Auvergne Rhone - Alps Table of Contents
Auvergne Rhone - Alps Map
Auvergne Rhone – Alps France Travel Guide
Lyon is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk and in modern times has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France. It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. Legend says that the Virgin Mary saved the city from the plague and, to thank her, a statue was built. Lyon is between the rivers Rhone and Saône, and on the steep western bank of the Saône. The old city has an architectural and cultural heritage spanning over two thousand years.
Clermont Ferrand is one of the oldest cities in France and was first written about by the ancient Greeks. It was the starting point of the First Crusades and later became a Royal City. Now the city is most famous for its chain of ancient volcanoes. Notable buildings are the Notre-Dame du Port: a Romanesque church built during the 11th and 12th centuries and a World Heritage Site and the Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral built in Gothic style between the 13th and the 19th centuries. Clermont-Ferrand’s public square is Place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix who united the Gaul’s to rise up against the Romans, sitting grandly on a horse and holding a sword.
Le Puy en Velay
Le Puy en Velay is home to the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy, dating mainly from the first half of the 12th century and an UNESCO world heritage site. Also of interest is the Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe chapel which is built on a volcanic outcrop 85 metres high. The chapel is reached by 268 steps carved into the rock. It was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James.
Vichy, in the south of the department, is the famous spa town famous for its mineral water. The spas, famous for their beneficial qualities were first used by the Romans 2000 years ago and made famous by Louis XIV and then again in the 19th century by Napoleon. The Romanesque Churches of Auvergne.
The region has a number of medieval churches, the most well known are: Notre Dame du Port in Clermont Ferrand, Eglise Saint Austremoine at Issoire, Notre Dame d’Orcival Eglise de Saint Nectaire Basilique, Saint Julien Brioude Abbey and cloisters at Lavaudieu Chapelle, Saint Michel de l’Aiguilhe Le Puy en Velay.
Chamonix sits smack bang at the junction of France, Italy and Switzerland and is a stunning part of the country. It is the departure point for hiking and skiing in and around Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak. Cable cars take visitors to the peaks to capture stunning views including Aiguille du Midi and Pointe Helbronner.
Annecy is a pretty old Alpine town, on the shores of Lake Annecy. One of the most popular sites in Annecy is the Palais de l’Isle, a castle in the centre of the Thiou canal, built in 1132.
Aix dates back to the Roman Empire, today it is a prosperous spa town on the Lac du Bourget, nearby numerous Roman ruins have survived the test of time.
For a great view take the cable car up to the historic Fort de la Bastille, another one of Vauban fortifications. In the town the National Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the best in France. The Grenoble Museum has a good collection of 19th – 20th century art, including Gaugin, Matisse, Bonnard and Picasso.
Pont-d’Arc is situated at the nearby of one of the most beautiful tourist sites of France: “les gorges de l’Ardèche” (the Ardèche canyon). The famous Pont d’Arc is a natural arch more than 30 metres high, carved out by the Ardèche river, and is classified as Great Site of France.
Côtes du Rhône Villages
The Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC are wines produced in 95 communes and are a more upscale wine than Côtes du Rhône AOC. Within this appellation there are 18 Villages that can use the name of the village on the label; these wines have even stricter controls than the other Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC or the Côtes du Rhône AOC.
Villages that are can use the village name on the label are :
- Chusclan (red and rosé only),
- Massif d’Uchaux (red only),
- Plan de Dieu (red only), Puyméras (red only),
- Saint Gervais,
- Saint Maurice,
- Signargues (red only),
Beaujolais wines are from the Beaujolais province. It is located north of Lyon, and covers parts of the north of the Rhône department and parts of the south of the Saône-et-Loire department in Burgundy. The wine is a French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine and is generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins.
Beaujolais is usually a light-bodied red wine, with high amounts of acidity. There are some whites produced in the region from Chardonnay grapes, however this is only 1% of the area.
World Destination Guide
There are 195 countries in the world stretching across seven continents – so there is an awful lot to see.Where to begin? Many people are inspired by a movie they have seen or a story they have heard, or a desire to see the land of their ancestors.
Use the drop-down on the right to explore the world.