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An Off-Season Guide To The Best Food, Wine, And Spas Of The French Alps


Rhone-Alps Castle France

When one thinks of the Rhone-Alps region of France, the vision of snow-capped mountains and exceptional skiing come to mind. It’s a true assessment—the 

Check out the best places to treat yourself in the Rhone-Alps >

But the second-largest region in France is also one of the country’s best year-round destinations, home of Cote de Rhone and Beaujolais wine, Evian water, and more than 65 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Known as the country’s top area for spas and wellness, the region is ideal for an add-on to a Paris trip, a combination journey from Switzerland, or a stopping point on the way to Provence, St. Tropez, or even Monaco.  

Here are our suggestions for a week-long luxury itinerary in the summer, spring or fall, combining all the best the area has to offer – spas, wine and food.

Begin: Lyon

Start your journey in the city of Lyon, a city of vibrant arts, culture, and of course, food. Shop for Hermes (their scarf factory is in Lyon), stroll the winding streets, and walk the scenic Rhone riverside.

Have an early dinner at famed bistro Daniel et Denise, where you can enjoy a traditional Bouchon and a cozy ambiance – think red checked tablecloths and vintage posters on the wall – as well as a lively, local-filled atmosphere.

Spend the night at the Hotel Sofitel Lyon Bellecour, which boasts a fashionable bar, spa, and Michelin-starred restaurant as well as a central location.

If you’d prefer something a bit more intimate, try the Le Royal Hotel Lyon, a 72-room guesthouse and home of the famed Institut Paul Bocuse cooking school.

You’ll be up early the next morning, so rest up.

Day Two: Wine, Wine, and more Wine

It could easily take a week to explore the Beaujolais vineyards of the area. Taste your way through the Beaujolais vineyards with the help of the Beaujolais wine app – free in the Apple app store, but also available in paper format for those who prefer something a bit more tangible. You can search by vineyard and city name.

Day Two: Chateau de la Chaize

If you only have a day, we’d suggest a visit to the Chateau de la Chaize in Odenas and the Chateau de Montmelas in Montmelas, both of which boast friendly staff and beautiful vineyards. The Chateau de Montlemas can arrange group tours for 20 or more, and is often dubbed “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” for its picturesque views. The home is open for tours, and if you’d like to indulge in a castle stay, the home has apartments available for rent by the week.

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