Enjoy experiences that you'll look forward to retelling as you cruise through France along one of Europe's oldest rivers; sample locally-produced wine in Macon and wander the labyrinthine alleys of Lyon.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
Travel to Lyon and transfer to the A-ROSA STELLA for embarkation.
Arrive in the beautiful town of Macon today, an important wine region and a gateway to the well renowned Beaujolais vineyards. Perhaps take a walk along the Heritage Trail and admire the half-timbered houses and Soufflot Chapel or even try a selection of local wines tasting display.
Chalon is located upriver where the Saône becomes more shallow, and so it is the point where modern ships must turn about. The docking location is very close to the heart of the town. A pretty stroll will take you directly from the ship to everything that’s worth seeing, such as Chalon Cathedral and a museum documenting the birth of photography here in Chalon.
This old silk-trading city amazes visitors with its labyrinth of covered passageways called “traboules”. These were originally created to ensure that the silk was kept dry as it was being transported. Today, you’ll experience a world that’s simultaneously old and modern, as Lyon’s residents go about their daily lives surrounded by centuries-old architecture. Even beyond Vieux Lyon, there are great places to shop and go out in France’s third-largest city. And after all that, you can take a breather amid the greenery of Parc de La Tête d’Or, discover Lyon’s rich cultural offerings, or climb to the top of the basilica to enjoy the view and the rich mosaics decorating the walls. Getting hungry? Lyon is famous for its simple but exquisite cuisine focusing on regional products, which has earned Lyon the nickname “la ville de gueule” (“the city of the mouth”).
You've probably heard of the famous bridge in the song "Sur le pont d'Avignon". This bridge actually exists, or at least part of it does; wars and floods reduced the bridge's original 22 arches to four. In 1660, after yet another flood, the bridge was abandoned. Aside from the bridge, you're likely to be most delighted by Avignon's palaces, wines and culture. The Papal Palace is monumentally impressive, particularly in the evening when it is illuminated by a light show. Rue des Teinturiers, the former textile dyers' street, is one of the most beautiful streets in Avignon. By a small stream with old water wheels, you'll find numerous charming cafés to relax, watch the world go by and quietly hum the old children's song.
Today leave Avignon for Arles. A pretty 15-minute walk takes you from the dock to the ancient amphitheatre, where you can relax and watch the torero. The bullfights here (called “course camarguaise”) are not bloody affairs. The bullfighter simply tries to snatch the tassel that’s wrapped around the animal’s horns. The bulls come from the Camargue, and after the fight they return to their fields there. In Arles, past and present are one. The city features a mixture of modern urban development and historical buildings. If you dig deep enough, you end up in the sixth century. Or even in the second. You can see the discoveries unearthed during numerous excavations in the archaeological museum. Next to the amphitheatre, the Foundation Vincent van Gogh preserves the heritage of the Dutch artist, for whom Arles was like a second home. Information panels mark the locations where van Gogh created his works. We recommend that you simply sit down and try seeing the intense colours of Provence with his eyes.
Located in the stunning Ardeche, Viviers is a small walled city that sits on the banks the Rhône and is home to the historic Cathedral of Saint-Vincent, which is in the centre of the old town. The city retains much of its medieval character and charms.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Lyon Airport for your return flight to the UK or extend your stay in Lyon.
Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Tour Only holiday option.
Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes return flights from your chosen airport, plus overseas transfers to your hotel.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.