Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard at moonrise

The Pont du Gard has been endlessly photographed - but none of those familiar images prepares you for the elegance and majesty of the real thing.

A masterpiece of ancient architecture and the highest Roman aqueduct-bridge in the world, no wonder it's one of France's top tourist attractions.

As well as the Pont du Gard itself, there is, as our picture gallery suggests, a lot to see on this huge site, including a fascinating museum, a landscaped Mediterranean garden, a children's play area - and not least, the magnificence of the surrounding countryside.

This section consists of a practical guide to the Pont du Gard, with full information about the different ways of getting there, as well as a report on our own visit and all the things to see and do once you're on the site.

In the evenings, mainly (but not only) in summer, there are spectacular light and/or music shows of various kinds too. And where else can you swim or kayak in the shade of a millennia-old UNESCO World Heritage site?

You can read about the many special events and - where tickets are required - book them on the Pont du Gard website.

News for the Pont du GardFrom 1 November-28 April 2019, there's an extra attraction at the Pont du Gard: a temporary exhibition exploring the mysterious Middle Ages.

This was a time of plagues, crusades and hostile invasions but also of exciting technological discoveries and inventions. The show draws on recent archaeological finds and uses video and games to illuminate the Dark Ages. And it's all included in the price of admission to the site.

The main tourist season at the Pont du Gard begins in brilliant style at Easter with Garrigue en Fête, a two-day, open-air festival based in the large, landscaped Mediterranean gardens at the foot of the bridge.

pont du gard easter festivalWe hadn't realised the sheer scope of it before, but went along one year and were mightily impressed. Dotted all around the grounds were several dozen artists of all kinds performing throughout the day.

These might be an impromptu rock concert in a tiny camping tent, a "magic carpet" for tots, a brass quintet playing Scott Joplin rags or a troupe of eccentric street players creating mayhem on a giant hamster wheel, pictured.

The idea was for you to wander round and discover the various happenings for yourself, rather than to turn up for a formal event. There was a real party atmosphere and members of the public chipped in with their own music too.

Other happenings included the obligatory Easter egg hunt and special presentations on the animals living in the grounds.

You could either bring your own picnic, or pre-order a picnic basket, which was excellent value, as it was a showcase for local produce. Alternatively, you could assemble your own lunch on the spot from stalls at the large farmers' market. This was a fantastic day out and is highly recommended for both adults and kids as an Easter treat.

In summer the programme of activities continues. After a day exploring the Pont du Gard, you can linger by the Gardon River as night falls. The spectacular location is open until late in May-September.

On some evenings there is live music and dancing, with wine and food tastings too. Bonus: the bridge is illuminated at dusk. And you get reduced-price admission!

pontdugard10And, for four evenings in June, there is a special event: Les Féeries du Pont, pictured, a lavish formal spectacle by Groupe F. Locally based but internationally famed, this company has produced some pretty stunning firework, pyrotechnical and sound and light shows.

And yes, we do know, by the way! The Pont du Gard is not, strictly speaking, in Provence. But, just across the border in the neighbouring region of Languedoc-Roussillon and a short drive from both Arles and Avignon, it is still a star destination for any visitor to southern France.

Photo credits: © A Rodriguez (Pont du Gard at sunset, picnic on the river, the water mill, inside the Museum and Ludo); O2 Prod (aerial view); Pont du Gard (canoeing); Yann de Fareins (Memories of the Garrigue); Clement Puig (music concert) and Thierry Nava for Groupe F (fireworks).

booking.com logoClick here to book a hotel near the Pont du Gard

pontdugard smallThe Pont du Gard is a major Roman monument, a masterpiece of engineering, a thing of great beauty - and much more than just a very big, very old bridge.

pont du gard smallThis page contains practical information about the Pont du Gard and an overview of the various ways of getting there if you are travelling individually rather than on a guided coach tour.

Main Menu