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Regions of France - Rhône-Alpes

Located in the South-East of France, the Rhône-Alpes borders Italy and Switzerland. From the summit of Mont-Blanc to the lavender fields in the Drôme Provençale, the region offers the widest range of landscapes and activities to satisfy every visitor seeking a great holiday experience.

Just two hours from Paris by TGV and close to the French Riviera / Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes is a region of diversity: mountains and Mont Blanc (the highest peak in Europe at 15,771 feet), four natural parks (Vanoise, Vercors, Pilat and Ecrins), the Massif Central, vineyards, endless lavender fields, and wild pure lakes are among the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Springing from a glacier, the Rhône River flows south toward the sunshine of the Mediterranean. Its broad valley embraces thriving cities, Roman ruins, medieval castles, fabled vineyards and the snowy peaks of the French Alps.

Rhône-Alps is ideal for activities and sports. Set against an impressive natural backdrop: skiing, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding and canoeing are popular. Besides hosting three Winter Olympic games (it has the largest ski area in the world), the Rhône-Alpes is the second most important golfing region in France with over 60 courses.

Enthusiasts of art and culture are catered for with the region’s Villes d’Art: Lyon, which is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Annecy, Grenoble, Chambéry, and Saint-Étienne.

Connoisseurs of good food and wine are spoilt for choice by the range of local specialties available to taste along with a Beaujolais or a Côtes du Rhône, and by the sheer number of famous restaurants (with Paul Bocuse at the top of the list) in the region.

Lyon is the home of the very typical and traditional bouchons which are convivial restaurants serving local dishes and wines.

Lyon is famous for its morning snacks, the mâchons, made up of local charcuterie and accompanied by Beaujolais red wine. Traditional local dishes include saucisson de Lyon (sausage), andouillette, coq au vin, esox (pike) quenelle, gras double (tripe cooked with onions), salade lyonnaise (lettuce with bacon, croutons and a poached egg), marrons glacés and cardoon au gratin.

The capital, Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Rhône-Alpes has the sixth-largest economy of any European region. It is made up of the following départements:

Ain (01). Capital: Bourg-en-Bresse
Ardèche (07). Capital: Privas
Drôme (26). Capital: Valence
Isère (38). Capital: Grenoble
Loire (42). Capital: Saint-Étienne
Rhône (69). Capital: Lyon
Savoie (73). Capital: Chambéry
Haute-Savoie (74). Capital: Annecy

With access to two international airports (Lyon and Geneva), impressive rail connections and a vast motorway network, the Rhône-Alpes region is at "the crossroads of Europe".