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Traumhafte Natur mit dem Mont Blanc im Hintergrund, Bild: Andrew Mayovskyy / shutterstock

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – Fresh air, great nature & tranquillity

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region was only created in 2006 by merging various areas in France . For fans of French culture and friends of the country, however, the landscape here was of course already known beforehand.

The region is mainly used by friends of fresh air, beautiful nature and active holidays. Due to its diversity in the field of nature, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes lends itself equally to hikers, cyclists or simply culture lovers. Here, beautiful cities are combined with breathtaking landscapes. While mountains can be found on one side, there are almost untouched areas deeper in the country that are only moderately developed for tourism.

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – why is this region so popular?

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Puy Mary
Puy Mary, Image: Lucien Mollard / shutterstock

In terms of population, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is the second largest area in France and is also very popular with tourists who do not want to go to Paris or the sandy beaches in the south of the country. This is mainly due to the fact that a trip through the region offers a wide variety of sights. It starts in the Alps. Of course, it is above all the mountains that attract skiers, hikers and climbers in equal measure. Anyone who has ever been to the Mont Blanc massif knows how impressive the landscape of the region can be. But Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes stands for much more – as the name suggests.

From breathtaking volcanic landscapes to the wonders of the Alps to beautiful lavender fields in rolling hills, it can all be seen in a few hours by car. The change in the different natural phenomena in the region is what makes it so famous and what makes it attract millions of tourists from Europe and around the world every year. Starting with the Alps, for example, the two areas west and east of the Rhone can be explored. Here, life is really as “God in France” must have imagined it.

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From volcanoes and beaches to lakes, the diversity of Auvergne

Le Puy en Velay, Auvergne
Le Puy en Velay, Image: Leonid Andronov / shutterstock

The entire area is dominated by a wide variety of national parks. Nature conservation plays a major role and so you can’t rely on the car alone everywhere. Nevertheless, you should dare the adventure and take the well-known Alpine Road to the region. After that, you will better understand why the Alps still enjoy such an outstanding reputation among travelers today. The countless ski resorts in the region, for example, are the guarantee that you have more than one good reason to go to the area even in the snowy winter.

The volcanic landscapes in Ardèche are also well-known, which give an indication of the former Europe. Those who head to the region can also discover the many small churches, villages, castles and picturesque landscapes that are so characteristic of rural France. For a change, how about a kayak trip through the deep gorges? This is also possible in the area without any further problems. If you prefer a little relaxation and seclusion, the many lakes have just the right choice. The lakeside beaches of the region are well-known and are also a popular place for people from France themselves to spend their holidays.

Cities and monuments in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

Lyon
Lyon, Image: prochasson frederic / shutterstock

Not only landscapes can be found here, but also some famous towns and villages. On a trip through the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, you can find a wide variety of small villages and castles that almost seem as if they had never moved out of the Middle Ages. The most important and best-known city in the region, however, is Lyon. For many centuries, the city has been one of the most important regions of France and has a lively history behind it. The witnesses of this history can still be seen in the city today and are a reason for the millions of visitors who wander the picturesque streets every year and see the architectural highlights of the city.

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In the Parc naturel des volcans you will find the Puy de Dôme. This is an ancient volcano that became extinct many thousands of years ago and today offers the opportunity to look from the edge of the crater into the surrounding hilly landscape. Already on the way there, the many small churches in the area are a real highlight and almost every one of them is worth a stop and a visit. Puy-en-Velay should also be mentioned separately here. The small town has its own charm and perhaps stands for the magic and diversity of the region like no other city, which almost seems as if it has slept through the technical development in recent years.

Culinary highlights: The Auvergne Cheese Route

There is a lot to tell about the culinary highlights of the region. However, special attention should be paid to the famous cheese route. After all, the region is known for its diverse natural products. During a journey through the typical villages and stops on the route, you will not only learn a lot about the production of cheese, but also about the country and its people. Along the way, you can taste some of the best products in the world and pack one or two highlights for the way back in your pocket.

By the way, the frog legs are typical. Although they are not offered in every restaurant, they are without a doubt a speciality of Auvergne. In addition, it is above all the game dishes that should receive special attention. All in all, lovers of hearty cuisine in the region will get their money’s worth.