Lovers of culture, old stonework and contemporary art will love this hidden treasure of Cavaillon. It alone justifies a detour via the ancient town along the Domitian Way. L’Hôtel d’Agar has the oldest garden in France, containing famous remains, a private 12th c. /15th c. mansion housing a magnificent collection of objects in a “cabinet of curiosities” style, all mixed with exhibitions by famous photographers and artists.
It’s one of the world’s major contemporary art collections and has just acquired a new space, commensurate with its stature: the Lambert Collection, which opened in 2000 in Avignon’s splendid Hôtel de Caumont, is just settling into its new, wider home; in 2015, the gallery doubled its floor space, extending to the adjoining Hôtel de Montfaucon. The Hôtel de Caumont is now devoted exclusively to temporary exhibitions and the Hôtel de Montfaucon houses the permanent collections belonging to Parisian collector and gallery owner, Yvon Lambert. This new complex also boasts an auditorium, restaurant, bookshop, two open courtyards and runs teaching workshops. The venue can also be hired for private functions. So come on, let’s go!
Stroll through Gordes with a guide, visit a melon farm in Cavaillon, find out about the Vaudois’ tragic destiny in South Luberon, learn the story of the ‘Pope’s Jews’, or take in the Mediterranean flora and fauna on the borders of the Durance River with a naturalist bird-loving guide. The Luberon-Monts de Vaucluse Tourist Information Office lays on themed tours all year round for individuals and groups. A great way of getting to know this famous mountain and Nature Park better.
Every Monday and Friday morning, a guide takes your individual English-speaking clients on a 3-hr tour of the historic centre of Avignon, and into the Palace of the Popes (with a priority-access ticket). A regular tour, that’s easily booked, telling the full story of when the Papal seat was in Avignon. And the icing on the cake: pre-lunch drinks in an unusual setting to round the morning off.
New in Avignon in 2015: the Collection Lambert, one of the finest contemporary art collections in France, re-opens after being closed for a year and a half for works, with a floor space doubled. Les Luminessences Sound and Light show, which offers a powerful 3-D vision of the history of Avignon, will run sessions in English. Lastly, the town will have its official, prestigious venue to show off the wines of the Rhône Valley: le Carré du Palais.
For some years now, the town of Sérignan-du-Comtat, north of Orange, has been earning a reputation as a village attached to natural gardens and rich provençal ecosystems. There you can visit the “Harmas de Fabre” the overgrown garden and home of famous entomologist, Jean-Henri Fabre, and just around the corner is the ultra-green Naturoptère building devoted to insects and their environment, and its garden. Not to mention the Rare Plants and Natural Gardens annual event –held for the sixteenth time in April 2014- with more outings throughout the year and the development of nature trails from the village.
Avignon Tourism launches a new, secure and personalised booking interface, allowing tour operators to book various visits, packages and all-inclusive holidays for individuals.
Train shuttle between TGV station and central station • Les Luminessences Sound and Light Show at the Palace of the Popes this summer • Lambert Contemporary Art Foundation and Cathedral closed until 2015 • Palace of the Popes: reopening of fully renovated Saint Martial Chapel and permanent closure of Bouteillerie wine cellar • Summer exhibitions
From 9 June to 11 November 2013, Avignon will renew with the tradition of great exhibitions at the Popes’ Palace, highlighting five great ladies from the world of Art, including Camille Claudel and Louise Bourgeois. And, from 15 August to 28 September, Les Luminescences d’Avignon will light up the Popes’ Palace main Courtyard with a 3D sound-and-light show. Is it really necessary to add any further reasons to visit the city in 2013?
In this fine townhouse, where decorative arts and Provençal painters are superbly displayed in one of Avignon’s most charming museums, it is a pleasure to go back in time thanks to the guide’s commentary before pursuing the experience around a drink under the tall trees in the garden.