Rhône-Alpes , centered on France's second city, Lyon, is one of the larger traditional regions in France, encompassing eight departments. Since 2016, it has been merged into a new larger region known as Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.
The valley of a mighty river on one side, majestic mountains on the other, Rhône-Alpes revolves around its capital, Lyon, known as the "city with two rivers".
The Alpes du Nord, with its renowned ski areas, has long secured impeccable credentials. Snowboard down the endless slopes of Les 3 Vallées, hike in Chartreuse Mountains and bathe in Lake Annecy. The region is also a mosaic of massifs and valleys brandishing different identities and dotted with a Baroque church here, a cluster of stone houses there, and a Ville d'art et d'histoire at almost every turn.
Before following the Rhône Valley, which separates the Drôme Provençal from the Ardèche, to spectacular gorges, spend some time in the Lyon region: the mountains and plains of the Monts du Forez, St-Étienne, consecrated a UNESCO City of Design, the medieval city of Pérouges in the Bugey, the Vienne jazz festival are just some of the reasons to linger there.
Lastly, you shouldn't leave the region without tasting one of the Beaujolais or Rhône Valley wines, and a tablier de sapeur (crumbed tripe) in a legendary bouchon lyonnais.
Because of our nearly four decades of personal and professional partnerships with French providers, we are able to not only offer our clients premium value for these indelible Lyon , Rhone valley and the Alps experiences but also the opportunity to savor them in a highly personalized luxury manner. Whether you are a budget minded traveler or one with Platinum travel tastes, let Endless Beginnings create a luxury custom journey to fulfill your dreams.
Food and cuisine are synonymous with the Rhône region and the city of Lyon. And what food! This is a region noted for its gastronomy. From the humble street stalls to trendy cafés and bistros up to world-renowned restaurants, all are keen to show off their culinary skills and delight in serving specialties de la région. And there is a very happy marriage between the cuisine and the produce of the vineyards.
The splendours of Rhône Valley cookery start with pates featuring ham, goose and game. Superfine sausages and preserved meats are a feature. Exceptional amongst these are the saucisson de Lyon (air-dried sausage) used in Lyon's trademark dish, saucissons aux pommes (sausages with potatoes) and Saucisson chaud au Macon (pork sausage cooked in red wine) or the andouillettes (smoked sausages often made from veal and served with a mustard sauce) or rosette sausages or boudin blanc (veal or chicken sausages).
Quenelles de brochet (pike dumplings) are usually served with sauce Nantua (a creamy crayfish sauce) in one of the best known Rhône dishes, and are light and savoury. Chicken quenelles are also served. You can follow this with a Lyonnaise salad which includes chicken livers and lamb shanks. Meat lovers will enjoy game such as mousse de pigeon, (pigeon terrine), or Chevreau a l'Ail et Herbes Sauvages (Baby Goat with Garlic and Wild Herbs) or Grillades de boeuf a la moelle (grilled steak with bone marrow)
Patisseries specialize in extremely rich chocolate gateaux which make great desserts. Enjoy in Perouges Galette Perougienne, a buttery, sugary, flat tart eaten with le tupin de crème, (a huge jug of thick cream), or Granite aux Pommes et Calvados (Apple and Calvados Ice). Or finish with fabulous Bernachon chocolates or Nougat blanc de Montelimar, white nougat of almonds, egg white and honey. A Rhône favourite cheese is Saint Marcellin, a soft white goat's cheese, great with Côtes du Rhône wines. Or indulge in superb regional chesses such as Beaufort, Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon, Chevrotin des Alpes, and Dauphinois.
As the second largest wine-growing region in France, the Rhône Valley vineyards thrive on both sides of the eponymous river. Some of the most famous wines in the world come from here. The valley also revels in a rich architectural heritage.
From Lyon to the Camargue, passing through the regions of Provence and the Luberon, the Rhône Valley vineyards are divided into two large wine-growing areas. To the north, the Septentrional vineyard clings to the abrupt hillsides in the steep mountain ranges; to the south, the Meridional vineyard enjoys the plains and gentle slopes. The 14 wine routes wind through historic villages in varying landscapes. They take you to the vineyards where the famous wines are made: Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Beaumes-de-Venise ... Between fields of lavender and olive trees, share special moments with the winemakers, learn about wine and enjoy the hundreds of wine events. Under the southern sun, discover the Palace of the Popes of Avignon, the Pont du Gard, or the ornate Pont-d’Arc cave.
The diversity of the wine-growing areas, due to the complex soils and variations of the Mediterranean climate, gives the Rhône Valley wines their unique character. Mostly reds, the wines of the Rhône are divided into three colours. In the north, robust but fine reds and aromatic whites. In the south, more full-bodied reds, expressive whites and round and fruity rosés. Sweet wines complete this large range.
Vineyards in Villars Vaucluse
vineyards with windmill, Rhone Valley
Annecy, Rhone Alpes
Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon
Bouligneux, Rhone Alpes
Bouligneux, Rhone Alpes
France's biggest city park, Lyon
Gilles Rheinhart, Christophe Muller, Paul Bocuse
Trompeloeil facade, Lyon
The fresco of the Canuts, district of the Croix Rousse of Lyon
Lyon France Cafe
Rhone Valley, Village of Chatillon d'Azergues
Market at Vaison la Romaine in the Rhône Valley
A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its idyllic pastoral countryside and historical treasures, discovering unknown France experienced only from the intimate access a barge can offer. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking all the while enjoying a blend of daily excursions, fascinating cruising, exceptional Cuisine and phenomenal wine.
Imagine a romantic hot air balloon flight in France. Floating majestically and effortlessly over the prettiest regions including Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Auvergne. Hot air balloon flights can be enjoyed by everyone as there are no particular age or physical requirements. Take flight in the early hours just after dawn or later in the day just before sunset when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently, gazing down at the countryside carpet below, including châteaux, medieval villages, and vineyards. Finishing up with the traditional Champagne "toast aux Aéronautes" at the landing