The Malta Independent 24 October 2018, Wednesday

A Guide to Rhone Valley: What to Do and See

Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 12:12 Last update: about 2 years ago

Behind its vast vineyards, the Rhône Valley hides little pieces of paradise and has so much to offer from a cultural point of view with Lyon being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With its simple, authentic gastronomy, world renowned restaurants and bistros will give you a real taste of the locally sourced ingredients. This is also a wine lover's heaven with Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cote-Rotie and Chateauneuf-du-Pape being the stars of the region.  From Vienne all the way to Avignon, there are 200 km of vineyard sites, 250 village communes, 75,800 hectares and 8000 wine estates.



Lyon is France's third largest city, with a wealth of outstanding museums and dynamic cultural life. Lyon's Michelin star restaurants shine bright among the city's many attractions. You can walk through the city and enjoy the renaissance buildings and the medieval facades coupled with the modern part of the city. No matter what your preference don't forget to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière which offers great views over the city. 



South of Lyon, Vienne is a city overflowing with Roman history. Take a walk through the narrow streets and discover the ancient monuments. Top of the bill is the Temple of August and Livia, dating from the 1st-century BC and standing at the heart of Vienne, completely intact.  Jazz lovers will be delighted to come in July, when the Jazz a Vienne takes place.


Built over a series of terraces, the city has benefited of the proximity to the Rhone River and as such became a prosperous market place. Being very close to the vineyards where Crozes Hermitages is produced and just an hour away from Lyon, Valence is the perfect choice for wine lovers. It is also a chocolate and sweet treats paradise; try pogne, a rich rum flavoured brioche.


Visit the Castle of Adhemar, once used as a prison, which is now open to visitors and hosts a contemporary art exhibitions. Montelimar became famous due to its nougat production, which dates back to the 17th century. Close to the city is the charming village of Le Poet-Laval, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in France. On the way the lavender fields make a perfect stop.



Nîmes is unique. With its Roman arena and the Maison Carrée (a majestic Roman temple) it offers so much for visitors between its contemporary architecture, the discreet splendour of its private mansions, and the grandeur of the Jardins de la Fontaine laid out in the eighteenth century on a Roman site. Don't miss the impressive ancient Pont du Gard aqueducts, made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.


Orange is an ancient Roman town on the east side of the Rhône and north of Avignon. The historic center is packed with narrow streets, picturesque squares and its famous Roman Theatre and Triumphal Arch. Hike up to the top of Colline St Eutrope and enjoy the view over the theatre and the Roman ruins or relax at the small terrace cafes and restaurants.


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