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Rhone Alps by train
The Rhone Alps region is nestled between the south of Burgundy and the north of Provence, spreading from the Rhone Valley to the French Alps. Rhone Alps shares its borders with Switzerland and Italy. Rhone Alps is well known for its gastronomy, famous vineyards of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône, lavender fields and for the three largest lakes in France (Leman, Annecy and Bourget lakes). Rhone Alps is also home to the world famous Mont Blanc and to the most extensive ski area in the world.
The gateway of the Rhone Alps Region is Lyon, a UNESCO world heritage city easily accessible by train on the Paris-Marseille route.
Day 1 and 2
Start the day by exploring the old Lyon, its small historic streets, the Saint-Jean cathedral and its trésor, have a break by having a lunch in a restaurant or bouchon as known locally. Indeed, Lyon is the capital of gastronomy in France with more than 30 renowned restaurants and many star rated chefs who work their magic there. Continue your trip to the impressive Basilica and the Roman ruins at the top of the Fourvière hill and enjoy the magnificent view.
Start the second day with a stroll on the banks of the Rhône and don’t forget to admire the trompe-l’oeil wall paintings. Visit the Croix-Rousse district for its history of silk industry and drop in one of the few remaining silk workshops to watch a canut (silk weaver) at work. Engage in a shopping treat in the historical Presqu’île district and its Place Bellecour. End your day with a dinner in a brasserie and taste one of the local specialities which include charcuterie and quenelles de brochet (finely minced fish meal) with a glass of Côtes du Rhône wine.
Lyon > Annecy
Travel by TER train from Lyon to Annecy, the town known as the Venice of the Alps (2h trip). From the greenish surrounding mountains, transparent lake water, pure air and azure blue sky, life is pretty much about relaxing and contemplating the natural beauty of the region. You can chill out in the small medieval town enchanted by its canals and its arcade houses with many-coloured façades.
Fancy sun bathing or something more fun? Then you can try canoeing on the crystal clear waters of the lake or you can cycle along the cycle path which runs along the shore of the lake.
Our tip: Do not miss the morning market! Dinner cruise on the lake is a must.
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