Welcome to the land of skiing! Rhône-Alpes is one of the French golfing regions and has the largest ski area in the whole world. As you can imagine, snow sports are the order of the day here.
It is located between Paris and the Côte d'Azur and has access to the two international airports of Lyon and Geneva, which means that there is an excellent connection by train, and a vast road network.
What is curious about this place is that water comes in all its forms: from glaciers to snow and lakes as well as having three of the five great lakes of France: Lake Geneva, Lake Bourget and Lake Annecy.
What to see
Although nature predominates in this region, it also has recreational and cultural spaces to have fun with your family or friends such as theatres and museums. This is the case of the Gallo-Roman Theatre in Lyon or the Grand Theatre (the oldest one in France) and the Castle of the Dukes of Savoy or the Castle of Chambéry in Savoy (currently located at the Savoy prefecture and its department).
The Aven de Orgnac is also a good option for a touristic visit. It is an abyss in the Ardèche Gorges and one of the deepest cavities in the world. It has also been labelled a Great Site of France and is divided into train rooms for public access according to their depth.
As for the religious buildings, you will find the Abbey of Saint-Chef, a Romanesque architectural work very appreciated in the Middle Ages known for its frescos and its dimensions preserved thanks to a protection and hygiene program. Then there is the Royal Monastery of Brou, a large complex classified as a "favourite French monument" in 2014 during the European Heritage Days.
What to eat
We will not endeavour to mention the most awarded restaurants in the region, since they are many, but we will mention the most popular traditional dishes taking into account the fact that the star product of this region is cheese, especially in Savoy.
Bearing this in mind, we have the raclette. Much lighter than fondue, there are three ways to cook it, depending on the resources you have, but the most authentic is to melt the cheese on the fire in a wood oven. In any case, you will find all kinds of recipes for any category of cheese in this department.
Continuing with these dishes, those elaborated using pork, known as cochonnailles, and they are quite popular too. There are numerous ways to cook it, but these dishes can be made with whatever you want: white wine, red wine, honey, ham and a long etcetera accompanied by a red wine.
For dessert, the pink praline cake is a must. With only three ingredients and the vividness of its colour, its simplicity will catch you unawares. On the other hand, the "green cushions" from Lyon, rectangular shaped cakes made with chocolate and almond pâte with an outer green layer because of the Curaçao liquor used for it, and black inside.
There is no lack of nature here as this region is located at the very crossroad of Europe and has eight regional parks as well as some wonderful places to visit.
You will find here the Mont Blanc mountain, which is one of the highest points in Europe surrounded by numerous glaciers. It is interesting to know that the Mont Blanc massif is the cradle of alpinism, where activities such as hiking, skiing or snowboarding have been practised for decades.
A visit to the Pont d'Arc over the Ardèche, a natural bridge in the gorges of this river, declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, is a must. It is the perfect destination in summer for adventurers who go down the Ardèche Gorges.
The richness of this region in terms of its festivities is the same as in the cuisine: never-ending.
It's not a celebration as such, but we highly-recommend trying outr the winter sport Kandahar, with which you can win the Alpine skiing world cup.
Talking about festive events, you will find here the Festival of Lights or Festival of December 8th in Lyon: a tribute celebrating the Virgin Mary for "having saved" the village from the plague. Then we have the Savoy Fair in Chambéry, where you can visit exhibitions, do activities and bring your projects to life, whatever they may be, among many other options.
We also highlight the city of Bourg-en-Bresse. Where you can enjoy a corner full of history and heritage and where sports activities and breaks are held in the Bouvent Leisure Park as well as the Marché du Champ de Foire, where some days are reserved for visiting the commercial stalls.
And, finally, musical events are not missing here either. For example, the Vienna Jazz Festival five days in the summer in the prestigious old theatre of Vienna in the morning or the Fourvière Nights (theatre, music, circus) held under the dark cloak of night.