France

The Rhône Valley: What to See and Where to Stay

15 Apr, 2014

The Rhône Valley wine region 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, The Rhone is a wine lover’s heaven with the famous wines of Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cote-Rotie and Chateauneuf-du-Pape drawing wine tourists from around the world.. From beginners to experts, the Rhône is most certainly one to add to the list. Here’s a run down of places to go and things to see.

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WHERE TO GO

Lyon – You can walk through the city and enjoy the renaissance buildings and the medieval facades or visit the modern part of the city. No matter what your preference, don’t forget to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which as the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, was built on a hill and offers great views over the city.  

Vienne – Interested in art and history? This is just the place for you! Take a walk through the narrow streets and discover the ancient monuments, many of which are still very well preserved today. But Vienne can offer more than this! Jazz lovers will be delighted to come in July, when the Jazz a Vienne takes places.  

Valence – Built over a series of terraces, the city has benefited of the proximity to the Rhône River and as such became a prosperous marketplace. 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. A fact worth noting is that here you will find a chocolate and sweet treats paradise; pogne, brioche flavoured with rum and sweet chestnut paste from Valence fruits here we come!

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winerist wine tours

Montelimar – Here we have visited 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 there, the lavender fields make a perfect stop.

Nimes – Don’t miss the Pont du Gard, one of the most impressive aqueducts and the best preserved amphitheatre from the Roman period.

Orange – 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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WHERE TO STAY?

Budget: My Beaucaire is a comfortable, large and affordable apartment in the heart of the southern Rhône Valley. This handsome stone building was originally a rich merchant’s mansion and has a huge terrace facing the Rhône River. It is perfectly located for winery visits and has wifi.

Mid-range: Villa Augusta is a Relais & Chateaux which combines perfectly the modern and the vintage decorations making this place a perfect stay. The swimming pool, the fountain area and the garden offer charm and relaxation.

Luxury: Chateau de Rochegude offers amazing views over the vineyards. You will feel like a queen/ king here, as the fortress was the residence of Marquis de Rochegude in the 12th-century and it still preserves the atmosphere of those times.

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WHERE TO TASTE?

Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné  – Being a wine producer, a wine bar and restaurant, VINEUM Paul Jaboulet Aîné offers a cozy atmosphere for wine tastings and gourmet experiences. You will have the chance to taste a wide variety of wines, such as Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Cornas.

Michel Chapoutier – M Chapoutier has been producing some of the greatest wines for generations, from Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Châteauneuf du Pape, Saint-Joseph, Crozes Hermitage and Luberon.

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DON’T MISS

Jazz festival is an international jazz festival held each summer in Vienne. This year will be hosted in the ancient Roman theater. In the past, the festival has welcomed big names, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Lionel Hampton. It’s not to be missed!

Grand Lyon Film Festival – Being on its 6th edition this year, the festival is longed for by all film lovers and cinema professionals. Trying to revitalize the classic cinema, Lumiere Festival is a great success year by year.

Want to see some more hotels in the Rhône Valley? Click here! Or maybe you’re after food and wine tours? Click here! And for a list of more wineries to visit in the Loire, click here. Cheers!

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