Avignon’s beautiful maze of medieval streets, crammed with ancient buildings, independent shops, statues and murals, requires no spending. For postcard-perfect views of the palace and bridge, take the free shuttle boat across the Rhône to Île de la Barthelasse, then stroll left along the river bank (to the pontoon adjacent to Pont St-Bénézet).
The chambers and chapels of Avignon’s number one tourist attraction, the Palais des Papes, are made for bad-weather visits. A quick dash between raindrops will get you to the Musée du Petit Palais, where you can beseech the medieval painted virgins to stop the downpour. Or embrace the wateriness of your day by taking a boat trip along the Rhône.
Once you’ve danced on Avignon’s famous bridge, take a 10-minute bus ride across the river to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. After a leisurely lunch on the town square, climb the hill to Fort St-André, with its precipitous towers, for marvellous views of Avignon. Round off your day with a long, lazy exploration of the dreamy Jardins de l’Abbaye, one of France’s top 100 gardens.