Visit grand old Lyon, medieval town Annecy, Grenoble at the foot of the French Alps and the beautiful Parc Régional de Chartreuse and Parc Régional du Vercors in Les Rhônes-Alpes. A great mini roadtrip if you have at least five days to drive around. If you don't have enough time, just go to Lyon for a nice city trip.
Places to visit in Les Rhones-Alpes
Lyon, capital of Gastronomy
Vieux Lyon - Discover Lyon's UNESCO listed old town with its cobbled narrow streets and medieval and Renaissance houses, mostly pink. Spend an afternoon meandering the little streets and discover nice cute little bars, restaurants, shops and terraces. Make your way up to Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere for stunning panorama views of Lyon. Traboules - Within View Lyon and Croix Rousse, you'll find so-called traboules; secret passages linking 240 streets with a length of 50 km underground. Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse - Lyon's famous indoor food market with more than 60 stalls selling local produce. 102 Cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon, France - halles-de-lyon-paulbocuse.com Street Art - Lyon has lots of street art to offer. The most famous ones are created by CitéCréation, the Lyonaise-born collective of talented muralist’s. A few highlights are Mister Paul Bocuse watching over Lyon and the Canuts fresco in Croix- Rousse (the largest in Europe). Fun fact: this piece gets renovated every few years and the inhabitants represented on this facade are getting older with every update. Another famous piece is La Fresque des Lyonnais which depicts 30 of Lyon’s most famous figures. A map with street art can be found here. Parc de la Tête d'Or - France's largest city park and perfect for a relaxed afternoon stroll around the lake. The zoo in the parc is free to visit. Allée de l'Orangerie, 69006 Lyon, France
Coffee in Lyon
La Boîte à Café - There is also something around the corner. A bit of a hidden gem, this cafe serves amazing coffee and has a great outdoor space. 3 Rue de l'Abbé Rozier, 69001 Lyon, France - facebook.com/pg/laboiteacafelyon Le Kitchen Cafe - Un café et une croissant s'il vous plait, or deux. Merci! Great place for breakfast pastries. 34 Rue Chevreul, 69007 Lyon, France - lekitchencafe.com
Grenoble, capital of the Alps
Hike your way up or take the cable car to the Fort de la Bastille, for an impressive view over Grenoble. Le Magasin (Centre National d'Art Contemporain - CNAC) - Grenoble's Centre for Contemporary Art is located in a former hangar and one of the most important centres for contemporary art in France. 8 Espl. Andry Farcy, 38000 Grenoble, France - magasin-cnac.org
Annecy, Venice of the Alps
Wander around medieval old town through the narrow streets of Vieille Ville with pastel houses and beautiful canals. Take photos of Palais de I'Isle and the lakefront eating ice cream from one of the many ice cream parlours or eat a fresh baked croissant or baguette from a local boulangerie.
Have a picnic around picturesque Lake Annecy, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Drive around the lake for some picture perfect spots.
Hiking in Les Rhones-Alpes
Parc Régional de Chartreuse - Encompasses the wild forested Chartreuse massif and is great for hiking. In the Grande Chartreuse monastery the monks are still distilling the famous liqueur Chartreuse (not possible to visit). You can guess my favourite ingredient for any cocktail.
Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors - One of the nine regional parcs in the areas. A wonderful parc for a full day of hiking in the mountains. Réserve naturelle des Hauts Plateux du Vercors is France's largest nature reserve.
Good to know about Lyon
Most bouchons in Lyon (the famous small friendly bistro serving traditional Lyonnaise cuisine using local produce) only take one reservation per table for the evening. Make sure you make a reservation to avoid ending up in touristy old town.
Les Rhones-Alpes is famous for
The celebrity chef Paul Bocuse (who passed away in 2018). His legacy still continues with his famous 3 Michelin- starred restaurant L'Auberge and indoor food market Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse.
The Beaujolais Nouveau festival. The Beaujolais is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Every year on the third Thursday in November, the whole of France will be celebrating that the new wine bottles hit the shelves.