Seeing Pont du Gard, traversing the lower deck of the 18th-century pedestrian bridge, and swimming in the river below the aqueduct are all completely free.
Much of the content covered during guided tours is also covered in the museum. Tall tourists will need to duck because much of the upper level is covered, but there are some openings in the stone that allow light to enter, and there are breathtaking perspectives at both ends.
If it is available, guided tours to Pont du Gard can be scheduled on the day of the tour, but it would be wise to do so in advance.
Go see the Bridge du Gard if only for the fact that it has been a structure for 2000 years!
The famous Roman ruin in the South of France is the Pont du Gard, an aqueduct bridge that spans the Gardon River between the villages of Remoulins and Uzès, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Sablet.
1. A Historical Note Of Pont du Gard
The Romans built a 50 km (31 miles) aqueduct in the middle of the first century, including the Bridge du Gard.
Despite the fact that the Pont du Gard is a striking (and substantial) portion of this aqueduct network, the entire undertaking required a level of precision that is difficult to fathom in an age before modern technology.
There are many things to see and do at Pont du Gard, like visiting the Vers Pont du Gard, Le Pont du Gard, Roman architects, Gard river, Pierre de Vers, Roman aqueducts, the ancient bridge, visit ancient monuments, and the most visited ancient monument of world heritage sites, charming villages, and so on.
2. A Synopsis Of The French Bridge Du Gard’s History
The Roman Empire dominated what is now France back in the day, way back in ancient times. They were actually well ahead of their time; for example, they understood the value of running water and how essential it was for a colony to survive.
In order to transport pure water from Uzès in the highlands to Nîmes, the Romans constructed an aqueduct in the first century AD.
The 50 km long aqueduct that was previously constructed to span the River Gardon is now only a small portion, known as the Pont du Gard.
Over time, the aqueduct’s inside began to fill with limestone, making it impossible to utilize it to transport fresh water. As a result, the Romans constructed an addition, which is what we now see as the bridge.
3. What Is So Amazing About The Pont Du Gard Aqueduct?
The sheer size of the Bridge du Gard is what makes it so remarkable. In actuality, it is the world’s tallest Roman bridge, measuring 48 by 275 meters.
The Statue of Liberty’s height measures the size of the Bridge du Gard in France. But the most amazing aspect is how beautifully it’s preserved.
Something of this magnitude would seem unlikely to have endured the ages, but it appears to be almost entirely intact. That demonstrates how effectively the Romans operated.
4. 20 Amazing Things To Do In Pont du Gard:
A day might easily be spent exploring the Bridge du Gard France. Read on to make the most of your stay at this historic Roman aqueduct.
4.1. Trips Arranged To The Pont du Gard
The French Pont du Gard aqueduct is just one stop on a number of guided excursions. Guests can choose from full-day tours or planned tours that last a half day (about 5 hours).
In accordance with where you are staying in the South of France, they also depart from other cities. The most common point of departure is Avignon. However, some day trips stop there from Aix and Marseille as well.
4.2. Discover The Bridge’s Best View
It is important to find the ideal location to take pictures of the Pont de Gard aqueduct because it is a major attraction.
You should make careful to observe it from all angles available. Apart from admiring this century-old marvel, you shouldn’t pass up a few more things to do in the park.
4.3. Consider Taking A Tour
An organized tour of the grounds is available at the Bridge du Gard site. The best part of this tour is that they actually take you inside the aqueduct.
4.4. Museum And Visitors Center at Pont Du Gard
Both the movie theatre (where a short instructional film is shown) and the museum are located here.
The museum alone can easily keep you there for more than an hour; it’s clear that a lot of work went into it.
They give you an overview of the aqueduct’s history and provide background information, such as the rationale behind the Romans’ need for aqueducts.
They even made models and virtual reconstructions to illustrate how the Romans lived truly and ultimately constructed the Pont du Gard.
4.5. Paths For Walking And Hiking Around The Bridge Du Gard
The 165 ha-large region surrounding the Pont du Gard aqueduct is open for exploration. You can choose between two preliminary trials based on the degree of difficulty you want.
The 3.5 km aqueduct trail, which leads to the best viewing locations of the Pont du Gard, is the major walking route.
A 1.4-kilometer hiking loop called “Memory of the Garrigue” explores the Mediterranean region.
On your route, you might even come across some other aqueduct ruins that didn’t fare as well throughout the decades.
4.6. Day In The Summer: Go Swimming!
Bring a picnic lunch with you, invite your loved ones, and then just relax while taking it all in.
You would want to make the trip again simply for that, even if it was a little too chilly for swimming when visiting the Pont de Guard in the fall.
4.7. Avoid Skipping The Olive Trees
You should not miss viewing the oldest olive trees while in Pont du Gard, France.
You may be thinking right now that you didn’t travel all the way to France to view olive trees. But these olive trees are not ordinary ones.
Three substantial olive trees on the right will be seen along the road; they are more than 1,000 years old & were brought here from Spain to commemorate the 200th anniversary.
The olive trees date back a thousand years! On the rive gauche, there are three of them close together.
4.8. Dining Options Near The Pont du Gard
You can eat at two restaurants inside the Bridge de Gard as well. The cafeteria at the visitor center on Rive Gauche is a nice place for families to grab a quick bite to eat.
But nothing compares to the vista from Les Terrasses on the river. The Bridge du Gard is perfectly visible from their outside patio.
Also, unlike other tourist sites, the drinks weren’t outrageously pricey (I’m not sure about the meal).
4.9. The Aqueduct
Pont du Gard could be a little underwhelming when you get there because you can’t see it yet.
You may learn much about the location, its trails, and other French historical sites like Carcassonne at the tourist center.
After that, you continue into some lovely gardens, and happily, you are standing on it soon after.
Pont du Gard is impressive in terms of second impressions. It’s not difficult to imagine that this Roman bridge is the highest in the world.
Once you cross the first level of this three-story bridge, you realize how huge this structure is in relation to the surrounding environment and how little you feel.
When it comes to the bridge’s top tier, only those with a special pass are permitted to come as part of a guided tour.
4.10. View From The Hill, Pont du Gard
You can descend to the river and view the bridge from below after crossing it. There are some excellent vantage locations at the water’s edge if you move upstream.
The majority of the other tourists can be seen climbing over the rocks below to get a closer look.
The bridge’s architecture is striking from a distance, but it’s also incredibly intricate. Even a real beach exists downstream, which supposedly sees a lot of summertime traffic.
4.11. Pont du Gard Hiking Route, Hiking Paths Abound
The profusion of adjacent natural beauty is one of the best surprises of a trip to Pont du Gard.
Nearby woodlands can be seen on the river’s banks. Many hiking trails may be found all around the woods.
4.12. Hiking In Pont du Gard And Gard
The side of the aqueduct that is farther away from where you are looking to have more to offer.
It quickly became clear that you could continue moving if you wanted to for the rest of the day once you reached the top of the closest rise.
Periodically, you’d find a deserted ruin or breathtaking vantage point, which further motivates you to keep exploring. None of the trails ever became too difficult.
4.13. Gardon Valley River
It might surprise you to learn that Pont du Gard is home to a second aqueduct. Actually, there is also the Pont Roupt aqueduct ruins nearby.
The vast Memoires de Garrigue gardens have this area hidden at the back, which is where most people miss it. In actuality, this site is the only place you need to discover.
They note that there isn’t much information available about Pont Roupt, and if you’re not looking, you might miss it.
4.14. Path Of Pont du Gard
The 300-meter-long Pont Roupt is in far worse shape than the main aqueduct, with sections giving way to heaps of debris.
Even so, you can clearly see the aqueduct and its weakened state. It can’t match its brother in height or majesty, but it unmistakably has the air of a long-forgotten relic.
At Pont du Gard, take the created path away from the river and bridge to reach Pont Roupt. If you’re returning to the main visitor center, the trail is on your left and travels in a vague west-northwest direction.
4.15. Pont du Gard’s Ancient Aqueduct
Visitors can choose from a variety of tickets, although the least expensive one, which costs 8.5 euros, allows you to independently explore the UNESCO site (as of March 2017). A skip-the-line ticket can also be ordered in advance.
The neighborhood bus stop is on the main road, a few hundred metres from the visitor center.
Though they aren’t very frequent, buses are available from both Nimes & Avignon. The Nimes bus terminal sells tickets for the roundtrip from Nimes for around 3€.
The Bridge du Gard is often featured on Provence trips that take you via Avignon and Provence. Also, you have the choice of hiring a vehicle during your time in France.
Both Nimes & Avignon are wonderful options for lodging because they are close to Pont du Gard. Of course, each person also has a full schedule of activities for themselves.
If you travel to Pont du Gard by bus from Nimes or Avignon, your journey will begin with a ten-minute walk from the motorway to the destination (entrance shown above).
The entire route is lined with walkways and has some brief cover.
After that, you can choose what to do at Pont du Gard.
You might take a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, see the cultural center’s museum and theatre, or head straight to the well-known Roman aqueduct.
4.16. Swimming Beneath The Pont du Gard
Swimming in the Gardon River beneath the aqueduct is one of the highlights of the bus ride to Pont du Gard.
If you like the water even a little bit and the weather is even reasonably decent, prepare to swim at Pont du Gard. You must dress appropriately for the water if you’re traveling by bus.
All levels of swimmers will enjoy swimming here. In the summer of 2022, the majority of the river was pretty shallow; but you could comfortably wade out to waist and shoulder level to cool down, and there are plenty of safe places for kids to splash around.
You may swim from side to side of the river in about two minutes because it is rather narrow.
Moreover, if you enjoy rock jumping or diving, follow the throngs of teens to the rocks beneath the aqueduct, watch them dive in (they are aware of the deepest and safest areas), and then try it yourself!
4.17. Excursion To Pont du Gard
Around Pont du Gard, there are numerous broad, clearly signposted walking and hiking trails.
The two most popular trails are The Aqueduct Trail (3.5 km) & Memories of the Garrigue, which you can see by visiting the information desk at the entry (1.5 km).
It is advisable to wear supportive walking or running sneakers on the day of the visit, even if you don’t wish to go hiking.
4.18. Musée du Pont du Gard
The activities we’ve already covered at Pont du Gard have all been completely free. You can purchase your museum tickets online beforehand to prevent lines when you arrive. This includes the movie theatre.
The Pont du Gard museum provides both a broad overview of the value of water to Roman communities at the time the aqueduct was built and a detailed examination of the aqueduct’s construction process.
A number of interactive stations, movies, audio presentations, large & small models, and artifacts—mostly facsimiles—are included.
The museum takes around 45 minutes to complete, but some people spend two or three hours there (It depends on your interest in Roman engineering and history).
4.19. Cinema Pont du Gard
A short movie about the aqueduct’s history and construction is shown every fifteen minutes. This is a great spot to hide if you have kids and want to escape the summer heat.
You’ll need to get your hand stamped if you wish to leave and come back into the museum and the Pont du Gard theatre.
4.20. One Outstanding Building
There are three layers of arches on the Bridge du Gard. The span measures 274 meters (899 feet) in length and 48.8 meters in height (160 ft).
At the bottom, it is 9 meters (30 feet) wide; at the top, it is 3 meters (9.8 feet) wide. The major piers are arranged in a line, one above the other, and the three tiers of arches are recessed.
The original article and gorgeous photographs by Michel can be seen here.
The Bridge du Gard needed to sustain the flow of water while crossing the Gardon River. The Bridge du Gard spanned 360 meters (1181 feet) from one of the river’s banks to the other at its widest point.
5. Things You Should Know Before Visiting France’s Bridge Du Gard
Before going, you should know a few things, such as how much it will cost to view and how to get there.
5.1. How Much Does Visiting Cost?
The park used to be free, but they concluded that nobody appreciated this historical site’s splendor. Folks would arrive, take their photo, and then go.
So they implemented a fee in an effort to encourage visitors to stay longer, and it was successful!
The park’s entrance fee is €9.50 (note: if you book online, the price is lower; check the most recent prices). As previously stated, your ticket grants you much more than simply entrance to the Pont du Gard aqueduct.
You may explore the entire property; a visitor center and museum have been constructed to make it a worthwhile stop.
5.2. Where Is The Pont du Gard?
The Occitanie region, which borders the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, is where the Pont du Gard is located in the southern part of France.
Uzès, which is about a 10-minute drive away, is the closest city. But, it is also conveniently accessible from Nîmes and Avignon; each is around a 30-minute drive away.
5.3. Accessing The Pont Du Gard
The Bridge du Gard is not exactly in a convenient location. Driving there is the simplest way to reach the Bridge du Gard. Planning your day in this way offers the most flexibility.
You can travel to the Bridge du Gard by bus from either Nîmes or Avignon. Moreover, a number of planned tours depart from Avignon.
5.4. Going by car to the Pont Du Gard
Actually, there are two parking areas and entrances: rive droite & rive gauche. The right and left sides of the river are the only things that differentiate the parking lots at the Bridge du Gard.
Depending on where you’re coming from & which lot is most convenient for you, you’ll choose where to park.
5.5. More About The Pont du Gard
Follow the route for ten minutes to the bridge if you want to go directly to the aqueduct after passing through the enclosed tourist center (through the ticket office, which you don’t need to stop at, the cafe, and the gift store).
Expect to be awed when you arrive at the Bridge du Gard. The 275-meter-long aqueduct bridge rises 50 meters above the lake below.
Without using any mortar, gravity held the stones together over a period of around five years during the first century AD.
The pedestrian bridge you’ll be able to use was constructed in the 18th century and is not a component of the original aqueduct. You must join up for a guided tour if you wish to move on to the higher levels.
If you visit the Pont du Gard aqueduct & bridge remains, your trip towards the South of France will not be complete.
There are two sections to the French Bridge du Gard. As time passed, it was no longer feasible to utilize it as an aqueduct, and it transformed into a bridge over the Gardon River.
One of the highlights of the vacation turned out to be an obscure Roman site in the South of France. You can spend at least half of a day here, if not a whole day, studying these amazing old structures.
There is more to the Pont Du Gard than just taking in the scenery.
Read more here.