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Some of the most attractive cities around
Thanks to the exceptional quality of life, more and more executives and students are choosing Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. In 2017, they voted Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble the most attractive French cities to live in!*
These cities sit amongst some truly exceptional urban and rural landscapes, and are the ideal places to enjoy a wide range of activities:
hiking, winter sports, spas, picturesque village and historic châteaux, major international events or
even just enjoying great local food and drink.
* Studies by Arthur Lloyd, L’Express and L’Étudiant.
This music festival has been held every year since 2000 in Aix-les-Bains, on the esplanade overlooking Lake Bourget. Since 2018, a second edition is now held every April in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon
Theatre, music, dance, opera, circus... Every summer since 1946, Lyon has hosted Les Nuits de Fourvière. This event features almost sixty acts and hosts audiences of more than 130,000.
Châteaux of the Drôme
Built in the Middle Ages, the Châteaux at Grignan, Montélimar and Suze-la-Rousse have stood the test of time and bear witness to a turbulent local history.
Jazz in Vienne
First created in 1981, the festival runs for around 15 days in Vienne from the beginning of July. Every year, there are more than 250 concerts, 1,000 artists and 200,000 visitors.
International Street Theatre Festival, Aurillac
Famous throughout the country and far beyond, this festival features hundreds of open-air shows day and night. For a few days, Aurillac becomes one great big party, with shows on every street corner.
International Short Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand
Founded in 1982, this is now the biggest short film festival in the world, and second only to Cannes as France’s premier film festival.
Design Biennial, Saint-Etienne
The Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial was founded in 1998 by the director of the fine art school in Saint-Etienne. Its aim is to spread a democratic vision and approach to design.
94 Michelin-starred restaurants
With 94 Michelin-starred restaurants from Puy-de-Dôme and Mont-Blanc to Isère and the Loire, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is second only to the greater Paris region for top tables!
43 wine appellations
Bourgogne, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Côtes d’Auvergne, Saint-Pourçain and many more internationally renowned wines are produced in our region.
21 AOC-protected cheeses
Beaufort, Cantal, Saint-Nectaire, Comté... and these are just a few of the 21 AOC-protected cheeses made right here in our region. These authentic cheeses offer a true flavour of our region, and help
Inaugurated in 2002 and only 15km from Clermont-Ferrand, this is the national volcanic science centre. It brings in more than 300,000 people every year to have fun and learn all about volcanoes.
Aiguille du Midi Cable Car
First opened in 1955, this cable car stretches over two sections of the Alps in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and allows skiers to access one of the highest mountains in Europe.
This zoo opened in the Ardèche in 1974, and now houses 1,000 animals and 127 different species on the 80 hectare site. What makes it so special? You can visit half on foot and the other half by car!
Parc des Oiseaux
Opened in 1970, this is one of the oldest bird parks in France. It houses more than 3,000 birds in a 380 hectare reserve, and sees on average 250,000 visitors per year.
Walibi Amusement Park
Only an hour’s drive from Lyon, this park offers 32 different attractions and shows. This is France’s 7th most visited amusement park, with more than 400,000 visitors every year.
Musée des Confluences, Lyon
This Lyon museum focuses on natural history, anthropology, society and civilisation, and welcomes more than 760,000 visitors per year.
Museum of Fine Art, Lyon
This is one of the largest museums in France and in Europe. Ranging from Ancient Rome to Modern Art, its collection hangs in no fewer than 70 rooms.
A combined zoo and amusement park, this 50 hectare Allier site attracts more than half a million visitors every year, and is now one of France’s top ten most visited zoos.
Lyon’s Festival of Lights
Since 1989, Lyon has dedicated four days in early December to a spectacular light show every year, bringing in up to two million visitors from France and abroad.
6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
The Chaîne des Puys, the Chauvet Cave, Lyon’s Old Town and a variety of geoparks are among the region’s World Heritage sites, bringing in visitors from around the country and around the world.
The third-largest hot spring destination in France
Visitors flock to the 24 hot springs in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which have helped make the region a leader in health and well-being.
Nature parks and reserves
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region boasts no fewer than 11 Regional Nature Parks and 49 nature reserves, including the Volcanoes of Auvergne, the Vercors, the Chartreuse and many more.
The highest point in the Alps, this 4,809m peak is the highest in Western Europe and the 6th highest on the continent (including the Caucasus Mountains).
Nestled among the Alps in the Haute-Savoie, this lake is famous for its high altitude (447m) and the stunning views out over the surrounding mountains.
Chaîne des Puys-Limagne Fault
The Chaîne des Puys stretches for 32km in a 4km wide ridge, featuring 80 volcanoes. Both the Chaîne de Puys and the Limagne Fault have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2018.
69 major hiking trails
Enjoy 8,278 of hiking trails, taking you around the region’s lakes, volcanoes and even up our mountains.
40 cycle paths and multi-use trails
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is crossed by 2,480km of national cycle paths, 580km of which are part of larger, Europe-wide cycle routes.
Every year, this event brings together more than 2,000 people to run seven trails (including four ultra-endurance trails) across France, Italy and Switzerland.
Marcel Michelin Stadium, Clermont-Ferrand
Inaugurated in 1911, this is the home of the ASM Clermont Auvergne rugby club. With a capacity of 19,022 (with16,000 seats), it hosts a range of sports events, and even concerts.
Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium, Saint-Etienne
Built in 1930 and nicknamed “the Cauldron”, this 41,000 seater stadium is home to the AS Saint-Etienne football club.
This hugely popular “night race” stretches from Saint-Etienne to Lyon. It can be tackled individually, as a relay race or as a hike. Each year, almost 17,000 people take to the starting blocks.
Groupama Stadium, Lyon
This includes a sports and leisure complex as well as a football stadium and plays host to 30 events per year (sports and entertainment). The stadium is large enough for 59,000 spectators.
The world’s largest ski resort
The Trois Vallées is the largest winter sports region on earth, with 8 inter-connected resorts including Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens providing 542km of slopes.