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Travelling the Rhone

Listed under River Trips in Provence-Cote d'Azur, France.

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Photo by flickr user Wolfgang Staudt
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The French end of the Rhône at least is well known by foodies. Watering the vineyards of the low, sunny lands of Burgundy and Provence, the river has brought wealth to the region which has equated to beautiful architecture, especially the religious variety, and a cuisine to compliment the locally produced wines. Beyond the vines are fields of lavender and sunflowers and the wide delta region of the Camargue, famous for its wild white horses. An important highway since Roman times, the Rhône runs between Lyon, Avignon, Vienne, Arles and the Mediterranean ports of Marseille and Sete, Roman and medieval ruins testament to the importance of the river as a trade route.

Lyon, called by many the capital of cuisine, is a staple destination, one where the Roman and medieval architecture converges. Visit the St. Pierre Palace and the ampitheatre at Fourvieres Hill. Save space in Lyon to have desert in Tournon, home to one of France’s most famous chocolate factories. Nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône vineyards are some of the Rhône valley’s most successful brands but there are many smaller regions bursting with local producers willing to share some of their handiwork and expertise.

Avignon’s bridge appears in a song, but it’s the Papal palace that is most people’s highlight, which, if you can still imbibe more food and wine, has its own small wine tasting rooms and arriving into Arles some of the views may have a touch of the familiar to them, Van Gogh painted this area extensively.

Written by  Kate Tonbridge.

Other expert and press reviews

“Lyon- Vienne- Viviers- Avignon- Arles”

This area of southern France is sunny, historic and the food and wine is good and plentiful. Lazy days on the river watching pretty town after pretty town pass by in the sunshine, before stopping off to amble medieval lanes arriving at ancient churches… Read more...

Written by  Simone Granger.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Rhone

The Rhone starts its life on the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland and travels downhill quickly and with strong currents till it reaches Lake Geneva. The river then slows through the scenic Rhone Valley and finishes its journey in the Mediterranean Sea at Arles.

The Rhone was a very important European trade route and it used to take about three weeks to travel its boatable length. The Rhone is bordered by some of the most picturesque regions of France and Switzerland including the Rhone valley and the French wine regions of Burgundy and Beaune. There are also several historic towns, some dating back to Roman times, to explore along the river‘s banks.

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