Direct Eurostar services to Provence, in the South of France launch on Saturday 9 July

30 Jun 2005

Festivals, fairs, theatre, markets, music, history, gastronomy, fine wines ... in Avignon and the Provence region

  • Weekly, Saturday direct services from London/Ashford to Avignon Centre 9 July to 10 September
  • Fares from only £109 return

For the fourth successive year Eurostar is operating direct services from London and Ashford to Avignon in the heart of the popular Provence region. The speedy journey is effortless, relaxing and comfortable and delivers passengers to Avignon Centre station a short walk from the ancient city walls.
This popular service which is just over six hours from London, has attractive fares from just £109 return in standard class and £229 in Leisure Select. Leisure Select provides roomier seats and meals and wines served at seat.
With its stunning historic architecture which includes the famous ruined bridge and Palais of the Popes (Popes Palace) there is masses to see and do in the city. The region itself is absolutely stunning - chateaux, lavender fields, vineyards, mountains, forests and rivers - with the Mediterranean just an easy drive away.
From July, when the weekly Saturday direct service starts, there are a whole range of different events to enjoy in Avignon and the region of Provence.
The main attraction is the Avignon Festival which is the oldest and largest of all the French festivals and was first created in 1947 by Jean Vilar. It is the French equivalent of the Edinburgh Festival and attracts an enormous number of artists for over 400 performances during July. The festival promotes the discipline of "Alive Theatre" which offers direct audience participation and interaction. Most of the plays are specially created for this event and are then intended for launch in other French towns and cities.
In addition to the closed performances there is the street "OFF" festival which quite simply transforms the streets of Avignon into one enormous show. Around 600 different theatre companies from all over France, and from many foreign countries, stage about 500 performances by the side of roads, in squares and in every conceivable city space all vying for public attention and participation. (www.avignon-off.org)
During the Avignon Festival around half a million people visit the city with many returning every year. The atmosphere is vibrant, cosmopolitan and cutting edge - with individual artists and each play seeking the greatest possible recognition - all seeking to be the new stars of the festival.
Avignon and the surrounding region offer an enormous range of things to do. There are special markets, festivals, funfairs and of course, superb wine and cuisine.
With www.eurostar.com providing a one-stop shop it has never been so easy to book travel, hotel accommodation, car hire and insurance for Avignon or for other Eurostar destinations.