The region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (AURA), in addition to being the birthplace of trips&friends, is also the first gastronomic region in France and houses the largest ski area in the country.
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Great place of culture
The region shelters no less than 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites! Among them, the historic centre of Lyon, listed since 1998. Over 2,000 years of history are scattered from the Croix-Rousse district to the city's presque-isle via the Old Lyon and the Fourvière hill.
The historic centre is home to the ruins of Lugdunum, also known as the Lyon of the Gallo-Roman period. We know its theatre and odeon very well from having been there ourselves several times for the regular events it hosts, but we discovered that the ruins are way more extensive than we thought! The city also shelters the remains of Roman baths, the ruins of two basilicas, and the ruins of the necropolis Saint Just. All this without counting the hundreds of remains collected and exhibited in the museum dedicated to the subject, including the famous statue of Neptune (you can find way more about it on their website).
We've all heard of the Lascaux cave, but have you ever heard of the Chauvet cave? It's one of the other UNESCO sites, just, a little less known. Located in Ardèche, the cave was discovered in 1994 and was source to remains that are over 36,000 years old. The great thing is that they offer a virtual tour while we're waiting to be allowed to go out again!
In addition to its UNESCO sites, the region has dozens of other heritage sites, including the famous Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval located in the Drôme (those who follow the Youtubeur Amixem probably already know it). You can also discover the Castle of Annecy, the Castle of the Dukes of Savoy or the Statue of Notre-Dame de France, among AURA's historical places.
A rich environment
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region includes 3 alpine massifs and 9 regional natural parks. It is 67% of its territory that is made of mountains, which makes it ideal for winter sports, the region also has the largest ski area in France. Well, OK, it's not really the ski season anymore, but given the reputation of the resorts we advise you to start planning for next year if you want to come to the region!
Let's face it, we're all ready for summer, and so is the region. With all these mountains, hundreds and hundreds of kilometers of hiking await you, dozens of summer activities (climbing, bungee jumping, accrobranche, kayaking, etc.). Name the activity you want, we're sure to find it somewhere in the region. Yes, this part is on geography, just so you have some culture to brag about in a future conversation!
With its 70,000km² of land (almost as big as Ireland!), AURA is also the first region for agricultural production under official labels and the first region in terms of the number of organic farms. A good share of the products labelled France in your supermarkets therefore come from this beautiful region!
First gastronomic region
We all agree that culture is important, but let's be on the same page, after a month and a half of lockdown without restaurants or bars, we're getting hungry! Once again, the AURA region does not disappoint. Not only this region is the leading gastronomic region, it is also home to several gastronomic cities, including Lyon, which opened a site in 2019 within one of its historic buildings: the Grand Hôtel-Dieu.
As for culinary specialities, there is no shortage of them either! Between the gratin dauphinois, the potée auvergnate or the lentils of Le Puy, there is plenty to feast on as you travel the roads of the region. As for souvenirs, don't hesitate to bring back a bit of cheese, be it Savoy, Fourme d'Ambert or Auvergne PDO cheeses. Thirsty rather than hungry? Chartreuse, Beaujolais or a good Côtes du Rhône are all in, to be consumed in moderation, of course.
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