Lyon health & wellbeing guide: is it all about balance?
Lyon is well-known for being the capital of gastronomy in France – which we all know means cheese, wine and pastries. Unless you have the willpower of a Frenchwoman, it can be hard not to overindulge. Our Lyon health & wellbeing guide is for those of you who need a break from Lyon’s gourmet restaurants, or want to stretch, move and relax after all that sightseeing.
Surely there should be some element of gratification in a trip to France. After all, Lyon is world-renowned for its gastronomy, particularly its must visit bouchons.
But there should also be an element of balance – shouldn’t there?
We’re told that if we take the time to look after ourselves while travelling our body will thank us…
So, this Lyon city guide features our suggestions of the best things to do for your health and wellbeing in Lyon, in an attempt to achieve that oft-elusive so-called ‘life balance’.
Get your body moving in Lyon: pilates & yoga
1. The Pilates Corner
British expat Anna is a master of movement – knowledgeable about pilates and the body, she will gently and artfully guide your practice. In the summer classes are held among the trees in the Parc de la Tête d’Or.The Pilates Corner
Rue Professeur Weill, 69006 Lyon
2. O Yoga
A popular studio in Lyon’s 6th arrondissement, owners Vanessa and Julia practice Vinyasa yoga – a dynamic and energising flow. Classes can be bilingual if required, so just ask if you need some clarification in English.O Yoga
19 rue Cuvier, 69006 Lyon
Nourishing food in Lyon: healthy cafés
1. Les Cafetiers
With a helpful and bilingual staff, and a healthy, nutritious and varied lunch menu (as well as sweet treats!), this trendy café is not to be missed.
Plus, if you’re a coffee fiend then this is the place you.
Follow them on Instagram, and you will see why we love it.Les Cafetiers
36 rue Ferrandière, 69002 Lyon
2. Le Café Vert
On Sundays, this café serves up tasty gluten-free, vegan, and ‘essentially raw’ brunches in Vieux Lyon.
The antithesis of Lyon’s famously offal-loving bouchons, this café is a perfect respite for overindulgence, while still being delicious (and still serving cake!).Le Café Vert
48 rue Saint Georges, 69005 Lyon
Indulgent wellbeing in Lyon – massage & spa
1. Au Bout du Monde
This tiny spa offers hammam, body scrubs, and a diverse range of massage options from around the world.
Just in front of the Sâone River, it’s a peaceful haven that feels a world away from the bustle of the city.Au Bout du Monde
3 quai de la Pêcherie, 69001 Lyon
2. Zenit Relax
Multilingual Stefano radiates calm and will realign you with his magic hands. He specialises in shiatsu massage, Ito-thermie and Ibuki therapy and offers sessions chez vous as well as in his studio.
A welcome treat after a long day travelling.Zenit Relax
50 rue de la Grange 69009 Lyon
Lyon health and wellbeing: five must-dos
1. A climb with a reward
No Lyon health and wellbeing guide is complete without this suggestion: climb the Fourvière hill to get a view of the city (and Mont Blanc on a clear day).
It’s a long slog but you are rewarded with the beautiful 2000-year-old Roman Amphitheatre which is free to wander around. At the very top of the hill is the Basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière with an impressive mosaiced interior and an even more impressive view.
2. Stroll around the park
Head to the Parc de la Tête d’Or. It’s France’s largest urban park (117 hectares) and houses a free zoo, a velodrome, and a large lake (with pedalos) among other things.
If you’re feeling especially active, follow one of the many runners – there’s a track around the perimeter. If that’s a bit too vigorous, you can hire pedal cars, known as les rosalies, to get around the park.
3. Ride ride ride
With 350 bike stations around the city, Lyon’s Velo’v bikes are a great way to get around. The first 30 minutes are free (with a €1.50 daily ticket) and most roads have an adjacent bike path.
You can even cycle down to the river confluence, where you can see the two rivers (the Sâone and the Rhône) converge into one.
4. Take a dip
Go for a swim in the Centre Nautique Tony Bertrand, a heated Olympic-sized outdoor pool alongside the Rhône. It’s €3.40 for entry, although you may have to queue for a while as it’s pretty popular in the summer.
Getting away from the summer heat and swimming laps outdoors is definitely a Lyon health and wellbeing must-do. There is also a kids’ pool open during the summer, with slides and water games.
5. Indulge at the local market
Get up early and head to Croix Rousse’s outdoor organic market on a Saturday. It’s worth the hike up the Montée de la Grande-Côte to get there (or take the bus or métro) to peruse the abundant fresh produce.
The rest of the week the stalls are not necessarily organic, however, a food market is held in same place every day except Monday. There are many choices for other markets in the city.
Do you have any tips for what to do for your health and wellbeing in Lyon? What would be in your ‘Lyon health & wellbeing guide’? Let us know your suggestions!
3. The Pilates Corner, via Facebook
4. Les Cafetiers, via Facebook
6. Au Bout du Monde, via Facebook
7. ‘Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romaine’ by Darkroom Daze, via Flickr
9. ‘Lyon Velo’v station’ by Elwood J Blues, via Wikimedia Commons
10. ‘La confluence du Rhône et de la Saône’ by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, via Flickr
11. ‘Piscine du Rhône’ by FaceMePLS, via Flickr
1, 2, 5, 8 & 12 courtesy of Sophia Marci-Anderson.