Experience Lyon: the ultimate guide to Lyon surroundings – best day trips

The Ultimate Guide to the Lyon surroundings is a ‘must-read’ in order to really appreciate it all! Lyon, a city of hills, offers many impressive viewpoints where we can admire the scenery: colorful buildings, the sparkling Saône river, and the iconic crayon. On clear days, we can even spot the Alps looming in the distance. After spending a few days in the city, you may be itching to explore what’s beyond the city limits.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is rich with beauty and culture. We’ve reached into our archives and uncovered some fabulous day trips from Lyon. Check out these excellent suggestions from our contributors!

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1. Lyon surroundings day trip: Beaujolais region – the wine lover’s day trip

Famous for its ‘young’ wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, there are many more varieties to discover in the Beaujolais region. The area is particularly beautiful just before the harvest in the autumn when the vines have turned a russet red and juicy grapes are bulging from the vine.

The south of the region is famous for its gold stone villages, known as ‘Beaujolais des pierres dorées’ and sometimes referred to as ‘little Tuscany’. A great way to explore the area is to hire bikes from Beaujeu and follow the way-marked cycle routes that lead you from vineyard to village. Pack a picnic lunch in your panniers…Read more

2. Lyon surroundings day trip: Outsider art – Le Palais Idéal

‘MyFrenchLife™ ‘MyFrenchLife™ - surroundings of lyon - palais

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you come upon a place that speaks to you in a very special way. It’s a spot that might gladden the heart but also knock you down in amazement – stupéfait. That’s how I felt when I saw Le Palais Idéal in Hauterives, a village some 50 miles southeast of Lyon.

Built over 30 years – from 1879 to 1912 – by just one man following no particular architectural style except his own, Le Palais Idéal is best described as an example of naïve or outsider art. Le Palais Idéal consists of four facades, which form the quarters of a compass. It is part stone and cement; part towers and columns; part winding staircases and sculpted figures; and part inspired – even visionary – text…Read more

3. Lyon surroundings day trip: Tain-l’Hermitage

‘MyFrenchLife™ ‘MyFrenchLife™ - surroundings of lyon - tain

I’ve long considered myself a Francophile, and a bit of a foodie. So I’m embarrassed to admit that my first introduction to the famous French food and wine town of Tain-l’Hermitage came via my husband’s desire to visit a tourist railway on the border of the picturesque Rhône-Alpes region of central France.

But, perhaps I shouldn’t feel so bad. Despite Tain-l’Hermitage being home to 6000 residents and both M. Chapoutier Wines and Valrhona Chocolate, the town is far from a typical tourist trap.

Situated an hour south of Lyon, Tain-l’Hermitage rests comfortably off the beaten track in France, on the bank of the Rhône River. Many river cruise ships appear to make a ‘whistle stop’ here, however, to truly explore the area, travellers may wish to stay longer to experience all the town offers and get a real feel for its charm…Read more

What’s your favorite day trip from Lyon? Should it be added to our Ultimate Guide to Lyon? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below 

Images credits:
1. Moulin à vent via @destinationbeaujolais on Instagram
2. Les mots nous manquent via @groupe_rdimmo_aixlesbains on Instagram
3. Trayne-Cul Street in Oingt, Beaujolais’ by Barbara Walter via Wikimedia Commons
4. Image by Alex Olzheim from Pixabay 
5. ‘Trayne-Cul Street in Oingt, Beaujolais’ by Barbara Walter via Wikimedia Commons

The Ultimate Guide to Lyon a six-part Series of tips on how to discover the best of Lyon
French City Guides: Experience Lyon

1. Experience Lyon: arts and culture
2. Experience Lyon: ‘must see’ neighborhoods
3. Experience Lyon: surroundings – best day trips
4. Experience Lyon: seasonal guide
5. Experience Lyon: gastronomy
6. Experience Lyon: the ultimate city guide

About the Contributor

Alexis Herrington

Growing up in the United States, I always dreamed of living abroad. After completing degrees in English and French, I was able to live in different parts of France as an English language teacher. I currently live in Bordeaux and work remotely as a copyeditor for Jellysmack's Paris office. I spend the rest of my time exploring this beautiful city and learning as much as I can about French wine.

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