Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is one of France’s most visited regions, especially in the winter, when travelers from across Europe descend on its ski towns. Plan a stop in Lyon, France’s third-largest city, at any time of year. Strolling through the winding streets of alpine towns like Chambéry is another Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes activity that’s appealing in all seasons.
Get active on your vacation as you strap on your skis or snowboard in resort towns such as Chamonix, Tignes and Morzine. After a full day on the slopes, enjoy the après-ski and after-dark activities including torch-guided snow walks and themed parties.
In the summer, explore other natural areas like the valleys in the Vercors Massif. Hike through Vanoise National Park to discover the flora and fauna of this vast protected area. Climb to the top of Puy-de-Dôme, the highest volcano in the area, which has a beautiful view over the surrounding countryside from the top.
Head to the department of Allier to discover the lovely town of Moulins. Spend time at the Centre National du Costume de Scene, the first museum in the world dedicated to theater costumes. Take a guided tour of Maison Mantin, a gorgeous mansion filled with furniture and art collected by the wealthy in the 19th century.
To explore a large city, stop in Lyon and have a meal at one of its Michelin-starred restaurants. Lyon is often considered to be the gastronomic capital of France and is the perfect place to go to indulge in traditional dishes such as raclette or tartiflette.
Travel to smaller towns like Annecy for stunning natural views over Lake Annecy, or visit Clermont-Ferrand to see one of the oldest Romanesque churches in the region.
Catch a flight coming into one of the region’s international airports, including Lyon, Grenoble and Chambéry. For the easiest way to explore the natural beauty of the area, rent a car from the airport. There are also convenient domestic and international train connections, with the Eurostar route from London to Lyon and from London to the Alps in the winter months.