Camping in France is an excellent choice for a memorable vacation! Check out these top things to do in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region that everyone will enjoy!
Named after the Rhone and Alps mountains, the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region sits at the heart of Europe. North of the French Riviera and south of Paris, the region shares borders with Italy and Switzerland to the East.
The Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region is home to some of the most impressive natural landscapes and landmarks in Europe. And a handful of the most important cities and picturesque towns and villages. It also boasts many of the most outstanding campsites in France which we feature many blogs on.
This makes the region an excellent choice for a memorable camping holiday in France. Whether you prefer the excitement of outdoor activities or sitting by a lake relaxing. Keep reading to find out about our top 10 things to do in the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region.
10 Best Things to Do in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Region
1. Activities in Vanoise National Park
There are many national parks in the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region. However, for many people, the Vanoise National Park is the best.
Founded in 1963, the Vanoise National Park was the first national park in France. It’s also the largest in the country, which doesn’t even include the part of the park that crosses into France’s neighbour Italy.
Located in the Alps, the park is especially popular for skiing in the winter. However, it also offers visitors beautiful scenery and endless activities throughout the year.
Popular activities in the national park include mountain biking, hiking, canoeing and rafting. Kids will also enjoy the thriving wildlife, which include marmots, lynx, wolves, deer, mouflons (a wild sheep with horns!), chamois, ibex and many other enchanting creatures.
You can either go it alone or take advantage of the many organised trips and tours by professional guides.
2. Visit France’s Second City of Lyon
Even though few tourists venture beyond the French capital of Paris, those that adventure to France’s second city of Lyon are in for a treat.
While the city serves as the perfect day trip, there are too many things to do in the capital city of the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region to get through everything in just a day.
Lyon has an endless choice of excellent restaurants to feast on world-renowned French cuisine. You don’t get called the “gastronomic capital of the world” in this food-loving country for nothing.
With a full stomach, visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere. This 19th century was built to thank God for the city’s salvation from the bubonic plague. After this, take advantage of the wonderful variety of shops that range from small boutiques to large department stores.
In Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, there are few better places to swap the camping in the countryside for the urban sprawl than Lyon.
3. Lac d’Annecy and the Annecy Town
Known as the “Venice of the Alps”, the town of Annecy is home to Lac d’Annecy. As well as the second biggest lake in France, the lake is also entitled to the tagline the purest and cleanest lake in Europe.
Surrounded by forests and mountains, Lac d’Annecy is home to a wide variety of wildlife. While herons and kingfishers can found by the lakefront, there are also plenty of freshwater species, such as trout and blennies.
The list of activities at Lac d’Annecy includes cycling the whole way around the lake (along the trail) to swimming and splashing around in the water. For boat lovers, there are many different types of vessels available for hire.
With cobbled streets and medieval buildings, Annecy town is breathtakingly beautiful. You can often find markets with locals selling fresh fruit and vegetables. The region’s yummy cheese is sure to result in happy campers!
For many people, the highlight is visiting Palais de l’Isle, a former island jail, surely one of the best things to do in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Region. Introduce your kids to the history of the island and explore the dungeons and courtrooms of this medieval jail.
4. Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi is part of the Mont Blanc Massif, named after Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in Europe. But unlike its neighbouring peak, Aiguille du Midi can be reached by cable car.
If those tired little legs of your kids can’t manage to hike up a mountain 3,842 metres above sea level. There’s no need to worry. You can get to the top without breaking a sweat.
After traveling the distance from the town of Chamonix to the top by either cable car or on foot, you’ll get a spectacular view across the mountain range of Mont Blanc.
If you get peckish at the summit, there’s no need to pack lunch. There’s a restaurant called le 3842, named after the altitude in which it’s located. So enjoy the views while feasting on the finest French cuisine.
5. Gorges de l’Ardeche
You can enter the Gorges de l’Ardeche through the Pont d’Arc. This natural arch that is etched into the cliffs serves as the most spectacular way to catch your first glimpse of the river gorge.
Gorges de l’Ardeche offers breathtaking views and fantastic activities. The cliffs rise to over 300 metres, which make for a challenging climb for enthusiasts. For those who prefer the ripples of the water, canoes and other vessels are available to hire.
But if you really want to take advantage of this otherworldly setting, French camping doesn’t get more romantic than this. Looking out during the night at the stars above you is enough to take your breath away.
The self-proclaimed “Capital of the Alps”, Grenoble traces its history back 2,000 years. Grenoble is the capital of the province of Dauphine.
If you’re ready to do something cultural and educative, Grenoble is definitely the place to start. With numerous heritage sites and museums on science, archaeology and more, there’s much to be learned in this wonderful city at the foot of the Alps.
For the finest views for miles, get the cable car or hike to the top of the Bastille, which is a fortified mountain.
On the French-Swiss border, sitting on the French side of Lake Geneva is the small fortified-village of Yvoire. You can reach Yvoire via boat from either Lausanne or Geneva.
You’ll immediately notice the central landmark of the chateau before you even step through the city gates. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, the walled medieval village is well-known for its floral shows.
The Garden of Five Senses includes over one thousand plant species. As its name suggests, you can enjoy the displays by using each of your five senses. This all makes Yvoire one of the top destinations for campers in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region.
8. Mine Museum in Saint-Etienne
Saint-Etienne is the second-city of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes. Often overlooked in favour of its larger and attractive rival Lyon, the people of Saint-Etienne are proud of their industrial heritage.
This is perhaps reflected in one of the city’s greatest tourist attractions, the Mine Museum. The museum attracts over 50,000 visitors annually, many of them children.
Located on the site of the former Couriot pit, the museum has been registered as a historic monument since 2011.
The former mine was in use from the 1840s to the 1970s. It was once the workplace of over two thousand miners. The miners are honoured by the museum, their overalls are still hanging up.
9. Le Jardin d’Eden, Tournon-sur-Rhone
The Jardin d’Eden, or the Garden of Eden, is without doubt unmissable for anyone who enjoys gardens.
You’ll find ponds, water fountains, sculptures, woodlands, a variety of flowers and neatly maintained grass. Le Jardin d’Eden makes for a charming stroll through the natural beauty.
But perhaps most exceptional part is that it’s surrounded by defensive walls because the gardens are built in a former convent.
10. Bois de Paiolive
The Bois de Paiolive is one of the most beautiful examples of France’s natural environments. Despite covering only 15 square kilometres, the forest packs plenty in such a tight space.
If you’re searching for incredible rock formations or enchanting hike trails, Bois de Paiolive is the place for you. The caves and nooks that feature across the rocks make for exciting games for children.
This forest is also a great place for a family picnic in-between exploring the hidden wonders of the woodland.
How to find the best campsites in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Region
Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes makes an excellent destination for your holidays. With a number of fun activities, spectacular views, and experiences of history, there’s something for all the family.
If you’re ready to experience the 10 Best Things to Do in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Region and you’researching for campsites in France for your stay in the region, We can help ! Your dream French camping holiday is only a few clicks away: check out our campsites today and book!