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Cities & towns of Auvergne-Rhône-Alps

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Auvergne-Rhône-Alps

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Cities & towns of Auvergne-Rhône-Alps

Ain

Nestling near the Swiss border between the Saône Valley and the Alps, the department of Ain, with its varied and unspoilt countryside, boasts a rich natural heritage. Dombes with its thousand ponds, Bugey, Revermont, Savoyard Bresse, Pays de Gex and Upper Jura are regions whose beauty delights lovers of the countryside and outdoor leisure activities. As well as the varied scenery, which includes forests, hillside vineyards, valleys, cliffs, rivers, lakes, ponds, hedged farmland and mountains, you'll find traditional buildings such as farms with Saracen chimneys, fortified houses and pretty villages. Ain is a top gastronomy destination, with a number of famous specialities: Bresse poultry, pike dumplings with Nantua sauce, fish and frogs from Dombes, Bleu de Gex cheese, Comté, Bugey wines and Pérouges cake will delight your taste buds!

Allier

Located at the centre of the old province of Bourbonnais, Allier, whose history is closely tied to that of the saga of the famous Bourbon dynasty, contains a significant built and cultural heritage, with castle forts, Romanesque churches, towns and museums all providing a reminder of its rich past. When it comes to nature, there's plenty to discover, and the area is ideal for outdoor activities: the Bourbonnais mountains for hiking, horse-riding and mountain biking; the Chouvigny Gorges for canoe-kayaking; the Riers Allier, Cher, Sioule and other waterways for a spot of fishing; the Tronçais Forest for a walk amid the ancient oaks and peaceful ponds... And to unwind after a day out visiting, there's nothing like a well-being session at the Thermal Baths in one of the three spa resorts in Allier!

Ardèche

The famous Ardèche gorges, heaven for canoeists and kayakers, the characteristic Ardèche villages which delight lovers of beautiful masonry, the well-known volcanic sites such as Mount Gerbier de Jonc, the Ray-Pic waterfall and Mount Mézenc, the enchanting world of mysterious caves, the medieval castles overlooking the Rhône Valley, the many belvederes with superb panoramic views and the numerous farmers’ markets offering local specialities - all these things make Ardèche a region full of surprises and new discoveries… A holiday destination prized by nature lovers, perfect for relaxing and outdoor activities, with its unspoilt wild spaces, dotted with lakes and rivers, and its three spa resorts!

Cantal

At the heart of Auvergne, in the Massif Central, lies the magnificent Cantal, a favourite destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, paragliding or skiing! Between the majestic peaks of the Cantal Massif, located in the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park, the famous Truyère gorges dotted with lakes, and Margeride with its mysterious landscapes, nature is ever-present. Cantal also has a rich architectural, civil and religious heritage, with its many castles, churches and chapels, charming villages like Salers and Tournemire, listed among the most beautiful in France, and renowned towns like Aurillac, Murat and Saint-Flour. When it comes to gastronomy, the excellent AOP cheeses of Auvergne, the flavoursome meat from Salers, the traditional pounti and the delicious macarons from Massiac are a treat for food-lovers' taste buds!

Drôme

Located between the Alps and the Massif Central, Drôme is a vast territory offering a wide variety of landscapes. The jagged but majestic reliefs of the Vercors massif contrast with the gently rolling hills of the Baronnies Provençales. Tall limestone cliffs, deep gorges, fields of lavender, vines and olive trees, oak forests, pine forests and garrigue... Come and discover this exceptional natural heritage.

Drôme also has a remarkable architectural heritage. Indeed, who could fail to notice the picturesque hilltop villages typical of this destination? A legacy of the medieval era where the stone houses have incomparable charm. The Romanesque churches and chapels will also appeal to lovers of old buildings. Let's not forget the castles, like the one in Grignan made famous by the Marquise of Sévigné, or Suze-la-Rousse Castle, which is home to the University of Wine.

Drôme can also be discovered through its flavours. Apricot, olive, truffle, nougat, wine, goat's cheese... Tantalise your taste buds by sampling the local specialities.

Last but not least, Drôme is the ideal place for all kinds of outdoor leisure activities. On foot or by bike, nature-lovers can enjoy the many hiking trails dotted around the region, while more daring visitors can practise paragliding, rock climbing or via ferrata. And with places to swim, treetop rope course attractions and opportunities to meet animals, Drôme is a perfect destination for families!

Haute-Loire

A land of nature and hiking watered by the Loire and Allier rivers, the department of Haute-Loire is located in the heart of Auvergne, in the central-eastern part of the Massif Central. A lush, green destination shaped by volcanoes and rivers, Haute-Loire offers a huge range of outdoor activities through its Respirando quality label, such as hiking, mountain biking and horse-riding, whitewater pursuits, fishing, sailing, acrobatics courses in the forest and winter sports, all in magnificent, unspoilt landscapes that make it the ideal place to rest and recuperate.

It boasts a very rich architectural heritage, consisting of hilltop castles, Romanesque churches and picturesque villages, and numerous cultural activities take place there throughout the year.

Its local cuisine is another of its many attractions and will delight lovers of authentic gastronomy, exalted by its chefs and supported by local producers.

Haute-Savoie

With many remarkable sites, the Haute-Savoie boasts an exceptional natural heritage. Highest point of Europe, the majestic Mont Blanc mountain range is a paradise for all fans of climbing, skiing and breathtaking landscapes. Vast ski areas, famous winter sports resorts, nature reserves, renowned spa resorts, lakes offering water sports, the fantastic town of Annecy, nicknamed the “Venice of the Alps”, and delicious Savoie specialities make the Haute-Savoie a very special destination.

Isère

Located in the historical province of the Dauphiné, straddling the Alps and the Rhône Valley, the Isère département possesses a rich natural heritage. With its fantastic mountainous landscapes of the Chartreuse, Vercors, Belledonne, Trièves and Oisans mountains, lakes offering a wealth of recreational activities, and three national parks – Chartreuse and Vercors Regional Nature Parks and Ecrins National Park – it is the ideal destination for nature lovers and fans of outdoor activities. Isère also boasts towns and cities with a rich heritage, such as Vienne, Grenoble and Crémieu, as well as typical villages, renowned ski resorts, fine food and traditions.

Loire

Crossed by the famous wild river that carries the same name, the Loire département offers visitors a great variety of landscapes ranging from the hills, plateaux and mountains of the Pilat mountain area, to the mountains and plain of Forez, through the Loire gorges. Besides these beautiful natural sites, the Loire is also home to a beautiful built heritage, namely châteaux, religious buildings, medieval villages and Saint-Etienne, a City of Art and History.

Puy-de-Dôme

Consisting primarily of green countryside and home to two regional nature parks – the Auvergne Volcanic Regional Nature Park and the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park – the département of Puy-de-Dôme in the Massif Central mountain region of central France is the perfect destination for walking and outdoor activities. As well as its stunning unspoiled scenery, this département stands out for its wealth of châteaux and Romanesque churches, and towns and cities with a rich heritage, such as Clermont-Ferrand, Riom and Thiers. In addition to these myriad natural and architectural attractions, there are a number of spa and winter sports resorts where the emphasis is on well-being and fitness.

Savoie

Savoie, the snow kingdom, has all the necessary ingredients to satisfy mountain, nature and alpine sports fans. This département boasts some of the most famous prestigious winter sports resorts and ski areas in the world. The Great Alps Road (Route des Grandes Alpes), which runs through magnificent scenery of snow-capped mountains and alpine pastures where cows graze, takes you across passes at altitudes of over 2,000 metres. Wow factor guaranteed! The Savoie is also renowned for its excellent gastronomic products and famous culinary specialities, which are synonymous with warm and friendly moments spent around a table.

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