Vaison-la-Romaine is in Vaucluse. The city is best known for its beautiful Roman remains including a single-arch bridge, and for its medieval city and its cathedral. What is unusual about a visit to Vaison is that you are able to see 2,000 years of history before your eyes — ancient, medieval and modern — in a single glance.
The nearest TGV station is Gare d'Avignon TGV, and other lines, the Orange.
Several bus lines connect Vaison la Romaine cities with the regional (bus line):
- Ligne 1-2: Orange - Avignon
- Ligne 4: Orange - Vaison la Romaine – Nyons - Buis-les-Baronnies
- Ligne 3-1: Orange - Valréas
- Ligne 14: Pays Voconces and Vallée du Toulourenc
- Ligne 3-2: Malaucène - Valréas
- Ligne 3-4: Vaison - Bollène
- Ligne 18: Arles – Tarascon – Avignon
Vaison la Romaine is accessible by RD975 from Orange and exit of Highway A7 and Highway A9 #21 - Orange Centre, as well as the RD 938 from Carpentras.
The city does not have bus service. It is not extensive, and the modern and ancient parts are easy to walk. The medieval part is a little more strenuous to walk through, as it is on a hill dominated by the medieval castle. A tourist train from the tourist office offers a motorized guided tour that lasts 35 minutes and costs 4.50 €.
Two of the most interesting aspects of the town are its geography and its ruins. The Roman ruins and the modern town are in the valley on the banks of a river which is crossed by an ancient bridge from the 1st century AD.
The medieval town is high on a rocky cliff. The valley floor was safe from attack in Roman and modern times. In the Middle Ages, attacks were frequent, and the town retreated uphill to a more defensible position.
The apse of the Church of St. Quenin, dedicated to Saint Quinidius, seems to date from the eighth century; it is one of the oldest in France. As a whole, the cathedral dates from the 11th century, but the apse and the apsidal chapels are from the Merovingian period.
- 1 Roman bridge, 2 Avenue César Geoffray (crossing the Ouvèze river, between the modern and medieval sections of the city). Roman bridge spanning the Ouvèze, 17 metres above the river. During the floods of September 1992, the waves passed over the parapet.
- 2 Archaeological site Villasse, 18 Avenue Général de Gaulle (behind the post office). Annual closure on January. Ancient Roman forum, with its spa and its shopping streets. 8€ for adult, 3€ (from 12 to 18 year old), free under 11.
- 3 Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, 78 Avenue Jules Ferry. Cathedral with cloister. free entrance.
- 4 Castle of the Counts of Toulouse (Medieval castle), 1 Chemin de Barbanot. Castle on top of the medieval city, partially ruined. free entrance.
- 5 Archaeological site of Puymin, rue Bernard Noël (behind Tourism Office). Annual closure on January. 8€ for adult, 3€ (from 12 to 18 year old), free under 11.
- 6 Roman theater, Avenue des Choralies (behind Archaeological site of Puymin).
- 7 Saint Quenin chapel, Avenue de Saint-Quenin. Romanesque chapel, with the particularity of a triangular apse.
- 8 Old clock tower, Petite Rue (on the way to Medieval castle). Clock tower of the medieval city, with a Provençal-style bell tower.
- Tourist Office, Avenue Chanoine Sautel, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Jul-Aug 9:30-18:45. Visit the well equipped tourist office for information and a local map.
Walk through the medieval city to the ruins of the castle. Please note that the narrow streets up are steep and that the last part is not paved. Once at the top you are rewarded with a magnificent view over the region.
- 1 Weekly Provençal market. every Tuesday.
- 2 Librairie Montfort, 34 Grand Rue. Very complete choice in literature and local history books.
- 3 La Romaine (cooperative winery), 95 Chemin de Saumelongue (near Saint Quenin chapel), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Wines of the Côtes du Rhône and Ventoux.
You can find several restaurants at Place Montfort.
- 1 La Lyriste, 45, Cours Taulignan (nearby the town hall), ☏ , fax: . Closed on Monday and Wednesday. Traditional French restaurant. from 13.50 € - 29 €.
- 1 Le Logis du Chateau, Impasse du Grand Alizier, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The view from the hotel is magnificent and the service is impeccable.
- 2 [formerly dead link] Municipal area Motorhome (Camping Domaine de la Cambusse), Avenue Coudray, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Area for motor homes, rents mobile homes and caravans. € 7 per night, free during winter.
- 3 Le Carpe Diem (camping), Route de St Marcellin, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Water park, rentals of mobile homes.
- 4 Le Théatre romain (camping), Quartier des Arts Chemin du Brusquet,, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 14 € to 25 € (tent site), 220 € to 650 € (mobile home rental).
- 5 Hostellerie du Beffroi, rue de l'Evéché, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star hotel. Themed stays are available in history or oenology. Languages spoken: English, German, Italian. from to 76-160 €, half board,+ € 39, breakfast € 12.
- 6 Hotel Burrhus, 2 place Montfort (down town), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. In the city centre, pets allowed. 53 to € 93 , breakfast € 9.
- 1 Tourism office, Place du Chanoine Sautel, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 Poste office, Place du 11 Novembre (nearby of Tourism office).
- 3 Association to Protect the Haute Ville (APHV), Located in Hotel Beffroi (The Association is maintained by residents of the Haute Ville. Stop in at Hotel Le Beffroi (the Belfry) and ask who is in charge of communications for the APHV.). The Association is a way to keep in touch with the old city (the "Haute Ville"). There are 100 residences up there and the association fights to keep the citadel "special." It's worth it to find out the local seasonal activities. Dues (as of Feb 2018) were € 15. The membership fee to APHV is payable on or after 1 July each year, valid until June 30 next year..