Location: Orange is located in the Vaucluse department in the southeast of France (flights to Nimes, Montpellier or Marseille. Or TVG train to Avignon)
What to expect: Situated 21 miles North of Avignon, Orange was founded in 35 BC. The town is renowned for its Roman architecture in particular the Roman theatre, described as the most impressive still existing in Europe.
The fine Triumphal Arch of Orange is often said to date from the time of Augustus or Tiberius and in 1981 was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The town centre is compact, with walking streets and squares lined with small shops, restaurants and terrace cafés, and large shady trees.
Orange also receives the highest number of sunny days, per year in the whole of France!
Where to stay: Le Mas Des Aigras is situated 4 km out of town set amidst vineyards and green fields. The rooms are comfortable and clean and decorated in a traditional Provencal manner. It has a small outdoor swimming pool and a wonderful restaurant serving regional cuisine. One nights stay starts from £63.
Located just a few minutes from the Triumphal Arch of Orange and the Ancient Roman Theatre in the centre of town, the L’A Propos offers a nights stay from £105. This is a small, quirky and very friendly hotel. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the hotel boasts a large outside area and wonderful swimming pool.
What to do:
- Tour around Théâtre antique d’Orange, the Roman Amphitheatre Theatre. In 1869, the theatre was restored and has become the site of an annual music festival. The festival, Chorégies d’Orange is now famous as an international opera festival. What is so extraordinary about the Amphitheatre in Orange is that the stage wall is still completely intact (a distinction it shares with only two others, one in Turkey, and the other in Syria).
- Sit at Le Pigalle restaurant in the main square and watch the world go by whilst enjoying some fine food and wine
- Get a feel of the real town by visiting the weekly market on a Thursday to buy fresh local produce including cheese (particularly goats cheese)
- Take a ride on the tourist train to get a fantastic view of the Théâtre antique d’Orange and Triumphal Arch of Orange.
- The Arc de Triomphe is located a short (10 minute) walk north from the town centre and commemorates the victory of the Roman legions over the Gauls in the Gallic Wars
- A visit to this area of France is not complete without visiting a local Vineyard; take your pick…