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Notable Towns and Sights in the Rhône-Alpes Region

Mont Blanc (Haute-Savoie) also known as La Dame Blanche or the White Lady is part of the Alps range . With its 15,774 foot (4,808 m) summit, it is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. (photo) It lies between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France. The two most famous towns near Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and Chamonix in the Haute-Savoie region of France. Chamonix was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. France Rhône-Alpes Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc Tunnel (Haute-Savoie) is a road tunnel in the Alps through the Mont Blanc mountain. It links the town of Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy. It reduces the route from France to Turin by 31 miles (50km) and to Milan by 62 miles (100 km). The Tunnel is 7.25 miles (11.6 km) long with two-lanes each direction. It is is managed by two public companies which each manage its half of the tunnel: French side- ATMB (Autoroutes et tunnels du Mont-Blanc) and on the Italian side- SITMB (Società italiana per azioni per il Traforo del Monte Bianco) France Rhône-Alpes Mont Blanc Tunnel France side
Montbrison (Loire) is located at the edge of the plain of the Forez, at the foot of the Monts du Forez. The commune gives its name to the popular blue cheese Fourme de Montbrison which has been made in the region for centuries. France Rhône-Alpes Fourme de Montbrison cheese
Montélimar (Drôme) is regarded as the world capital of almond nougat since first being produced in the 17th-century. Notable here is the Château des Adhémar (photo) which was built by the Adhémar family, who reigned over the city during the Middle Ages, and combines various architecture from the 12th-16th centuries. The site where the city stands has been inhabited since the Celtic era and was rebuilt during Roman times. France Rhône-Alpes Montelimar
Nyons (Drôme) is surrounded by mountains and is located at the southern edge of the Rhône Valley. It enjoys a sunny climate usually found further south and has been called "Le Petit Nice". Nyons is well known for its olive production and the Thursday markets (Place du Docteur Bourdongle, Place Buffaven, and Place de la Libération) have all sorts of olive-related products including tapenade (olive paste). There are also annual olive festivals in February, July, and December. Sights include the 13th-century Romanesque bridge (photo) over the Aygues river. On the town side of the river can be found several old mills (now shops) with the original olive oil presses. The Musée de l'Olivier provides information on olive cultivation and uses for the fruit. La Tour Randonne (photo), also known as the Chapel of Bon Secours, is located in the quartier des Forts and measures 78 feet (24m) in height overlooking the entire valley. Office de Tourisme France Rhône-Alpes Nyons
Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval (Drôme) is near Hauterives and is an oddity that was built by a postman, Cheval, out of stones collected on his route. The building seems to display a mixture of architectural styles including Roman, Egyptian, Aztec, and Siamese. (photo) France Rhône-Alpes Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval
Pérouges (Ain) is a fortified hilltop village with medieval houses and stone streets. The town was founded by a Gallic colony from Perogia, Italy and in 1236 the inhabitants earned communal freedom. The textile industry (linen weaving) flourished here until the 18th-century when roads and the railroad were re-routed diminishing the population. The town has been restored and craftsmen have moved in and revitalized the town. The main sight here is the square, Place de la Halle, which has a large lime tree that was planted in 1792 to honour the Revolution. A spring festival has been held annually between April and June and hosts musical events ranging from Baroque to jazz and it is one of Les Plus Beaux Villages of France. France Rhône-Alpes Pérouges
Saint-Étienne (Loire) has an industrial heritage, but has urban redevelopment well underway including a new tram. A stage of the Tour de France is often hosted here and the city was once the capital of the French bicycle industry. There are three excellent museums here: The Musée d'Art Moderne has a fine collection comparable to the one in Paris and MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York City. The Musée d'Art et d'Industrie has a good collection of bicycles, other machines, and general history of the city's industrial heritage. The Musée de la Mine displays coal mining technology and has underground tours by train. Saint-Etienne has numerous beautiful churches including Cathédrale Saint-Charles, La Grand Eglise (15th-c) photo, L'Eglise Saint-Ennemond (14th-c), L'Eglise Sainte-Marie (14th-c) photo, Eglise Notre-Dame (17th-c) photo, Eglise Saint-Louis (17th-c) photo, and Eglise Saint-Roch (photo), and many others. Other sights include Saint Etienne's 14th- century castle, Bastie d'Urfe.   Office de Tourisme France Rhône-Alpes Saint Étienne City Hall
Saint-Romain-en-Gal (Rhône) is notable for having significant Roman ruins dating from 100 B.C. unearthed in 1967. There are remnants of public baths, shops, villas, and other buildings. The Musée Gallo-Romain contains much of the collection and includes small objects as well as murals and mosaics. France Rhône-Alpes Saint-Romain-en-Gal Amphithéâtre
Thonon-les-Bains (Haute-Savoie) is a spa town sitting on a cliff overlooking Lac Léman. There is a funicular for transport down to the harbor (Rives) where watercraft may be rented. Nearby is the 15th-century Château de Ripaille.   Office de Tourisme France Rhône-Alpes Thonon-les-Bains
Tournon-sur-Rhône (Ardèche) is a charming town seated at the base of granite hills with tree-lined streets. The formidable 11th-century château contains a museum for local history and provides nice views of the river. The Collégiale Saint-Julien (photo) shows 14th-century italian influence with its elaborate façade and squarish bell tower. Across the Rhône river is Tain, a town which has steep vineyards used to produce Hermitage wines which have distinguished the Côtes du Rhône wine region worldwide. France Rhône-Alpes Tournon-sur_Rhône
Valence (Drôme) is a large and thriving town which sits on the east bank of the Rhône river with views of the cliffs of the Ardèche. Most notable here is the Romanesque Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire consecrated in 1095 and restored around 1610. The library and the museum contain Roman antiquities, sculptures, and a picture gallery housed in the old ecclesiastical seminary. Near the cathedral is the Musée des Beaux Arts with a collection of 18th-century chalk drawings of Rome by Robert. Also close are two Renaissance mansions, the Flamboyant Gothic/Renaissance Maison des Têtes (Greek head sculptures) and Maison Dupré-Latour. The Parc Jouvet has 14 acres (6H) with pools, gardens, and views across the river of a ruined ch&acircteau. Office de Tourisme France Rhône-Alpes Valence
Vals-les-Bains (Ardèche) is a small spa town in the Volane Valley that was discovered in the 1600's. The parks and architecture have retained most of their style from the Belle Époque era in the late 19th-century. There are more than 150 springs most of which have cold water that contains bicarbonate of soda and other minerals. Though a small town, it has its share of hotels and restaurants. Les Thermes de Vals-les-Bains France Rhône-Alpes Vals-les-Bains
Vercors Plateau (Isère & Drôme) is one of the ranges that form the French Préalpes and its eastern-edge cliffs face the city of Grenoble (photo). There are several resorts here for cross-country and down-hill skiing, Villard-de-Lans being the largest. The highest summits of the Vercors are Grand Veymont at 7,697 feet (2346 m), Grande Moucherolle at 2,498 feet(2284 m), Mont Aiguille at 6,844 feet (2086 m), and Moucherotte at 6,237 feet (1901 m). The Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors is one of the best France with waterfalls, pine forests, caves, and gorges. France Rhône-Alpes Vercors Plateau
Vienne (Isère) offers mainly Roman ruins and the annual Jazz Festival every June. Notable is the Roman Temple d'Auguste et de Livie from 10 B.C. (photo). Also, the Théâtre Romain at the base of Mont Pipet was one of the largest amphitheatres in France with 13,000 seats and is still used. The Musée des Beaux Arts et d'Archéologie has a collection of Gallo-Roman artifacts, 18th-century faïence (tin-glazed pottery), and 17th-century paintings. Notable is the Cathédrale de Saint-Maurice (photo).
Vienne et Pays Viennois Tourisme
France Rhône-Alpes Vienne Aerial View
Yvoire (Haute-Savoie) is a medieval walled fishing port with a 14th-century castle on Lac Léman. The village sits at a point that defines the two main parts of Lac Léman (Geneva), the petit lac and the grand lac. (photo). France Rhône-Alpes Yvoire Chateau

Les Plus Beaux Villages in the Rhône-Alpes Region

Natural Parks in the Rhône-Alpes Region

Additional Resources for the Rhône-Alpes Region

Average Monthly Temperatures in the Rhône-Alpes Region