This is a genuine first introduction to a beautiful region in France which has, in many ways, been overlooked by the vast numbers of international tourists and visitors to France every year.
The Rhône-Alpes is a large area in the French “Central Massif” which features a wide variety of countryside from the snow-capped mountains of the French Alps in the east to the rolling hills and vineyards of the beaujolais in the north west.
Amongst this expanse there are delightful villages and townships which reflect a communal French way of life that is quickly disappearing in other regions.
The Rhône Valley and French Alpes
The two most important geographical features of this area of France, the Alpes and the river Rhone, give this region both its name and its dramatic character.
To the east, is dominated by majestic snowcapped peaks, while the Rhone provides a vital conduit between north and south.
The Romans recognised this strategic route when they founded Lyon over 2000 years ago.
Today, Lyon, with its great museums and fine Renaissance buildings, is the second city of France.
A most engaging, vibrant, and beautiful city it certainly is!
It is one of the country’s most vital commercial and cultural centres as well as the undisputed capital of French gastronomy.
Set around two main rivers – the Rhone and the Saone- Lyon has much to offer to its visitors, whether serious traveller or occasional tourist.
Vieux Lyon ( the old town area of the city) provides colour and amusement from high quality cafes, bars, and shops to art galleries and street theatre. All set amongst ancient romanesque and medieval buildings with surprises down every magical alleyway, and around virtually every street corner!
There is much, much more!
Roman amphitheatre and museum, and funicular railway to Notre Dame basilica overlooking the entire city with fantastic, breathtaking views – on a clear day you can even see Mont Blanc amongst a vista of the French Alpes. A real family treat!
The rest of the city offers an incredible variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, quality hotels, street markets with an abundance and staggering variety of fruit and vegetables – superbly presented as only the French can do.
Flower shops, too, are to die for!