Sitting where the water of the rivers Rhône and Saône converge, majestic Lyon is the capital of Rhône-Alpes, an inland region of France stretching from Lake Geneva to the Cevennes and Provence. A great base from which to explore this historical, cultural city of gastronomy, with its multiple Michelin stars, is Siblu holiday park, Les Rives de Condrieu. Let’s go (and let’s eat!)…
The great outdoors
Walk your way around the UNESCO World Heritage site that makes up the narrow, labyrinthine streets of Vieux Lyon. Pick up a ‘Vélo’v’, Lyon’s bike rental scheme, and head to explore the city’s favourite green space, the Parc de la Tête d’Or. It’s a great spot for all the family to let off steam, and has pedalos, boules and even a zoo! If you then need to cool off on a hot summer’s day, finish with a dip at Lyon’s two Olympic-sized open-air swimming pools on the banks of the Rhône. Marvellous.
Things to do and special events
Some dub it the ‘mini Louvre’, and it’s true that the Musée des Beaux Arts is packed with ancient Egyptian artefacts and modern masterpieces, including works by Reubens, Monet, and Picasso. Musée Lumière is also worth a visit: an evocative, in-depth resume of the Lumière brothers’ inventiveness, and a worthwhile pilgrimage for any fan of the silver screen. Or why note take the funicular from Vieux Lyon Metro station to the distinctive hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière for panoramic views over all of Lyon. Come back down and get goose bumps exploring the mysterious traboules, the city’s secret network of ancient narrow passageways. Lyon also offers visitors a packed, all-year-round culture programme. Nuits de Fourvière is a super summer festival joyfully mixing up theatre, music, dance and cinema, whereas Fête des Lumières in December is a mesmerising contemporary light show. Not to be missed.
Local discoveries and hidden gems
Try Lyon’s hop-on, hop-off tour, covering all the main sites, from Place Bellecour to Cathédrale Saint-Jean Baptiste. Indulge in a spot of shopping in Lyon’s main retail hot spot, rue de la République. Or to see a different side of the city, make your way to the trendy, regenerated former dockland area, La Confluence, and visit the futuristic Musée des Confluences. It tells the story of mankind within a monumental structure of metal and glass. The legendary Les Halles Paul Bocuse, Lyon’s famed indoor market, is a must for fans of fine French cuisine. You can ogle at cheese and charcuterie galore, or indulge in a ‘shellfish and white wine brunch’ in one of the many surrounding bars and bistros. It’s particularly atmospheric on Sundays. And any trip to Lyon must incorporate dining in a traditional bouchon Lyonnais. Proceed with caution if trying andouillete dishes, however; this tripe-based sausage won’t titillate all palates…
Places to go
On Sundays, the atmospheric Puces du Canal flea market in north-eastern suburb, Villeurbanne. Browse 400 exhibitors and thousands of objects – you might even grab a bargain!
Distance/driving time from Les Rives de Condrieu