Rendez-vous in Rhônes- Alpes
Top of the tops
As the name implies, this vast region rising between Burgundy to the north and Provence to the south, encompasses a stunning variety of landscapes, stretching from the Rhône valley and the source of the Loire to the west to France’s highest mountain range in the east. The splendid city of Lyon, a World Heritage Site, is its capital. The region is home to Mont-Blanc, Europe’s highest peak and the most extensive ski area in the world such as the 3 valleys, Val d’Isère and Chamonix. It also boasts the largest collection of
national and nature parks of any region in the whole country. Spring comes very early in its southern reaches with pine woods sharing the landscape with lavender fields and olive groves.
Not to be missed:
- Chamonix . At the foot of Mont-Blanc (4830 m) rightly claims to be the world capital of mountaineering and skiing.
- Annecy: its gorgeous lake, its canals, the old city and its monuments.
- Major ski resorts: Alped’Huez, les Deux-Alpes, Chamonix, Courchevel, la Plagne, Val d’Isère, Megève, Méribel, Tignes….
- Spectacular alpine lakes: Lac Léman (lake of Geneva), Le Bourget and Annecy.
A city of choice:Lyon, a World Heritage city
The capital city of the Rhône – Alpes region, Lyon was classed as a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1998. Founded more than 2000 years ago, the city was initially named Lugdunum by the Romans, who saw its position at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers as in important crossroads between northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Alps.
Today, France’s second largest city is a fascinating mix of architecture, cultures and people. One of the most charming district in town is the Vieux Lyon, home to the largest collection of Renaissance buildings anywhere in Europe. Its narrow winding streets are filled with “bouchons” – small typical restaurants for which the city is famous – as well as cafés, pubs and the workshops of local artists and craftsmen.
On a hill nearby stands the huge Notre-Dame de Fourvière cathedral, a basilica that towers over the city. You can climb to the top and take in the spectacular view of the city and its rivers.
Not to be missed:
● The “Vieux Lyon” historical centre
● The Lumière Institute ( Cinema museum)
● Musée du Tissu et des Arts Décoratifs
● The Tête d’Or park and
● The “bouchons” - typical restaurants serving an interesting variety of local dishes.
Fêtes des Lumières (early December)
SNCF railway stations : TGV from Paris (Lyon station) to Luon, Saint-Etienne, Annecy, Grenoble, Chambéry, Valence, Bourg-en-Bresse. Also TGV des neiges( from Christmas to Easter) service from Paris to all major ski stations.
Airports : Lyon Saint-Exupéry, Genève – Cointrain, Grenoble Saint-Geoirs
Web : www.lyon-france.com