Festival D’Avignon | Annual Arts Festival | Only Provence
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Festival D’Avignon: Among the best Performing Arts Festivals in the World

Avignon, France, is renowned for its vibrant music and arts scene, particularly during the summer months when the city comes alive with a series of festivals. In 2024, Avignon will host several notable music festivals, each offering a distinct and unique experience.  The biggest and most notable by far is the Festival D’Avignon, now one of the most reputable international theatre events featuring contemporary live performance.  

For the past 78 years each summer, the city transforms into a stage, hosting an array of performances that span from traditional theater to avant-garde exhibitions, numbering over 300 performances in total. The program includes shows, but also readings, exhibitions, films, and debates, all of which provide an insight into the world of the invited artists and intellectuals. The festival not only showcases global talent but also invigorates the city’s streets, courtyards, and even chapels with the spirit of creativity and innovation.  

The 78th edition of the Avignon Festival will take place from Saturday June 29 to Sunday July 21, 2024!

The Festival d’Avignon is divided into two parts: the “In” festival, featuring a curated lineup of shows, and the “Off” festival, known for its open participation and diverse array of performances. The “Off” festival will run from July 3 to July 21, 2024, offering a wide range of performances across various venues​​.

Tickets will be available here: https://festival-avignon.com/fr/billetterie-601

Avignon : All you need to know when you attend the Festival!

Nestled in the heart of Provence, the city of Avignon captivates visitors with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. This former Papal seat, encircled by impeccably preserved medieval walls, offers a journey back in time, while its vibrant contemporary scene promises excitement for today’s traveler. Here’s why Avignon stands out as a must-visit destination.

A Journey Through Time: The Papal Palace

Avignon’s crown jewel, the Palais des Papes, stands as a testament to the city’s illustrious past as the residence of Popes during the 14th century. This architectural marvel, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, offers visitors a glimpse into the grandeur of the period. The palace’s immense halls, intricate frescoes, and formidable fortifications evoke the power and prestige of the Avignon Papacy.

The Bridge of Legend: Pont Saint-Bénézet

No visit to Avignon is complete without a stroll on the Pont Saint-Bénézet, more famously known as the Pont d’Avignon. Immortalized in the beloved children’s song, this partially collapsed bridge arching over the Rhône River tells a story of faith, resilience, and the passage of time. While only four of the original 22 spans remain, the bridge’s romantic allure and panoramic views of Avignon continue to enchant.

The Rhône River, with its gentle flows and picturesque banks, adds a serene charm to Avignon. River cruises offer a tranquil vantage point to appreciate the city’s beauty, from its historic ramparts to its verdant countryside. The river’s presence has shaped Avignon’s history and continues to be a source of leisure and inspiration for both locals and visitors.

Wander Through the Place de l’Horloge

The Place de l’Horloge is the bustling heart of Avignon, lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s an ideal place to sit and enjoy a coffee while people-watching or to embark on a leisurely exploration of the city’s charming streets.

The Avignon Cathedral

Adjacent to the Palais des Papes, the Avignon Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d’Avignon) is notable for its striking golden statue of the Virgin Mary atop its bell tower. Inside, you’ll find elegant architectural details and a serene atmosphere.

The Rocher des Doms

For the best panoramic views of Avignon and the Rhône Valley, head to the Rocher des Doms, a lush hilltop garden. It’s a peaceful escape from the city streets below and offers unparalleled vistas, especially at sunset.

For Lovers of Art: Collection Lambert

Art lovers should make a beeline for the Collection Lambert, a contemporary art museum housed in two beautiful 18th-century mansions. The museum’s dynamic exhibitions feature works from some of the most significant artists of our time.

Savor Provencal Cuisine

No visit to Avignon is complete without indulging in the flavors of Provence. From bustling markets like Les Halles to quaint bistros, Avignon offers a plethora of dining options that showcase the region’s fresh produce and culinary traditions.

A Day Trip to the Surrounding Countryside

Avignon’s location in Provence makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding countryside, including the lavender fields of the Luberon, the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the ancient Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard.

Shop at the Local Markets

Experience the local lifestyle by visiting Avignon’s markets. You’ll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handcrafted goods, perfect for taking a piece of Provence home with you.

Avignon is a city that offers something for every traveler, from its rich history and cultural heritage to its stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, enjoying its vibrant festivals, or simply relishing the Provencal way of life, Avignon is sure to leave you enchanted.

Getting There

The easiest and most efficient way to reach Avignon, particularly from Paris, is by taking the high-speed TGV train. The journey is impressively quick, taking only around 2 hours and 38 minutes, thanks to the TGV’s capability to travel at speeds exceeding 200 mph. Most high-speed trains arrive at Avignon’s TGV station, located just outside the city center, but a convenient 10-minute shuttle bus can transport you from the station to the heart of Avignon. This method is not only fast but also allows you to enjoy the beautiful French countryside along the way without the stress of driving​​​​.

For those coming from London, there’s a direct Eurostar service to Avignon during the peak summer months, which takes about seven hours, offering a seamless connection from the UK to the heart of Provence​​.

If you’re flying, the nearest major airport is Marseille (MRS), about 65.4 km away from Avignon. From Marseille airport, you can take a bus or train to Avignon, with the journey taking approximately 49 minutes. This option is particularly useful for international travelers or those coming from regions without direct train services to Avignon​​.

Where to Stay

While the city has a plethora of hotels both quaint and luxurious, why not spread out in the privacy of your own rented luxury villas near the festival itself.

Benefits of Luxury Villa Rentals

One of the many benefits of renting a luxury villa is having a genuinely private yet authentic experience in Provence, complete with in-home chef services.

Below are some of the few great benefits of a luxury villa over other traditional accommodation options.

  • Personalized experiences such as private chefs and organized tours and activities;
  • Privacy and exclusivity;
  • A dedicated villa manager and staff;
  • A sense of feeling at home while staying in a private luxury villa;
  • Private luxury villas are ideal for groups of families or friends traveling together.

If you are interested in renting a luxury villa in Provence, reach out to Only Provence or book now.

A distinct collection of luxury villa rentals and real estate for sale in the South of France

- offering all comforts and amenities - pool, housekeeping, and chef services.

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Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon, Amazon.uk, and Amazon.Fr.