Things to do in Lyon + The Rhone Valley
Easily, one of the top things to do in the Rhone Valley is to experience the vineyards, especially known for their grenache and syrah grapes. Like Champagne, “Cotes du Rhone” wines can only come from specific places around here, but the most famous examples include Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage. But if wine is not your thing—or you just need options to break up the winery visits, there are many other classic things to do in the Rhone Valley. Lyon’s Musee des Beaux-Arts—housed in a former Benedictine abbey— houses a collection that ranges from traditional portraiture to Surrealism and beyond. Don’t miss the top floor, where you can see works by Rubens, Matisse, Monet and Picasso.
Visit the Institut Lumiere to see why Lyon is considered the birthplace of cinematography. Native sons Louis and August Lumiere shot the first known film here in Lyons in the late 19th-century. Take your sweet tooth to Montelimar, the hometown of nougat. There is no shortage of candy shops where you can sample the sweets, as well as take nougat factory tours. There are also several other museums in town, focusing on more quirky subjects such as military aviation, miniature models and old-fashioned toys.