Learn what it means to be human at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon

Wine is the main attraction here, but there is much more to enjoy besides

Related articles: Road Trip through the Rhône Valley
12 Villages to Visit in the Rhône Valley

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

The ViaRhôna is a 500-mile dedicated cycling route from Geneva that passes through the Côtes du Rhône vineyards on its way to the sea.

The Pont d’Arc is the place to go for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, biking, climbing and hiking.

HERITAGE

Chauvet II

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an absolute must-see in the Ardèche. As well as tours through the cave, there’s an interactive museum and an ancient campsite where you can see how prehistoric people lived.

Musée des Confluences

Lyon’s newest museum, set at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers, explores what it means to be human, and our interactions with the animal kingdom and our planet.

Lugdunum: Musée et Théâtres Romains

On the slopes of Fourvière hill, where the Roman city of Lugdunum was founded in 43 BC, this is a symbiosis of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a museum of exceptional architecture and collections.

Discover the ancient history of Lyon on the site of the Roman city.

Musée des Tissus

Set in a 17th-century mansion, this museum traces the history of Lyon as the capital of the silk trade from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

Musée de Valence

A museum of 15th-century to present day art, and archaeology from prehistory to Roman times, it includes Roman mosaics excavated nearby.

WINE & FOOD

Gourmet Escapades

This small company specialises in personally-guided bespoke holidays in Provence for intimate groups of 2-6 people. You will be Karen’s guests in beautiful accommodation in the historic heart of picturesque Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Terres de Syrah

Discover and explore the vineyards and cellars of the northern Rhône Valley. Whether you are an oenophile or a neophyte, Terres de Syrah has an itinerary for you among the crus of the Drôme and the Ardèche.

Tain-l’Hermitage:

Cave de Tain offers wine tastings and outdoor experiences including cycling and Segway parallel scooter rides through the vineyards.

Chapoutier is a great place to learn about important Rhône vintages from both sides of the river and offers full- or half-day tours of the vineyards on electric bikes.

Cité du Chocolat Valrhona

Interactive exhibits guide you through all the magic of chocolate, with plenty of free samples as a learning aid. The café uses chocolate in all its dishes, and you can participate in a series of chocolate-making workshops.

Nougat Arnaud Soubeyran

If you haven’t tasted this Montélimar speciality, this is the place to do so. A tour through the museum (and past the kitchens) is informative.

Essential oils, skincare, perfumes, soaps, and more at Distillerie Bleu Provence

Distillerie Bleu Provence

Watch the lavender distillation process, visit a small museum, try a lavender-laced lemonade or local snack at the café, then shop till you drop at the marvellous boutique.

Caveau des Vignerons de Grignan-les-Adhémar

This is the place to come to taste a variety of local wines: AOC Grignan- les-Adhémar, Cru Vinsobres and Coteaux des Baronnies, and the sparkling blanc de blancs Clairette and Crémant de Die.

Rhonéa

This is an elegant space to try the legendary Beaumes-de-Venise, which is made exclusively from the Muscat grape, as well as the lesser-known but equally worthy reds, whites and rosés. You can also sample other local delights – olive oil, fruit juices, etc. Wines can be shipped worldwide.

Caveau du Gigondas

Set in the village’s charming square, here you can sample 100 of the great cuvées of this great appellation side by side to discover what all the fuss is about. More than 75 winemakers are represented here.

The Caveau du Gigondas is conveniently located in the village’s main square

Hospices de Gigondas

High in the village, in a medieval building with spectacular panoramic views, the Atelier Sensoriel at the Hospices de Gigondas provides an excellent opportunity to learn about wine by using all your senses.

Vinadea

In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vinadea is the place to taste and buy a huge range of excellent wines from conventional or organic and biodynamic vintners. And while tasting wine is great, there’s nothing like going on a tour of a wine cellar where it all happens. At Domaine Pierre Usseglio you can ask all your questions and sample these highly regarded reds and whites.

Maison Brotte

This small but fascinating Musée du Vin gives you a concise yet comprehensive understanding of the wines of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation and the Rhône Valley in general. Tastings are offered after the visit.

Notre Dame de Cousignac

Another not-to-miss experience that you won’t find elsewhere is wine-tasting in a cave. Claustrophobes needn’t worry as the caves are wide open and well lit. But if that’s not your thing, you won’t miss out, as tastings at this scenic vineyard are wonderful too.

Les Routes des Vins

If you want to create your own itinerary for the Rhône wine region, the Vins Rhônes website is a great resource. Click on Visiter > Les Routes des Vins for a presentation of the
14 routes, which you can pick up and leave as you like. Information on accommodation is also provided.

From France Today magazine

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Jennifer Ladonne
American journalist Jennifer Ladonne, a Paris resident since 2004, writes regular features on French heritage, culture, travel, food & wine for France Today magazine, and is the restaurants and hotels reviewer for Fodor's Paris, France and Provence travel guides. Her articles have appeared in CNN Travel, AFAR, The Huffington Post, MSN and Business Insider.

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