Tuesday 28 September 2021

What to do around Lyon? Our Top 5 best addresses

Do you want to treat yourself to a little change of scenery without having to travel more than two hours from Greater Lyon? Need a getaway for two outside the capital of the Gauls? Don't ask yourself what to do around Lyon: we have put together our Top 5 ideas for outings and places to discover near the City of Lights. Let yourself be carried away by the superb landscapes of the Monts de Lyonnais or go and discover the ideal Palace of the Facteur Cheval, for a weekend of perfect relaxation, only a few kilometres from the beautiful city of Lyon!

1.    What to do around Lyon for a day trip? Take the key to the fields!

What to do around Lyon when you only have a few hours to devote to a beautiful escape from the city? Get out of the city and take the key to the fields, of course!
The Key to the Fields Trail is a 45-minute walk, accessible from Lyon by bus or car. Go to the rue de la Croix Rouge in Saint-Genis-Laval, then to the Fort de Côte Lorette car park from where the walk starts.
The path is named after the 16th century gentlemen who used to spend the summer in their country house, then commonly called "maison des champs", on the Saint-Genis-Laval side. Rising to an altitude of 280 m on the eastern edge of the Lyonnais hillsides, the path offers a breathtaking view of the Rhône valley, and the many information points along the way will tell you many secrets about the rich past of these lands. 
A little extra advice: make a detour to the Lyon Astronomical Observatory, which you can reach after a slight diversions on a nearby path. 
Treat yourself to a relaxing interlude just a few minutes from the historic centre of Lyon, an invitation to daydream that you will be delighted to honour!

1.    Discover the island of the 'Table Ronde'

For a perfectly unexpected nature discovery, just a few minutes from Place Bellecour, leave Lyon heading south and go to Vernaison on the Island of the Table Ronde, in the hollow of the Rhône canal which has been home to this magnificent green setting since the 1960s. Walk or cycle through the lush countryside of meadows, rivers and lakes, inhabited by a rich and tranquil fauna: swans, beavers and hummingbirds will accompany you throughout your walk, ensuring a total disconnection from nature. 

If you're still wondering what to do around Lyon on a day trip, pack your picnic and spend a day out of time in the protected and preserved natural site of the Ile de la Table Ronde: its 400 hectares of incredible nature are just waiting for you! 
The little extra: take the time to walk around and admire the Wolf Farm, an old ruined yet beautiful farmhouse that you will see at the start or finish of your walk.

1.    What to do around Lyon? Walk the Monts du Lyonnais!

About thirty kilometres west of Lyon lies the magnificent Monts du Lyonnais, a region rich in history and contrasting landscapes that offers a breathtaking view of the neighbouring Alps and Monts du Forez.
If you are still looking for something to do around Lyon to get away from it all for a day or a weekend, the Monts du Lyonnais are full of places to discover and things to find: Yzeron and its lake, the Gimond dam, or the hiking trails along the Vallée en Barret will delight water lovers, while the Glay quarry, all made of golden stone, offers an exceptional panorama of the diversity of the Monts du Lyonnais landscape. In total, hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking and mountain bike trails are waiting for you!

1.    Discovering Oingt and the medieval villages of the Beaujolais

What to do around Lyon to discover the historical and wine-growing heritage of the Beaujolais? One destination is an absolute must: "Little Tuscany", an appellation which designates a group of medieval villages built in golden stone and nestled in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards, some 30 kilometres from Lyon. The small village of Oingt in particular, from the top of its hill, offers a magnificent and unobstructed view of the vineyards, and takes you back to another era as you wander through its steep little streets. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, don't miss the opportunity to admire its period dungeon, and let yourself be tempted by the pretty shop fronts that line it! If you are in good spirits, continue your discovery by visiting the neighbouring villages of Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise, Beaujeu or Riverie. Above all, take the opportunity to do a wine tasting in one of the many vaulted cellars of this magnificent golden stone vineyard, and treat yourself to a real break from the hustle and bustle, less than an hour from Lyon!

1.    What to do around Lyon? Visit the "Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval"

About an hour from Lyon and right next to Vienne in Isère, the town of Hauterives is home to one of the most beautiful monuments ever conceived, designed and built by a single man: the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval. "10,000 days, 93,000 hours, 33 years of hardship", as the extraordinary creator of this unclassifiable masterpiece, Joseph-Ferdinand Cheval, a postman by trade, sums it up. A lifetime of collecting pebbles on a daily 30-kilometre tour, and the legacy is a sumptuous building that defies all architectural rules and houses, among other marvels, an incredible bestiary: a must-see for a trip to the Lyon area!

And if you want to prolong the pleasure, don't hesitate to book your room with private spa in Vienna: L'Oriental Spa and the Bali Spa will continue to take you on a weekend journey to the land of a thousand and one nights or to the heart of beautiful Indonesia, for a perfectly successful relaxation and disconnection interlude.

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