Highlights of the route
This ancient town on the Rhône’s banks lies between the Bugey’s Grand Colombier Mountain and the Montagne du Prince in Savoie. It offers leisure activities and a rich heritage linked to the Rhône.
Set at the entrance to one of France’s most beautiful canals, bordering the glorious Chautagne Marshes, Chanaz is a delightful village set amidst glorious unspoilt landscapes.
Historic capital of the Bugey area and home town of the famed 19th-century food writer, Brillat-Savarin, Belley offers a heady mix of gastronomy, wine and heritage.
For many French people, the city of Lyon is known above all as a major gastronomic centre. From refined Michelin-starred restaurants to traditional bouchons (workers’ cafés), the choice is huge.
The heart of Vienne is packed with buildings bearing witness to its historic importance from Roman times on. Across the Rhône stand the archaeological site and Gallo-Roman Museum of St-Romain-en-Gal.
In a range designated a Parc Naturel Régional since 1974, the team looking after the Pilat strive to conserve and enhance the natural, human and historic riches of this exceptional mountain massif.
Charming Rhône-side Tournon with its southern feel has a port where river cruisers can moor. Opposite it, Tain-l’Hermitage boasts famous vineyards planted on steep terraces.
Valence, a gateway to the South of France set beside the Rhône, has retained the typical charms associated with southern cities, with colourful, welcoming streets, markets, quarters and gardens.
With its wide provençal-style boulevards, the French capital of nougat has long been known as a classic stop on the way south, while lavender and truffles proliferate nearby.
This haughty medieval city surveys a strait in the Rhône. One of its rocks is topped by a mighty cathedral. There are many other monuments to take in, and the nearby countryside is beautiful.
Capital of the Catholic world in the 14th century, Avignon has preserved an exceptional heritage, hence its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among its highlights: the Papal Palace, the Musée du Petit Palais and the Cathédrale des Doms…
Provençal Arles has been a major city of culture, heritage, history and art since Roman times. Thanks to its location beside the Rhône, for so long the major transport route between the Mediterranean and northwest Europe.
In the Rhône estuary, stretching between two branches of the river, the Camargue is a famous marshland, protected as a Parc Naturel Régional. It has three zones: agricultural lands; lagoons; and saltpans.