Rhone Valley

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Rhone Valley Cities and Regions

Lyon

The country’s second largest city is also France’s beloved food capital and home to famed restaurateur Paul Bocuse. Off the path from most itineraries, Lyon thrives with restaurants (colloquially called bouchons), specialty food markets and shops, and an ancient silk-weaving heritage that gave this Rhone-perched city its unique medieval design.

Beaujolais

This compact, hilly, and prosperous wine-producing region is bereft of architectural grandeur, though it boasts plenty of charming vineyard cottages, small castles, and a commercial center – Villefranche-sur-Saone – also the region’s capital.

Ardeche

Home to the Grand Canyon of France, this jagged highland area is separated into two regions, the touristy gorge-filled south, and the less touristy north, where tiny hamlets, old world shepherds, and hill-trekking opportunities abound.

Valence

Once a former Roman colony, this fruit and vegetable market town is filled with oddball sights like the 11th-century Cathedral where Pope Pius VI died, Frances’ oldest gunpowder factory, and the university stomping ground of literary hero Rabelais.

Vienne

The Gallo-Roman city turned wine center is the southernmost Burgundian town. It has a plethora of Roman ruins to explore, a two-week jazz festival, and one of France’s leading eateries, La Pyramide.

Perouges

This perfectly preserved medieval village – replete with cobblestones and half-timber filled lanes – has been the setting for many a French period film and remains a summer Mecca for daytrippers.

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