Although there are numerous museums in the city, our limited time just wasn’t enough to visit any of them (this is a destination that warrants at least a half day to spend exploring).

Pont d'Avignon

Pont d’Avignon

Avignon Fun Facts:

  • Is in Provence in southern France
  • Is often called “The City of Popes”
  • Was the seat of the Catholic Papacy from March 9, 1309 to January 13, 1377
  • The palace, built by the popes, is the largest Gothic edifice in the world
  • Is known for its theatrical performances and hosts an annual Theater Festival
  • Can be very windy when the mistral blows

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Pont du Gard and Avignon

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Pont du Gard and Avignon

Our afternoon was broken up by a 45-minute lunch break at a highway service stop. This was a good break to the trip that took from noon to 4:30 p.m.

As we continued our drive towards Monaco, Vic gave us more local history and information. The scenery along this route was much more interesting than it had been in the last few days of highway driving.

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guestroom

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guestroom

Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel:
Our tour itinerary was originally scheduled so that we would spend the night along the Cote du Azore in Nice; and while Nice is nice, Monte Carlo is better. So an unexpected hotel change to the 4-star Fairmont Monte Carlo (located next door to the famous Monte Carlo Casino) was an unexpected and welcome bonus.

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guest Bathroom

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guest Bathroom

Arriving at the Fairmont Monte Carlo by 4:30 p.m. our group was escorted to a small conference room where we enjoyed a complimentary Kir while hotel staff checked us in – we were required to fill out a registration card and provide credit card information. This was the first time we had to register ourselves – typically the keys were waiting for us and Vic would hand them out (different rules in Monaco?).

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guestroom Patio

Fairmont Monte Carlo Guestroom Patio

Unfortunately, the guestroom we were originally assigned was right over the entrance to the hotel (which meant 24-hour, non-stop traffic), so we asked for a room change and eventually were able to get a room in a quieter location. Although none of the rooms our group was assigned had sea views, some did have scenic peek-a-boo views of the mountains behind Monaco.

As we did not sign up for any optional excursions in the area (we’ve previously explored this part of France extensively by ourselves), we were let loose for the 2 nights we stayed in Monaco.

Travel Tip: Fairmont Hotels around the world charge for WIFI/internet in guest rooms – (minimum 20 euro/day at Fairmont Monte Carlo). So sign up for the free Fairmont President’s Club membership before you stay at any Fairmont hotel – each account gives complimentary in-room access for one device.

Fairmont Monte Carlo Rooftop Pool

Fairmont Monte Carlo Rooftop Pool

The rest of our evening was spent enjoying the fabulous rooftop pool which overlooked the Mediterranean, dining on the terrace at Cafe Paris, and donating to the casinos – Monte Carlo Casino and Fairmont Casino.

If You Go:

Read More About WAVEJourney’s Globus La France Adventures:
| Overview | Paris Day 1 | Paris City Tour Day 2 | Normandy Day 3 | Normandy and Brittany Day 4 | Loire Day 5Loire Valley and Bordeaux Day 6 | Saint Emilion Day 7 | Biarritz and Lourdes Day 8 | Carcassonne and Nimes Day 9 | Pont du Gard and Avignon Day 10 | Monte Carlo Day 11 | Grasse to Grenoble Day 12 | Lyon to Dijon Day 13 | Dijon to Paris Day 14 |

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