A huge region, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes covers 12 departments: Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Savoie and Haute-Savoie. This fantastic destination offers a wide variety of landscapes and tourist proposals, from the south of the Drôme with its cicadas and lavender to the Ecrins massif, a wild jewel of the northern Alps. You have a choice of atmospheres, between Lyon, with its Confluence Museum, and Chamonix, a mecca for mountaineering, the vineyards of the Rhone Valley and the olive groves of the Nyonsais. Of course, with two national nature parks - the Vanoise and the Ecrins - and no less than seven regional nature parks, including those of the Vercors, Chartreuse, the Ardèche mountains and the Provençal Baronnies, you have ski resorts, large estates or village resorts, high-mountain hiking or cow-riding trails and a choice cycling route with the ViaRhôna. Ski in Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe and the largest in France, canoe down the Ardèche River by passing under the Pont d'Arc, stop at the Aven d'Orgnac and its Prehistory Museum, a major site in France, and visit the reconstitution of the Chauvet cave with its cave paintings. Then stand in front of the fireplace, you are in the land of the Savoyard fondue and gratin dauphinois, the fine fat of the Mézenc and the chestnuts of Ardèche, the picodon and the abundance of mountain pastures. And don't forget your Little Futé Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to find your way around!

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When to go to Rhône-Alpes?

There are two high tourist seasons for the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. For the mountain resorts: winter for skiing and summer for hiking. Out of season, the big resorts empty, their hotels and restaurants close. The mid-mountain resorts make tourist proposals in the off-seasons. For Drôme and Ardèche, there is only one tourist season: summer. To visit Lyon, it's all year round with highlights for the Festival of Lights on 8 December, and the Nuits de Fourvière, an art festival in July, the Biennial of Contemporary Art, in odd years, from September to January. Find out more about the Confluence Museum's programming. Similarly Annecy, Grenoble and Valence can be visited all year round. But for Annecy, prefer July 14th, during the Lake Festival, a fairy-tale moment.

In Nyons, in the south of the Drôme, the olive is celebrated in February and June. And in July, lavender in Ferrassières, picodon in Saoû, linden in Buis-les-Baronnies. At the end of June and the beginning of July, go to the Jazz festival in Vienne and all summer long for the Nuits de Grignan (theater), on the square in front of the castle where Madame de Sévigné's daughter lived

As for accommodation and restaurant prices, they are at their highest in summer in the south of the region and in winter in the large resorts. However, all-inclusive stays remain a good compromise. In the remote villages of the Ardèche, if tourism is confined to good weather, you can make an off-season stay at a lower cost, to live in peace and quiet like the locals. Finally, you should know that in July and August, when the heat wave exhausts you in the plain, there is always, nearby, an altitude site where you can cool off

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When to travel?

There are two high tourist seasons for the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. For the mountain resorts: winter for skiing...
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Weather forecast

The weather in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a real mosaic: continental climate for Savoie and Isère, oceanic influence f...
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