Boasting a rich history and a wealth of ancient sites, Lyon is an excellent destination for a holiday. The Fourviere Roman precinct is the highlight of the attractions and led to the city's UNESCO World Heritage designation. Lyon makes the ideal start point for trips with rental cars and motorhomes in the surrounding Rhone-Alpes Region.
Grenoble is a maximum of two hours away on the motorway. It is the gateway to a veritable collection of hiking trails and activity hubs. West of Lyon, Livradois-Forez Nature Park and Clermont-Ferrand offer something for all tastes. Le-Puy-en-Velay is a stop for pilgrims on St James's Way. The town and a number of historic chateaux are heaven for culture buffs.
Chateau de Virieu is just off the A49 to Grenoble and looks as though it has been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy-tale book. Fabulous chambers full of artefacts and a varied annual events programme ensure this remains a must-visit site. In Rochetaille, the Henri Malarte Automobile Museum houses a comprehensive collection of vehicles that dates from the dawn of the combustion engine to present times.
The Roman ruins on Fourviere Hill are well preserved and the highlight of a visit to Lyon. The Roman Theatre and the Odeon of Lyon were constructed adjacently and are one of only two surviving pairs from the empire. The uniquely designed Gallo-Roman Museum houses a treasure trove of exhibits and is now a part of the Roman complex.
The Fine Arts Museum is the other principal Lyon museum. It is housed in a 300-year-old convent and contains works by luminaries such as Rembrandt, Monet and Rubens. The city's botanical gardens boast 15,000 species, many contained in massive onsite greenhouses.
Vieux-Lyon, or Old Lyon in English, is a sprawling district featuring wonderful Renaissance architecture, cobbled streets and statues. The Cathedral of St Jean and the stone-fronted building Manecanterie adjacent to it are premium attractions. The latter contains collections of religious objets d'art. The International Puppet Museum is in this city quarter.
Camping des Barolles is just seven kilometres from Vieux-Lyon, yet is set amid a rural landscape. This family operated motorhome and tent site features a bar, grocery and laundry.
Lyon Indigo Campsite is 50 metres from a bus stop with direct services to the city. The site comes with Indigo's signature amenities which are a recreation lodge, a cafe-restaurant, a bar, adequate shower blocks, and a laundromat.
Camping Les Portes Du Beaujolais,, a family-friendly campground on a large park 20 minutes from Lyon, offers four-star amenities. The swimming pool here has a water-slide and attached paddling pool. Washing machines, a tavern and a restaurant are among other onsite bonuses.
Lyon is the focal point of the regional motorway network. These are good primary routes to the attractions. Secondary routes are pleasant to drive on, especially the N88 to Cevennes National Park. Remember that driving is on the right in France and the drink-driving limit is 0.05 per cent. ,
- Speed limits in towns: 50kph.
- National road speed limits: 110kph.
- Motorway speed limits: 130kph.
- Help number: 112