What to see or visit in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes? My 9 must-see places

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Valery Aloyants


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Whether for its scenery high mountains (Alps), its large metropolises cultural (such as Lyon) or its majestic rivers flowing there (Rhône, Loire, Saône), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes will inevitably amaze you. So here is my selection of some wonders, a must see if you pass by.

My map of the unmissable places in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

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The locations on the map are detailed below… Let's go!

The Basilica of Fourvière, in Lyon

The Basilica of Fourvière dominates Lyon

Lyon no longer needs to be presented. Capital of the Gauls, its historic center is also UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Lyon, the Tête d'Or park, or the banks of the Rhône are all treasures to discover if you come to visit the city. But I advise you above all to climb to the top of Fourvière hill (on foot or by funicular). From the top, a breathtaking view of the entire metropolis is offered to you, and you will find yourself at the foot of one of its jewels: the Basilica of Fourvière. To visit absolutely! Finally, your trip to Lyon must absolutely take you through a Lyon cork to taste the specialties of the city: quenelle, brioche sausage, cervelle de canut etc ... Expedia presents 5 other Lyon specialties. Yum yum!

Pont-d'Arc, in the gorges of the Ardèche

The iconic Pont D'Arc

On the winding road at the bottom of the Ardèche gorges, you will inevitably stop at Pont D'Arc. This rock formation shaped by water over the past few millennia is simply awe-inspiring. And that will not be the only spot to see in these gorges: the “Templars” and the 11 other belvederes which line the road will amaze you!

Canals and flower-bedecked banks, in Annecy


It is also called the Savoyard Venice, and for good reason, old Annecy will enchant you with its charming flowery canals everywhere, or its pleasant stroll by the lake. A decor composed of period architecture, with its beautiful colored facades and old stones. The Palace of the Island is surely the most photogenic spot in the city, so stop, and admire!
ℹ️ Locals' advice: stop at Poustache's, and stroll through the old town with ice cream in hand.

The castle of La Roche, in the Roannais

La Roche castle in the Roannais

One of my last discoveries in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region: it is in the territory of Roannais (below Roanne). Like a jewel in the middle of the water (the Loire), this fairytale castle, stand proudly and majestically. The opportunity also for a stroll along the Loire, to stop and contemplate (upstream of the Pêt d'Âne for example). Accompany this stroll with a Praluline: a brioche with pralines typical of the region. Mmhh ?!

Le Puy-de-Dôme, in Auvergne

View of the Auvergne volcanic chain

This belvedere (and dormant volcano) overlooking the chain of volcanoes of Auvergne and culminating at more than 1400m will amaze you! You can access it on foot (for the more athletic) or using an electric funicular. From up there, the show is 360 ° : and if you have the courage, you will count the number of volcanoes (and you will give me the number in the comments?)

The Ideal Palace of Postman Cheval, in the Drôme

The Ideal Palace of Postman Cheval

Surely the most astonishing place of this selection: you may have discovered it thanks to the recent film dedicated to the story of its creator. In short, this wacky palace is the work of a postman (Mr Cheval) who collected stones during his tour in order to assemble them and make them a majestic work. A magical place, to be explored in every detail ...
+ info on official website

The medieval city of Pérouges, in the Ain

Alley in Pérouges

Perched on its hill, this listed medieval city among the most beautiful villages in France hides in its places an exceptional period architecture. Old stones, fortifications, large solid wood doors: so many ingredients to make it an essential step. Do not leave Pérouges without having tasted the famous sugar cake : a delight !

Mont Aiguille, in the Vercors

Mont Aiguille, symbol of Vercors

Mont Aiguille is located in the heart of Vercors massif, and it is one of the Seven Wonders of Dauphiné. With its atypical shape, it will make a sumptuous decor during a randonnée in this natural park, straddling the departments of Drôme and Isère. The Tête Chevalière hike remains one of the most beautiful walks I have done in France (I will tell you more about it here).

Le Puy-en-Velay, in Haute-Loire

Le Puy-en-Velay

Much less known than its counterparts in the region, this small town is incredible for its relief and the way it has been used: imposing religious constructions have been erected on several natural rocky headlands. Simply incredible at that time! And that is why some people call it “Mont Saint-Michel des Terres”.

Your favorite spots in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes?

And now, my little selection is already finished, even if I could have put many other places… You can also find all my explorations in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes on my personal blog.

And you, what are your favorite spots in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes? I'm curious about them, and maybe add them to my next list of visits?

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