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Avignon: Lovely Views from Rocher des Doms

The famous Pont Saint-Benezet or Pont D'Avignon, as it's also called. This bridge (now broken!) is made famous by the children's song "Sur le Pont d’Avignon."

The famous Pont Saint-Benezet or Pont D’Avignon, as it’s also called. This bridge (now broken!) is made famous by the children’s song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon.”

We had fallen totally in love with Annecy, France, but we were beholden to a strict itinerary (designed by moi). So after lunch on our second day there, we reluctantly departed from this gorgeous Alpine Venetia and set off south to Avignon, where we would spend the night. This had been a last-minute addition to the itinerary when we decided that we wanted to break up the six-hour drive from Annecy to Antibes, a major focal point of the trip.

Place du Palais in Avignon, France

Place du Palais in Avignon, France

My husband stuffed all of our gear (a very large suitcase, a medium-large suitcase, a travel crib, a Maclaren Quest stroller, a backpack and a diaper bag) into our spacious Octavia Skoda station wagon, courtesy of Carrentals.co.uk. We had a beautiful drive through the Alps, and then the lavender fields arrived shortly after the mountains stopped. The three-and-a-half-hour drive on A7 went by very quickly and before we knew it we were checking into our hotel, Mercure Pont D’Avignon. The room was small, but the hotel was modern and very close to Palais des Papes.

This marked the entrance to the Rocher des Doms in Avignon, France. Start the uphill climb to the park and its great views!

This marked the entrance to the Rocher des Doms in Avignon, France. Start the uphill climb to the park and its great views!

Palais des Papes was the seat of the popes in the 14th century, when they fled the chaos of  Rome. We walked briskly uphill in very hot weather only to find out that we had just missed the last tickets being sold to enter the palace. Not sure what to do next, we turned left and opted for more uphill walking and found ourselves in the Rocher des Dom. This garden with amazing views overlooking Avignon and the Rhone River turned out to be the perfect place for us. We got to really see Avignon and our son got to run around after being cooped up in the car. There were even two small playgrounds for him!

Rocher des Doms in Avignon, France -- go there for the views!

Rocher des Doms in Avignon, France — go there for views like this!

When you first arrive in the Rocher Des Doms, you see one playground. As you continue on, you see a duck pond and a little cafe for ice cream. Then there’s a naturalistic fountain that reminded me of something I’ve seen at the moody palace Quinta Da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal. Oh, and the whole park was very Gaudi-esque and reminded me of Park Guell, but without the colors and ornamentation though.

You can climb on top of this little fountain/cave for great views of Avignon, France!

You can climb on top of this little fountain/cave for great views of Avignon, France!

But Rocher des Doms is really and truly all about the views. In fact, there are very nice viewing platforms surrounding the gardens. Avignon knows she’s goodlooking and wants to show off! And the Rhone river and surrounding countryside isn’t too shabby either.

Views of the Rhone River from Rocher des Doms in Avignon.

Great view of the Rhone River from Rocher des Doms — look at those viewing platforms.

We all had a much better time in the Rocher Des Doms than we would have the next morning when we finally entered the Palais des Papes. Turns out we liked the Palais des Papes better from the outside. The inside was rather stark and empty yet full of stairs (no fun if you have a toddler). Despite being a fan of modern art, we didn’t care at all  for the current exhibition there. I think that the Rocher Des Doms may just be the best part of Avignon!

My toddler's favorite part of the Rocher des Doms in Avignon, #France? The playground, mais oui! #familytravel

My toddler’s favorite part of the Rocher des Doms? The playground, mais oui!

8 Responses to Avignon: Lovely Views from Rocher des Doms

  1. Andi
    Twitter: andiperullo
    July 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Ugh I LOVE this part of the world, gorgeous!

  2. Sarah July 27, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Beautiful…We’re heading there next year and I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a vacation that was almost 12 months away.

  3. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    August 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I want a little red house like that to sit in. What a beautiful pace!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Misty mornings while fishing

  4. Terry at Overnight New York August 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    What a gorgeous getaway — and family friendly to boot!
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..Ace Hotel: Music to Help Kids Get Better

  5. Marina K. Villatoro August 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Gorgeous, it’s one part of the one that I have yet to know and travel to! Looks gorgeous.
    Marina K. Villatoro recently posted..New York CityPass – 6 Top NYC Attractions All in One Go

  6. Micki
    Twitter: barefootnomads
    August 8, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Charming! I really have to visit – and soon!
    Micki recently posted..25 Great Tips For Planning Your Trip From Top Travel Bloggers

  7. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    August 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Beautiful photos of the vistas in Avignon. Your little boy is too cute in the red house. I’m glad he could find something he liked.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..PHOTO GALLERY: Patagonia Flora – The Flowers of Torres Del Paine

  8. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
    Twitter: flashpackerfam
    August 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    What a beautiful town. :)
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Eight Fun Things to Do in Sydney with Kids

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