Travel to Rhone-Aples, France's Alpine heartland

  • Rhône-Alpes, France
    © iStockphoto.com / Janoka82
  • Rhône-Alpes, France
    © iStockphoto.com / Janoka82
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

With:
- Eight departments (Haute Savoie, Savoie, Isère, Ain, Drôme, Rhône, Loire and Ardèche).
- an area, a demography and an economy representing approximately a tenth of France.
- two National Parks: Vanoise and Ecrins.
- six Regional Parks: Vercors, Pilat, Chartreuse, Haut-Jura, Bauges, Monts d'Ardèche.
- the highest summit in Europe: Mont Blanc, at 4,808m.
- three of the five largest lakes in France: Geneva, Bourget and Annecy.
- the largest skiing area in France: 3 Vallées, Portes du Soleil, Paradiski?
- the Ardèche gorges.
- more than sixty golf courses, making it the second most important region in this respect.
- the 'Bouchons', 'mères lyonnaises' and gastronomy of the mountains.
- the second most visited city in France:
- landscapes including high mountains, vineyards, valleys, flood plains and fields of olive trees and lavender.
What's missing from this region of superlatives? Maybe just a seaside?

Rhône-Alpes: the key figures

Surface area : 43698.0 km2

Population : 6211811 inhabitants

Rhône-Alpes: what to visit?

Enogastronomy

  • Les mères lyonnaises , The 'mères lyonnaises' , France
    Les mères lyonnaises
  • La charcuterie lyonnaise , Pork products from the Lyon region , France
    La charcuterie lyonnaise
  • Les volailles de Bresse , Bresse poultry , France
    Les volailles de Bresse
  • La châtaigne ardéchoise , This is not a sweet chestnut , France
    La châtaigne ardéchoise
  • Le nougat de Montélimar , The famous nougat of Montelimar , France
    Le nougat de Montélimar
  • La fondue savoyarde , Fondue Savoyarde , France
    La fondue savoyarde
  • La liqueur de Chartreuse , France
    La liqueur de Chartreuse
  • La liqueur de Chartreuse , France

Arts and culture

  • Centre d'histoire de la résistance et de la déportation , The Berthelot Centre , France
    Centre d'histoire de la résistance et de la déportation
  • Aquarium du grand Lyon , Aquarium du Grand Lyon , France
    Aquarium du grand Lyon
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts , Museum of Fine Arts , France
    Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne , The Saint-Etienne Museum of Modern Art , France
    Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne
  • Musée de Grenoble , The Museum of Grenoble , France
    Musée de Grenoble
  • Le Musée de la Grande Chartreuse , France
    Le Musée de la Grande Chartreuse
  • Le Musée de la Grande Chartreuse , France

Monuments

  • Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval , Discover the 'Palais Idéal' (Ideal Palace) , France
    Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval
  • Les fresques murales , The 'wall of the writers' , France
    Les fresques murales
  • Primatiale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon , At the foot of the hill , France
    Primatiale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon
  • Monastère royal de Brou , The first cloister , France
    Monastère royal de Brou
  • Monastère royal de Brou , The first cloister , France

The fauna and flora

  • Parc national des Ecrins , Almost 40! , France
    Parc national des Ecrins
  • Réserve naturelle nationale des Aiguilles Rouges , 13 square miles , France
    Réserve naturelle nationale des Aiguilles Rouges
  • Parc naturel régional du Vercors , The ibex living on the high plateaus , France
    Parc naturel régional du Vercors
  • Le parc naturel régional de la Chartreuse , Chartreuse Regional National Park , France
    Le parc naturel régional de la Chartreuse
  • Le parc naturel régional de la Chartreuse , Chartreuse Regional National Park , France

Activities and leisure

  • Grand Parc Miribel-Jonage , Bike rides in the park , France
    Grand Parc Miribel-Jonage
  • City Aventure Lyon , City Adventure , France
    City Aventure Lyon
  • Les Aventuriers du Nant Burian , The park in the Nant Burian forest , France
    Les Aventuriers du Nant Burian
  • Parc Aravis Aventures
  • Walibi Rhône-Alpes , The Walibi Rhône-Alpes amusement park , France
    Walibi Rhône-Alpes
  • Parcours aventure la Forêt de Robin
  • Parc des Oiseaux , France
    Parc des Oiseaux
  • Parc des Oiseaux , France

Night Life

  • Café des Fédérations , The Café des Fédérations , France
    Café des Fédérations
  • Le Palais de la Bière , 'The Beer Palace' , France
    Le Palais de la Bière
  • Barberousse
  • La Passagère de Saint-Malo , France
    La Passagère de Saint-Malo
  • L'Auberge de l'Eridan , The new house of Marc Veyrat , France
    L'Auberge de l'Eridan
  • L'Auberge de l'Eridan , The new house of Marc Veyrat , France

Sports and activties

  • Swimming pools of Lyon , Holidays in Lyon , France
    Swimming pools of Lyon
  • Mur Mur Lyon climbing wall , Le Mur de Lyon , France
    Mur Mur Lyon climbing wall
  • Mountains , Hiking in the mountains , France
    Mountains
  • Pont d'Arc watersports, Ardèche , The Pont d'Arc Water Sports Centre   , France
    Pont d'Arc watersports, Ardèche
  • Prévol , France
    Prévol
  • Le ski de randonnée , France
    Ski tours
  • L'Espace Ski Rando de Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse , France
    Ski touring in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse
  • L'Espace Ski Rando de Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse , France

Rhône-Alpes: travel tips

It is hard to believe that just one region can have so many different landscapes, activities and atmospheres; basically there is something for everyone.
Whether you want to go for a walk, practise some outdoor sports or just take in the fresh air, nature is everywhere. Fans big and small of fauna and flora will be delighted with the Pays de Gex and Valserine Nature Reserve, Écrins National Park, Pilat Regional Natural Park, Monts d'Ardèche Natural Park, Vercors Regional Natural Park, Contaminate-Montjoie Nature Reserve and the Grand Parc de Miribel-Jonage, which is one of the largest peri-urban parks in Europe.
The 19-mile canyon that makes up the Ardèche Gorges is paradise for thrill-seekers and fans of whitewater sports, whereas Mont Blanc will delight fans of the mountains, both in summer and winter.
For a more relaxed and cultural holiday, the region's heritage is vast and plentiful. The caves of Chauvet and Orgnac, the ancient city of Alba la Romaine (with its ancient theatre, its old villas and its statuary), the Royal Monastery of Brou and Mazan Abbey (a national heritage site) will take you back to another time.
As for tourism in the cities and towns, they are full of architecture and regional culture just waiting to be discovered, such as Grenoble with its Notre-Dame Cathedral, Saint-Claire Square, fortress of Bastille, Grenette Square and Jardin de Ville; Montélimar with its Old Town, its Château des Adhémar and its Nougat Museum; and Lyon for its gastronomy.
Of course, in winter tourists flock to the ski resorts of Alpe d'Huez, the 3 Vallées ski zone comprised of Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens, and the elegant and chic Megève. If you aren't deterred by the rather harsh climate of the Alps in winter, we recommend you hurry up and make your booking far in advance to make sure you don't miss out on some ski-filled holidays.

Rhône-Alpes: Latest hotel reviews
  • 9.45 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Alta Peyra
    Saint-Véran - France
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    Perched at the 6693-foot acme of the Queyras Regional Park, the ...

  • 9.45 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Le Strato
    Courchevel - France
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Opened in December 2009, the Strato is not just another 5-star ...

  • 9.4 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Les Airelles
    Courchevel - France
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Although you may see many luxury hotels in Courchevel, you won't ...

  • 9.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    K2 Palace
    Courchevel - France
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    On 9 July 2014, the K2 Hotel obtained the distinction of palace, ...

  • 9.0 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Hameau Albert 1er
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - France
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A Relais & Châteaux institution in Chamonix, the Hameau Albert ...

  • 8.95 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Lana
    Courchevel - France
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    Opened in 1958, the Lana is an institution in the Courchevel ...

  • 8.95 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Manali
    Courchevel - France
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    At a time when luxury hotels are popping up all over the streets ...

  • 8.95 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Les Grandes Alpes
    Courchevel - France

    It's hard to recognise the Hotel Les Grandes Alpes, one of the ...

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