Rhône-Alpes, centered on France's second city, Lyon, encompasses the valley of the Rhone and stretches from Burgundy’s Macon in the north to Provence’s France in the south with the majestic Alps framing its eastern side. The Alps renowned ski areas have long beckoned skiers and snowboarders alike with endless slopes of Les 3 Vallées for winter holidays while the valley and Lyon have drawn food and wine lovers in any season. In the summer hike in the Chartreuse Mountains or sail over crystal clear Lake Annecy. The region is a mosaic of massifs and valleys brandishing different identities and dotted with a Baroque church here, a cluster of stone houses there, a Ville d'art et d'histoire at almost every turn. It’s here in the Rhone-Alps that you’ll find the mountains and plains of the Monts du Forez, St-Étienne, consecrated a UNESCO City of Design, the medieval city of Pérouges and the Vienne jazz festival. Lastly, you shouldn't leave the region without tasting one of the Beaujolais or Rhône Valley wines and sample Lyonnaise specialities in a legendary bouchon lyonnais.
Before beginning any trip through Rhône Valley with its spectacular gorges, begin your holiday in Lyon, a city embraced by two rivers, the Soane and the Rhone, and partially surrounded by hills from which the city flows down to the valley. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC it was the center of Roman Gaul and coincidently birthplace of the Emperor Claudius. Under Nero a beautification project was begun which was carried forward by successive emperors. it was an important center of the silk industry from the 15th century. It was home to writers, thinkers, artists and the Lumiere brothers who were instrumental in the birth of cinematography.
Because of our nearly four decades of personal and professional partnerships with French providers, we are able to not only offer our clients premium value for these indelible Lyon , Rhone valley and the Alps experiences but also the opportunity to savor them in a highly personalized luxury manner. Whether you are a budget minded traveler or one with Platinum travel tastes, let Endless Beginnings create a luxury custom journey to fulfill your dreams..
Food and cuisine are synonymous with the Rhône region and the city of Lyon. And what food! This is a region where famed food writer, Waverly Root, once wrote, “The cooking of Lyon fits the character of the city, it’s hearty rather than graceful”. And yet the city has earned many Michelin stars. From the humble street stalls to trendy cafés and bistros up to world-renowned restaurants, all are keen to show off their culinary skills and specialties de la région. One might better say it’s a happy melding between the cuisine and the produce of the vineyards.
The splendors of Rhône Valley cuisine explodes with pates brimming with ham, goose and game. Sausages and preserved meats many with the saucisson de Lyon which appears in many of Lyon's trademark dishes, saucissons aux pommel, Saucisson chaud au Macon, smoked sausages served with a mustard sauce, rosette sausages or boudin blanc.
Pike or chicken quenelles, frequently served with a creamy crayfish sauce, are one of the best known Rhône dishes, a light savory change from heartier fare. Salade Lyonnaise with bacon and warmed Saint Marcellin goat cheese is a pleasant if filling accompaniment, great with a Cotes du Rhone wine. Game lovers will find mousse de pigeon, baby goat with garlic and wild herbs, grilled steaks served with a bone marrow sauce.
Desserts are often a rich chocolate cake, in Perouges Galette Perougienne, a buttery, sugary, flat tart eaten with a dollop of cream, or chocolates from Valhrona, a white nougat of almonds, egg whites and honey from Montelimar. Or finish with fabulous Bernachon chocolates or Nougat blanc de Montelimar, white nougat of almonds, egg white and honey. Or indulge in superb regional chesses such as Beaufort, Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon, Chevrotin des Alpes, and Dauphinois.
Created by a clash between the massif Central and the Alps, France’s second largest wine-growing region is the Rhône Valley vineyards. Here you’ll find vines thriving on both sides of the Rhone in an area which has known the wine trade since Gallo-Roman times. Vineyards cling to the abrupt hillsides and climb up to the steep mountain ranges. Not only does the terrain shape these wines but also the Mediterranean climate adds to the diversity of them. Some of France's most famous, come from the Rhone valley. While grape varieties are many, Grenache and Syrah play large parts in their elegant reds, Grenache in the Roses, Viognier and white Grenache in the floral whites.
There are a multitude of wine routes winding through historic villages, Condrieu, Vienne, Tournon, Tain Hermitage down to Montelimar through varying landscapes from which to choose. They take you to the vineyards where the famous and notable are made, Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, fine robust reds and aromatic whites. Take the time to stop in a cave, perhaps in Tain l’Hermitage, where you can choose, taste and purchase among Saint-Joseph, Croze-Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone, Cornas, Hermitage and Saint-Peray, surrounded by the vines and vintners who produce them.
Vineyards in Villars Vaucluse
vineyards with windmill, Rhone Valley
Annecy, Rhone Alpes
Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon
Bouligneux, Rhone Alpes
Bouligneux, Rhone Alpes
France's biggest city park, Lyon
Gilles Rheinhart, Christophe Muller, Paul Bocuse
Trompeloeil facade, Lyon
The fresco of the Canuts, district of the Croix Rousse of Lyon
Lyon France Cafe
Rhone Valley, Village of Chatillon d'Azergues
Market at Vaison la Romaine in the Rhône Valley
A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its idyllic pastoral countryside and historical treasures, discovering unknown France experienced only from the intimate access a barge can offer. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking all the while enjoying a blend of daily excursions, fascinating cruising, exceptional Cuisine and phenomenal wine.
Imagine a romantic hot air balloon flight in France. Floating majestically and effortlessly over the prettiest regions including Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Auvergne. Hot air balloon flights can be enjoyed by everyone as there are no particular age or physical requirements. Take flight in the early hours just after dawn or later in the day just before sunset when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently, gazing down at the countryside carpet below, including châteaux, medieval villages, and vineyards. Finishing up with the traditional Champagne "toast aux Aéronautes" at the landing.