Welcome to Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes

For lovers of mountain landscapes, open-air leisure activities, wide open spaces and thrill-seekers, it is your favourite place to be. Between the park of the Auvergne volcanoes, the Vanoise park, the numerous gorges and rivers, the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has a natural heritage of exceptional quality that makes it a real paradise for your vacations.

Select a model of lodging in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region 

Auvergne Rhône-Alpes-Region

Situated in the southeast quarter of France, it was created following the territorial reform of 2015, which combined 2 former regions (Auvergne and Rhône Alpes). It includes spaces very different from each other, as much in terms of relief or climate, as in socio-economic and cultural terms. Nevertheless, all the regions have in common a strong tourist potential due to a wide diversity of natural and historic sites.

The different territories of the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

This new region can be easily divided in 8 territories with each of them having particular specificities that may be geographic, ancestral or even cultural. Those differences make each destination unique and offer a diversity of choice incomparable to many other French areas, for vacations according to your needs.

Alps territorial area

The high and medium mountains, with their lakes, deep gorges and beautiful valleys, promise a wonderful vacation for all visitors. Either in summer or in winter, this area is a destination with a multitude of sports activities and plenty of options for relaxing and swimming. This region is full of pure air and preserved nature.

Bourbonnais territorial area

The Dukes of Bourbon will plunge you into the heart of French history. While visiting these great places, like the old town of Montluçon, the priory of Souvigny or the city of Moulin, the historical capital of Bourbonnais, you' ll discover the richness of the Auvergne patrimony. Once you' ve been immersed in this rich culture, you''ll have time to explore the surrounding bocage of Bourbonnais.

Territorial area of Drôme-Ardèche

This destination is especially prized for nature and old stone lovers, but also for those who love hiking, bucolic walks and thrilling sports. Here they will find enough to feed their passion. This part of the region conceals many landscapes among the most famous ones like the very popular Ardèche gorges and the landscapes of the Vercors plateau or the hills of the Drôme provençale.

Territorial area of the Massif Central

It is a vast and mountainous territory in the center of France and the favorite location to fully enjoy a well-preserved wild nature. Marked by exceptional spaces, the countless paths, springs and rivers have contributed to shape this fantastic and diversified landscape. The cultural heritage, its flora and fauna also give multiple good arguments in favor of this 100% green destination.

Territorial area of Auvergne

The Auvergne Volcanoes Park isn't just an argument to attract visitors. The rich heritage of Auvergne is also a major element for history buffs. The medieval cities, the castles, the churches are also present, where the curists will have a vaste choice of hotels. As for nature, the Puy de Dôme, the Cantal mountains and the forest of Tronçais will delight many hikers.

Territorial aera of Dauphiné

Divided in 3 departments, the old province of Vienne was conquered by the kings of France and bequeathed to their dauphins. Located between Alps and Rhone, it is essential to visit Grenoble and his museums, Vienne and his ancient monuments, Pont-en-Royans and his hanging houses, Mont-Dauphin and its forts, also the Vercors and Chartreuse with its preserved landscapes, an heritage not to miss!

Territorial area of Lyon

There is much more to discovering the Lyon region than just visiting the cities like Lyon or Saint-Etienne. In addition, to see the country of golden stones, with its lovely villages, to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the Loire gorges or the Pilat massif and to savor some local specialties. This province is considered as a mid-mountain area, with the Mont Boussuivre reaching 1 004m.

Territorial zone of the Jura Massif

The Massif of Jura is present only on the northern part of the Ain department, but it is a perfect green destination. It remains a must for all nature and hiking lovers, with its preserved landscapes alternating wooded mountains, mountain pastures, rivers and waterfalls. The winter and summer sports stations of Les Rousses and the Monts du Jura will satisfy all lovers of skiing and other outdoor activities.

The 12 departments of the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region

Auvergne Rhône Alpes region is composed of 12 French departments unified under a new identity that was not always easy to grant. However, that remains models of culture sometimes very different, but also with important local traditions that we would like to share with you.

The Department of Ain

Nestled at the gateway to Switzerland, between the Saône valley and the Alps, this is a department with varied and preserved regions that can boast a rich natural heritage. With the ponds of Dombes, Bugey, Revermont, Bresse Savoyarde, the Pays de Gex and the Haut-Jura, all these areas have a beauty that can only delight amateurs of nature and open air activities. The royal Brou monastery is a gem of flamboyant gothic art while the lovely medieval city of Pérouges is an absolute must-see.

Department of Allier

The department of Allier is a region of first choice for cultural and sports tourism, but also for relaxation and fitness. It is marked by the epic of the Bourbons and by villages of character, a rich and varied architecture and many sites of interest. As in many French regions, the culinary tourism has also its own flavor of local culture. To explore the Allier, whatever your mode of travel, lovers of nature and outdoor sports will have plenty to do, with many natural parks and leisure centers.

Department of Cantal

Endowed with a wild landscape, Cantal is the place to be for lovers of nature and authenticity. It is also the land of hiking. I The nature, the medieval villages and the typical dishes accompanie by local cheeses will enhance your walks. Now whether you are on foot, horseback or bicycle, sporting, cultural or family excursion, the discovery is at the end of the path! You will be conquered by the well-marked paths, and by the numerous national natural parks in the area.

Department of High Savoy

The majestic Mont-Blanc range, the highest peak in Europe, is a paradise for lovers of alpinism, skiing and stunning views. The famous winter sports resorts, the nature reserves, but also the famous thermal spas added to the delicious Savoyard specialities, are all assets which make it a favourite destination, privileged by an easy access via a good infrastructure.

The department of Haute Loire

It provides a wide universe for unique, original and particular experiences. In fact, we could say that the Haute Loire is the most well kept secret of Auvergne. Land of nature and hiking watered by the rivers Loire and Allier, it' s a green destination, shaped by volcanoes and rivers. Numerous outdoor activities are to be enjoyed, including forest acrobatic courses. As for its built heritage, it consists of perched castles, Roman churches and picturesque villages.

Department of the Ardèche

Its touristic attractiveness is due to the whole countryside and the open air activities. Besides the well-known gorges, we invite you to discover the Ardèche villages, hidden or perched for generations in the folds of nature. These villages have a medieval soul and keep alive their traditions. There are 21 mysterious and charming villages dotting the valleys from the north to the south of the territory. To benefit from the regional label " Villages de caractère " they have to invite you to share their know-how and their dynamism through a unique architectural richness which can only delight the visitors.

Department of the Drôme

While mixing tradition and the sweetness of life, the Drôme offers the advantage of a diversity in its landscapes, which combine both hills and typical villages of Provence colored by the lavender fields and the pre-Alpine massif of the Vercors through wild and preserved spaces. An environment that is still conducive to hiking and being in touch with nature. An authentic department, preserved from mass tourism, which is the beter place to live and deserves to be explored through its colors blended with natural fragrance.

Department of Isere

The ancient province of Dauphiné, has a rich natural heritage and high quality historical sites. With its 3 natural parks, the Vercors, the Chartreuse and the Écrins, walking through nature will not be missed. Regarding history and architecture, cities like Grenoble, Vienne or Crémieux will initiate you into the art. The typical villages in the area will invite you to experience local tradition and culture through their gastronomy.

Department of the Loire

The Loire is a green area that invites you to discover all its attractions. Crossed by the river of a wild and untamable nature, it sculpts a large diversity of landscapes, rocks and gorges of incredible beauty. In addition to these rich natural resources, the department has a beautiful architectural heritage to discover along the water and its castles, as well as its religious edifices, its medieval towns and villages. A detour to Champdieu is a must to see the fortified Romanesque church and its sundial on the bell tower.

Department of Rhône

Renowned for the Fourvière tunnel, a bane of holiday departure, the city has an historical site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The department has also made its international reputation in terms of gastronomy, as well as with the successful Beaujolais nouveau. Famous also for the majestic and bubbling river, a short cruising will reveal you unsuspected landscapes, multiples, picturesques, blazing, and preserved spaces of nature.

Department of Puy de Dôme

Situated in the heart of the Massif Central, with many old volcanoes, the region has a marvelous natural heritage. Also very interesting is the visit to the town of Clermont Ferrand, the capital of Auvergne. Otherwise, the countryside and the little villages are in great contrast with the historical cities of Riom or Thiers which have a rich historical heritage. The rack railway is a great attraction that will take you to the summit of Puy de Dôme in only 15 minutes.

The historical region of Savoy

Famous historically, but nowadays more for the winter sports resorts and the vast ski areas, this region is also a favorite for mountain hikers and other alpine sports or nature lovers. In the countryside, the cows, the chalets, the Savoyard bell towers and the fabulous raw milk cheeses, are integral part of the picture post card view, as many reasons to make you like the Savoy.

The previous articles on French regions