Best of the Rhône Valley

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Rhône Valley
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Rhône Valley Essentials

Street and cafe scene in Old Lyon
How Many Days to Spend in Lyon

Superb museums, UNESCO-listed neighborhoods, and the county's best gastronomy scene are just a few reasons why France's third-largest city is worth a visit. For a solid itinerary in Lyon, we recommend at least three days to explore the city's hills, rivers, bridges, and parks. Alternatively, you could squeeze in the top draws in a day or two, or take your time and soak in the culture over a week or more. Let this local guide help decide which trip length is right for you.

Photo courtesy of Fourvière Hotel
The 4 Best Boutique Hotels in Lyon

Lyon's wide range of hotel options goes hand in hand with its wide range of activities. Get acquainted with France's third-largest city with a spot in the center of the Old Town, a school-themed Art Deco spot, or former convent.

The historic skyline of Lyon
Best Things to Do in Lyon

Lyon often escapes the list of must-sees in France, but the city and its surrounding areas offer a lot to do, see, and experience. Spend your time exploring historic neighborhoods filled with Renaissance-era architecture and hidden courtyards, tasting the internationally recognized Lyonaisse cuisine, savoring historic sites like the Fourviere Basilica, and exploring the traditional world of silk. With more time, take a day trip to the surrounding vineyards or historic cities like Annecy.

Rhône Valley Itineraries

Southern Rhône valley, at the gates of Provence
Map of Culinary Rhône Valley Tour: Lyon to Marseille - 8 Days
Culinary Rhône Valley Tour: Lyon to Marseille - 8 Days

This culinary tour winds its way from gastronomic Lyon (with a food scene rivaling that of Paris) through the colorful countryside of Provence. Taste famous wines, relax in olive country, and fall in love with the ancient cities and sweeping flower-filled fields that make this region famous.

Annecy's Palais de l'Isle, at dusk
Map of Lyon, Annecy & Chamonix - 10 Days
Lyon, Annecy & Chamonix - 10 Days

This 10-day adventure combines three of France's easternmost gems starting with its capital of gastronomy: Lyon. While here, you'll explore an outstanding dining scene, visit nearby vineyards, and meet farmers and artisans. Then train to Annecy, a beautiful medieval town nicknamed the 'Venice of France'. Finish in Chamonix, next to the tallest peak in France—Mont Blanc—with opportunities to hit the trails for stunning views.

View of Lyon from the Fourviere cathedral
Map of Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 6 Days
Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 6 Days

Immerse yourself in Southern European culture and Mediterranean landscapes, from the vibrant and trendy Barcelona, "the pearl of Catalunya", to Lyon, the unofficial capital of French cuisine. Visit 2000-year-old Vieux Lyon, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and sample authentic Spanish tapas in Barcelona

Lake Annecy
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, & the French Riviera - 10 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, & the French Riviera - 10 Days

If you've got ten days and a heart full of love, head to France for the perfect honeymoon getaway. Start in Paris, where you'll stroll shops and galleries by day and indulge in French wine at open-air cafes at night. See the Alps and tour Avignon, then end your tour on the sunny southern coast.

Traditional street in Barcelona's Poble Espanyol
Map of Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 7 Days
Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 7 Days

If you're short on time but don't want to cut back on the experience, this packed 7-day itinerary is for you. Start in Barcelona for authentic tapas and Art Nouveau, then explore Dali's life along the coast. Fly to Lyon for the second half of the week, where French wine and world-class cuisine await.

Cathedral of Saint Benignus of Dijon
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Annecy, & Lyon - 7 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Annecy, & Lyon - 7 Days

Spend an adventurous week driving through eastern France, starting in the city of lights. You'll see the Eiffel Tower and other Parisian highlights, then head to Dijon, stopping along the way to see several resplendent countryside chateaus. Continue to Annecy to spend some time by the lake, then end in medieval Lyon, where history and wine tasting await.

Cloister courtyard of Fontenay Abbey
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Annecy, & Lyon - 8 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Annecy, & Lyon - 8 Days

From the big city lights of Paris to peaceful countryside chateaux, this eight-day road trip itinerary through Eastern France has it all. Start in the capital city, then make your way to Dijon for art, culture, and history. Continue to Annecy for some time on the lake, then end in historic Lyon for time in the medieval city center.

La Sagrada Familia
Map of Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, & Lyon - 8 Days
Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, & Lyon - 8 Days

Eight days is the perfect amount of time for a quick getaway to see the Mediterranean and Provence. Sample tapas and learn about Salvador Dali's life in Barcelona, then head to Carcassone in France to tour ancient ruins and see the incredible Cathar Castles. Drive to Lyon, stopping to visit Roman ruins and Avignon along the way.

Avignon's Pont Saint-Bénézet in the Southern Rhône valley, gateway to Provence
Map of Rhône Valley Family Tour: Lyon to Marseille - 12 Days
Rhône Valley Family Tour: Lyon to Marseille - 12 Days

This self-drive 12-day itinerary highlights the best of the Rhône Valley, from north to south. Perfect for the whole family, you'll start in food forward Lyon, then work your way through the colorful countryside of Provence and down to Marseille on the Mediterranean coast. Along the way, you'll taste full-bodied wines, marvel at ancient Roman ingenuity, and enjoy the majestic beauty that is southern France.

Vaux-en-Beaujolais
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 9 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 9 Days

Spend nine adventurous days driving through eastern France on this road trip itinerary. Start in Paris to see the main highlights, then head to Dijon and Beaune to learn about art, culture, and history. Continue to Annecy for some time by the lake, then end in Lyon, where the city's medieval streets and Beaujolais wine region await.

Take the train to Lyon, France's 3rd largest city
Map of Paris, Lyon, Nice & Provence - 14 Days
Paris, Lyon, Nice & Provence - 14 Days

Ideal for food, wine, and culture enthusiasts, this trip travels at a relaxed pace from Paris to Nice over the span of two weeks. Start off with several days in the 'City of Lights' and the French culinary mecca of Lyon. Then pick up a car in Avignon to experience Provence's vineyards and lavender fields at your own speed. Finish the adventure indulging on Mediterranean views and fresh seafood in the French Riviera.

Snowy Tournette and Mountain Village
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 10 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 10 Days

Take ten days to drive from Paris to Lyon on this adventurous road trip itinerary. Start in the city of lights, then make your way to the countryside for art, history, and resplendent chateaux. Stop in Annecy to spend time on the lake and go hiking, then end in Lyon to explore the city's medieval streets and historic architecture.

Chambord castle
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 19 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 19 Days

Leave your worries behind on this romantic 19-day honeymoon getaway to France. Experience the magic of Paris at night, bargain with vendors for regional specialties at farmer’s markets, and tour the fairytale Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau. Explore Roman ruins in Avignon and see the hilltop villages of the Luberon, before ending the trip in Cannes and Monaco. 

Chenonceau at sunset
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 20 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 20 Days

With twenty full days to experience everything France has to offer, you're bound to come away with a bit more romance in your heart. On this honeymoon itinerary, you'll do everything from exploring Paris through pastries to bargaining with vendors for regional specialties at farmer’s markets. Stroll through historic Lyon, France’s third-most populous city, visit the hilltop villages of the Luberon, and stop by Aix en Provence for coffee and people watching on the plaza.

Costa Brava between Cadaques and Portlligat
Map of Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, & More - 11 Days
Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, & More - 11 Days

Get to know the Mediterranean Coast and Provence region on this eleven-day trip. Stroll around Barcelona’s Magic Fountain of Montjuic at night, trace Salvador Dali’s path in Catalan, and tour one of Europe's most formidable defensive fortresses in Carcassone. Top it off with drives down peaceful country roads and contemplating beauty & history in quiet medieval churches.

Route des Vin
Map of Via Rhôna Bike Tour - 6 Days
Via Rhôna Bike Tour - 6 Days

If you're dreaming of hitting the open road but are short on time, this 5-day cycling trip is the perfect fit! Travel on the Via Rhone, a quiet and peaceful path along the Rhone River between the cultural capitals of Lyon and Geneva. Stop in the picture-perfect villages of Pérouges and Seyssel, explore shimmering lakes and fields of wildflowers. Every stop along the Rhône possess nuggets of history, timeless beauty, and a hint of magic.

Beaujolais countryside
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 11 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Lyon - 11 Days

Start this eleven-day road trip in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and big city lights, then hit the road for mustard and art in Dijon. You'll see a 12th-century monastery and taste traditional wine, enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Meursault, discover the medieval streets of Lyon, and more on this adventurous itinerary.

Colorful French macarons
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 11 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 11 Days

Leave it all behind and enjoy eleven magical days in France for your honeymoon (or any other special occasion!) Start in Paris, where romantic dinners at streetside cafes blend perfectly with relaxed strolls through the Louvre and a night at the Eiffel Tower. Wrap up your trip in Avignon and Nice, where history, nature, and wine await you and your sweetie.

Cityscape of Blois
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 17 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 17 Days

This seventeen-day honeymoon itinerary has something for every couple (or non-couples!) Stop by Aix en Provence for coffee and people watching on the plaza, experience the magic of Paris at night, and wonder at the splendor of the Versailles estate. Explore the storybook towns of the Loire Valley and go wine tasting in the Beaujolais wine region before spending time in Cannes and Monaco. 

The Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sénanque
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 12 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 12 Days

Take a break from real life and immerse yourself in the city of love on this 12-day France honeymoon itinerary. You'll start in Paris—the perfect place for art museums, pastries, and a day trip to the resplendent Versailles. From here you'll head south to romantic Avignon and historic Lyon, ending in sunny Nice for plenty of beach time. 

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 12 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 12 Days

Take twelve days to explore the eastern side of France on this comprehensive road trip itinerary. You'll start in Paris to hit see the Louvre, then continue to Dijon for history and the best mustard in the world. Head to Annecy for a sunset sail with wine, then end your trip in the French Riviera for seaside relaxation.

Chateau of Sully-sur-Loire
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 18 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Amboise, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 18 Days

With eighteen full days in the country, you'll get to experience the full variety of French cultures on this honeymoon trip. Learn about Parisian history in the heart of the city, search through the Louvre for hidden treasures, and explore the storybook towns of the Loire Valley. Stroll through historic Lyon, France’s third-most populous city, before stopping by Aix en Provence for coffee and people watching on the plaza. 

Cap d’Antibes
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 13 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 13 Days

Thirteen days may be unlucky, but there's nothing unlucky about this thirteen-day honeymoon itinerary to France's main regions. Spend some time in Paris, where a day trip to the fairytale Chambord & Chenonceau chateaus whisks you away to a story. Stop in Lyon for some wine and Avignon for small villages, then end in Nice, where white-sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets await. 

Gordes at dusk
Map of Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Provence, Lyon, & More - 19 Days
Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Provence, Lyon, & More - 19 Days

If you've ever wanted to explore art in Barcelona, stroll through Avignon's quiet streets, or go wine tasting in the south of France, this 19-day itinerary is perfect for you. From Salvador Dali's legacy in sunny Catalan to Cathar Castles in Carcassone, you'll see the region's highlights and dig deep into the local culture. End the trip with a road trip north to Lyon along Napoleon's route for a sampling of France's best cuisine.

Château Menthon Saint Bernard
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 13 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 13 Days

Spend thirteen adventurous days on the road on this Eastern France road trip. Star the journey in Paris, where you'll hit the highlights and take a day trip to Champagne. Continue to Dijon to see Lison Springs and explore art, then head to Annecy for a hot air balloon trip and relaxation by the lake. End the trip in the French Riviera for sun, wine, and sailing.

Sunset in Grenoble
Map of Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Provence, Lyon, & More - 20 Days
Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Provence, Lyon, & More - 20 Days

From the sunny, white-washed homes of Catalan to the snow-capped Alps of Grenoble, this 20-day trip showcases highlights and immerses you into the local culture. Stroll around Barcelona’s Magic Fountain of Montjuic at night, explore Roman ruins in Tarragona, and trace Salvador Dali’s path in Catalan. Drive peaceful country roads in the South of France as you check out the Cathar Castles and road trip along the Napoleon Route.

Chenonceau castle and grounds
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 14 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to get away from it all, which is exactly what you'll do on this honeymoon itinerary. From Paris's busy streets to the quiet avenues of Aix en Provence, this itinerary has it all. Go wine tasting in the Beaujolais wine region, visit hilltop villages near Avignon, and immerse yourself in the luxurious atmosphere of Cannes and Monaco. 

Roc de Chere
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 14 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 14 Days

Spend two weeks exploring the best of the French countryside on this road trip itinerary. Start in Paris for excursions to the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, then head to Reims to go wine tasting in Champagne. Continue to Dijon for history and art, then make your way to the coast for some of the best that the French Riviera has to offer: wine, sunset views, and seaside relaxation.

Sunset over Lyon
Culinary Road Trip: Paris, Dijon, Lyon, Provence & the Riviera - 21 Days

French cuisine and countryside are the star attractions on this three-week, self-drive itinerary. Setting out from Paris, you'll embark on a gastronomic odyssey as you wind your way south towards the Riviera. Take a culinary walking tour of Lyon, stroll the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Beaujolais, cycle to the hilltop villages of the Luberon, and learn to cook Provençal favorites in Aix-en-Provence. After some downtime on the beaches of Saint-Tropez, your journey ends in Nice, where you'll explore its bustling markets and take a day trip to nearby Monaco.

Aerial view of Amboise
Map of Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 15 Days
Honeymoon Romance in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, & the French Riviera - 15 Days

Fifteen days is enough time to dive deep into several of France's most popular regions (and understand why they're a favorite!) Start in Paris, where mornings of fresh-baked pastries and hot espressos meld seamlessly into evenings of red wine and charcuteries. See the Chateau Chambord, immerse yourself in Avignon's history, and end your trip on a sunny note—along the warm beaches of the French Riviera. 

Reims-Champagne Automobile Museum
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 15 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, & More - 15 Days

From the big city lights of Paris to the quiet seaside of the French Riviera, this fifteen-day road trip itinerary hits all the highlights while still leaving time for small adventures off-the-beaten-path. You'll explore highlights of Paris, including Eiffel Tower & Louvre, learn to cook a traditional French meal, visit countryside Chateaux, and more.

Hospices de Beaune
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 16 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 16 Days

Sixteen days is enough time to explore the best of Eastern France on this comprehensive road trip — including the highlights of Paris, Beaune, Cannes, and more. Learn to cook a traditional French meal, explore countryside Chateaux, see the home of Louis Pasteur, -go wine tasting in the Beaujolais Region, and more.

Old Town of Dole
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 17 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 17 Days

Take seventeen days to drive through Eastern France on this packed road trip itinerary. You'll see the big city lights in Paris, tour 12th-century monasteries, go wine tasting in Burgundy, and more as you wind your way through the countryside. Other highlights include a private tour of Monaco, a sunset sail on Lake Annecy, and a historic tour of Lyon.

Côte de Nuits
Map of Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 18 Days
Eastern France Roadtrip: Paris, Dijon, Beaune, Annecy, Nice, & More - 18 Days

Enjoy a new excursion every day of this 18-day Eastern France road trip itinerary: stroll through the cobblestoned streets of the city of lights, explore the beautiful art of Dijon, savor the local gastronomy at Annecy & discover the glamorous French Riviera. You'll drive through the French Countryside, taking your time as you explore all this and more.

End your trip on the promenades of Nice
Map of Ultimate French Road Trip: Paris to the French Riviera - 21 Days
Ultimate French Road Trip: Paris to the French Riviera - 21 Days

Eat and drink your way from Paris to the Mediterranean coast on this three-week, self-drive adventure. Start in Paris with wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting, move on to Annecy for lakeside cycling and fondue, then continue to the Alps to summit glacial peaks and soak in hot tubs. After touring the gastronomic capital of Lyon, Provence's "easy life" beckons before winding down with sailing and beach time along the stunning coastlines of Marseille, Le Lavandou, and Nice.

Lavender fields near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path France: History & Gastronomy  - 21 Days
Off-the-Beaten-Path France: History & Gastronomy - 21 Days

Hit all the essential sites and explore some lesser-known gems on this epic, three-week loop tour around France. Start in Paris for art, cuisine, and shopping. Eat your way through Lyon before wine tasting in Beaujolais and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Discover mountains and history among the olive groves of Provence, enjoy the sun-soaked coastal cities of Marseille and Nice, then return inland for more wine and gastronomy in Bordeaux.

Carcassonne
Map of France Scenic Self-Drive Getaway: Castles, Forts & Vineyards - 21 Days
France Scenic Self-Drive Getaway: Castles, Forts & Vineyards - 21 Days

Discover all the things that fairy tales are made of on this comprehensive, three-week tour of France. Start in Normandy, where you'll explore the rugged coastline and massive fortresses. Head to the Loire Valley for lavish châteaux, gardens, and vineyards, then turn south into the Dordogne and discover its unusual natural scenery. Continue to Lyon and immerse yourself in its "foodie" culture before embarking on a wine-tasting extravaganza between Châteauneuf and Burgundy.