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Overview

The river, La Rhône, is just as important to France as the Rhine to Germany. The region is most often visited by motorists rushing south from Paris to the Riviera. It merits a stopover of at least two or three days. The Valley of the Rhône is a land of mountains and rivers, the home of Beaujolais and the greatest gastronomic center of the country in Lyon, the region's largest city. The Rhône Valley is also filled with castles, Roman ruins, and charming villages. The region abounds in good restaurants and mellow old inns. The vineyards of Beaujolais start about 25 miles (40 km) north of Lyon. Leon Daudet wrote: "Lyon has ...

The river, La Rhône, is just as important to France as the Rhine to Germany. The region is most often visited by motorists rushing south from Paris to the Riviera. It merits a stopover of at least two or three days. The Valley of the Rhône is a land of mountains and rivers, the home of Beaujolais and the greatest gastronomic center of the country in Lyon, the region's largest city. The Rhône Valley is also filled with castles, Roman ruins, and charming villages. The region abounds in good restaurants and mellow old inns. The vineyards of Beaujolais start about 25 miles (40 km) north of Lyon. Leon Daudet wrote: "Lyon has three rivers, the Rhône, the Saône, and Beaujolais." In the city of Lyon itself the highlight is Vieux Lyon, or Old Lyon, covering about a square mile and taking in one of the finest collections of medieval and Renaissance buildings in Europe. Vienne is another center of gastronomy, and Pérouges, 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lyon, is a village where the Middle Ages live on, at least in architecture. A final tour is possible of The Ardèche, the country's fastest flowing river where you can wander through "The Grand Canyon of France."

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, early fall