Lyon – The Capital of the Rhône-Alpes region
Boasting UNESCO World Heritage sites and many museums, the culinary capital of the world is also the ideal city for a cultural trip. Classified as UNESCO sites since 1998, the Renaissance quarters of Old Lyon and Fourvière Hill and Gallo-Roman ruins like the Croix-Rousse district and the city center (Presqu'île) are well-suited for walking and shopping. Complementing the new Confluence Museum, the Gadagne Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and the Lumière Institute are also essential visits.
As the world capital for mountaineering, Chamonix, located at the foot of Mont-Blanc, is an animated city full of activities and sites that are not to be missed. The Sea of Ice, an ancient glacier accessible by the little Montenvers railway, offers an unparalleled view of the surrounding countryside, like the Aiguille du Midi cable car and the Brévent cable car, which link the two highest peaks in the region. On the terrace of the Aiguille du Midi, at an altitude of 3,842 meters, you can find the highest attraction in Europe. “Le Pas dans le Vide” is a glass cube that allows visitors to see the void in an exceptional manner and admire the high views for an unforgettable experience.
The large alpine lakes
Annecy Lake is among the most popular destinations in the region, and is considered today one of the purest lakes in Europe. Annecy, the “Little Venice of Savoy,” is home to many canals. Over the water, Old Annecy unveils its streets and arched houses with the Alps as a backdrop.
Bourget Lake, the largest and deepest natural lake in France, inspired Lamartine’s famous poem “TheLake” and welcomed prestigious visitors like Queen Victoria to its spas in Aix-les-Bains and Bourget-du-Lac.Léman Lake, known internationally as Lake Geneva, forms a natural boarder with Switzerland. The Rhône-Alpes side is a true Riviera, with spas and seaside resorts like Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains and many fishing villages like Yvoire.
Gates of Provence, colors and scents
On either side of the Rhône, huge fields of lavender border vineyards, olive trees, peach trees and truffle trees. These products fill the region’s colorful markets, magnifying its tastes and artisanal traditions. It’s a lovely mixture of hilltop villages, the castles of Grignan, Suze-la-Rousse or Vogüe, the caves and caverns such as Aven d’Orgnac (a French Grand Site) and many others still.
The Pont d’Arc and the Gorges de l’Ardèche. A UNESCO site since 1982, the Pont d’Arc is the only functional riverfront stone arch in France, and it spans a river 59 meters large. This giant natural bridge is located at the beginning of the Ardèche Gorges which extend over thirty kilometers long. In April 2015, the Pont d’Arc Cavern was opened and offers the largest decorated cave replica in the world.
Rhône-Alpes, a gourmet destination
Fields, orchards, vineyards…considered the ‘pantry’ of France, the Rhône-Alpes region presents an exceptionally diverse landscapes. Rhône-Alpes is home to an explosion of natural flavors that will satisfy gourmet and foodies alike. Plentiful fruit trees and tasty vegetables contribute to the region’s reputation as a land of abundance committed to responsible production methods. In both the mountains and the plains of Forez, herds of cattle and goats generate high-quality meats as well as abundant milk production, ideal material for a cheese industry with 15 AOP (Origin-Protected) varieties. Other Origin-Protected products include chicken from Bresse, olives from Nyons and the majority of cru wines made in Rhône-Alpes vineyards, from grape varieties like Gamay, Syrah and Grenache. In total, the region boasts 71 Origin-Controlled wines, 59 of which are Origin-Protected, and more than 50 Red Labels.The French leader in specific areas like apricots, chestnuts, aromatic plants, walnuts and cheese, the region’s land is an inexhaustible source of flavors and aromas. All of these excellent products, served at some of the region’s finest tables, are part of the Rhône-Alpes’ always-strong culinary reputation.In 2015, René and Maxime Meilleur (Saint-Martin-de-Belleville) joined the exclusive circle of chefs with three Michelin stars, alongside Michel Troisgros (Roanne), Emmanuel Renaut (Megève) , Anne-Sophie Pic (Valence), Georges Blanc (Vonnas) and Paul Bocuse (Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or), ambassadors of a Rhône- Alpes culinary art that has been lauded by gourmets around the world for centuries. All in all, Rhône-Alpes is home to 82 Michelin-starred restaurants.