Viviers - France

The town dates back to the 5th century and is located at the end of the Donzere Pass on the Rhone River. Viviers has a lower town, where the tradesmen and artisans once lived, and an upper or religious town. The upper walled town is an attractive warren of narrow cobbled streets with Renaissance stone houses, a Romanesque cathedral, and a castle terrace that offers spectacular views of the rooftops and river below. Set in the Ardeche Gorges with its magnificent scenery and spectacular limestone cliffs you can visit the Pont d'Arc, the largest natural arch in Europe. The are is also known for its Truffle farms. From Viviers you can visit Nyons, surrounded by a protective ring of mountains - where a 14th-century bridge crosses the River Aigues and to see a working lavender distillery and tour an ancient XVIII century olive mill. The renaissance Chateau de Grignan, known for its historic roses is also nearby. Viverais is an ancient mountainous province of France, centred on the town of Viviers (Viviers-sur-Rhône). The ancient Roman site (Vivarium), later became the episcopate seat of Viviers; and the bishop of Viviers was virtual master of Vivarais, even though, from the 9th century, it belonged to the counts of Toulouse. In the 13th century it was united to the French crown. Part Catholic, part Protestant, it suffered severely in the Wars of Religion of the 16th century. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.