France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Orange, Provence, France Guide




Orange, the small Provençal city 31 km (20 miles) north of Avignon (map), is famous for its two great Roman buildings: its huge Roman Theater (Théâtre Antique d'Orange) and a fine Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe).

It's appropriate that Orange is at the center of an important fruit-growing region, although the fame of its name has more to do with the House of Orange, the princely house best known for providing monarchs of the Netherlands.

The Roman Theater is still used for musical performances and other events. If you don't have the chance to attend a performance, you can still enjoy a visit to the theater and to the small museum across the street.

The Triumphal Arch, north of the city center, is set in its own small park, a noble survivor of the ages that invites you to walk here and enjoy the view.

Speaking of the view, the Parc de la colline St-Eutrope occupies a lofty hill just behind (south of) the Roman Theater. Climb to the top of the hill for fine views of the Theater, the city, and even to the Triumphal Arch.

Orange receives fewer visitors than most other Provençal cities because it is the northernmost of them: 117 km (73 miles) northwest of Marseille (663 km/412 miles south of Paris).

But Orange is a small, pleasant city, easy to navigate, with a useful collection of hotels, and convenient transport by train and car, so it is a good stop if you've had too much sightseeing busy-ness in big cities.

Orange also is a great starting point for a fascinating day trip to the Caverne du Pont d'Arc and the Gorges de l'Ardèche. The Caverne presents some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, dating back 36,000 years. The Gorges or Canyons are the beautiful natural setting of cliffs carved by the Ardèche River. Here's a suggested day trip.

If time permits, you could also visit the hilltop town of Mornas, with its ruined fortress, just 11 kilometers/7 miles north of Orange.

Hotels in Orange

What to See & Do in Orange

Transport for Orange

Orange Tourist Information

Pont d'Arc and L'Ardèche



La Camargue

Les Alpilles



About Provence

Where to Go in France


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Roman Theater, Orange, France

The stage wall of the Roman Theater and Orange
from the Colline St-Eutrope.

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