The Rhône-Alpes region is located in the southwestern part of France. In the western part of the province lies the Massif Central and in the east of the province the Alps and the Jura Mountains. To the east, the region borders Italy and Switzerland. In France, the Rhône-Alpes Region is surrounded by the regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Auvergne, Burgundy and Franche-Comté. The capital and most important city of the region is the city of Lyon. The region is mainly known for its beautiful nature and its beautiful ski areas. It is not without reason that the Winter Olympics have already been held in this region three times.
Top 10 Things to Do in Rhone-Alpes
According to ACT Test Centers, Lyon is one of the largest cities in France and the largest city in the Rhône-Alpes region. The historic center of the city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998. Some of the most beautiful sights in the city include the Gallo-Roman Museum of Fourvière, Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral and the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Lyon. The Rhône and Saône run through the city. In total there are thirty-three bridges over these two rivers. The oldest bridge dates from the early nineteenth century. The Fourvière hill determines the cityscape in Lyon. Against this hill are a number of Roman buildings.
#2. Lake Annecy
Lake Annecy is one of the largest freshwater lakes in France. The town of Annecy is the largest town on the lake. Lake Annecy is one of the largest tourist destinations in the Rhône-Alpes. There are several campsites around the lake, but there are also many luxury hotels that have their own beach on the lake. Lake Annecy is known for its clean water. This is because most of the water from the lake comes from various glaciers from the Alps. This is partly why Lake Annecy is very popular with water sports enthusiasts.
#3. Mont Blanc
The Mont Blanc forms the border between France and Italy. It has long been thought to be the highest mountain in Europe. This honor today goes to Elbrus in the Caucasus. However, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps with an altitude of 4808 meters. In which country the highest peak of Mont Blanc is located is somewhat dubious. Both France and Italy claim it is their territory. The top of the mountain was first reached by humans in 1786. Nowadays the mountain is regularly climbed, although this is not without danger and there are regular fatalities during these climbs.
#4. Alpe d’Huez
The Alpe d’Huez is also known as the Dutch mountain. This is mainly because a number of Dutch cyclists have won a stage during the Tour de France on this mountain. When the Tour de France hits the Alpe d’Huez you can expect an orange invasion at turn seven. The climb of the Alpe d’Huez is 13.8 kilometers long where you bridge a total of 1061 altimeters. The climb is especially famous for its twenty-one hairpin turns. Since 2006, the Alpe d’Huzes cycling event has been organized on the mountain. The intention is that the participants try to climb the mountain six times in one day. The proceeds of this trip go to the KWF.
#5. Gorges de l’Ardèche
The Gorges de l’Ardèche is a gorge along the river Ardéche. The gorge has been carved out over the centuries by the Ardéche River. The gorge lies between the towns of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc up to Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche. The most famous place in the Gorges de l’Ardèche is the natural bridge Pont d’Arc. In the Gorges de l’Ardèche there are several stalactite caves, some of which can be visited. The area is very popular with walkers.
The Beaujolais is a famous wine region in France. The Beaujolais Nouveau is presented every year on the third Thursday of November. This is the first wine of that year to be bottled. The grapes for this wine were removed from the vines just two months earlier. In the Netherlands, this wine is often referred to as Beaujolais nouveau. The Beaujolais should be drunk young and can only be stored for a limited time. Only the gamay noir à jus blanc grape may be used for the red wine.
#7. Lyon Cathedral
De l’église Saint-Jean-Baptiste-et-Saint-Étienne is better known as Lyon Cathedral and is known for its astronomical clock from the fourteenth century. This timepiece shows the position of the sun, the moon and the stars on certain days. The special thing about this timepiece is that it was built at a time when people still thought that the sun revolved around the earth and not the other way around. The construction of the cathedral started at the end of the twelfth century and was not completed until three hundred years later.
In the Rhône Alpes, in most years the differences are made during the Tour de France. Every year on the flanks of the Croix-Fer, the Galibier, the Madeleine or the Alpe d’Huez, the classification riders put up a real fight. In the summer months you can follow in the footsteps of the pros as an amateur cyclist and conquer the infamous and feared collen yourself. These mountain peaks are open most of the year, although you have a chance of snow here for a large part of the year. A famous tour that is held here every year is the Marmotte.
#9. Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval
In 1879 the French postman Ferdinand Cheval would start building what would later become a life’s work. In total, this postman has been working on this typical example of Naive architecture for thirty-three years. Cheval was worn as the village idiot by the rest of the villagers as he worked on his Palais Idéal in the evenings, accompanied by the light of an oil lamp. Today the palace is a national monument and is open to the public almost all year round.
#10. Winter sports
The Rhône Alpes are the most popular winter sports area in France. This region is home to the largest ski areas in France and the country’s most popular ski stations. In the highest parts of the Alps there is a high snow guarantee. The most famous ski resorts in the Rhône Alpes are Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski, Les Portes du Soleil, Deus Alpes and l’Espace Killy. The most famous ski stations in this area are Val Thorens, l’Alpe d’Huez and Val d’Isére. In total there are many hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes that can be reached via the dozens of ski lifts in the areas.