The gastronomic heartland of France is named so for its tempting offerings of timeless gourmet dishes, notably in foodie haven Lyon, and the finest wines from the surrounding wine regions of Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. Round it off with pepperings of medieval and Renaissance architecture, rolling vineyards and lavender meadows, and you’ll find this easterly region of France has been surprisingly overlooked.
The centre of it all is Lyon, France’s second city and unrivalled gourmet capital. The Old Town is the oldest Renaissance quarter in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, clad in cobblestone streets and punctuated by the red-checked tablecloths of cosy bouchons (little bistros). You’ll also stumble upon many a Michelin-starred restaurant and farmers’ market, so prepare to tuck into some downright delicious French cuisine in-between visits to Roman ruins and art galleries, such as the renowned Musée des Beaux Arts.
Stretching for 505 miles, the Rhône River meanders from the Alps to the Mediterranean, carving its way past some of France’s most world-renowned wine regions. Burgundy cradles celebrated wines from regions such as the Côte d’Or, Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, while the Rhône Valley produces the acclaimed Châteauneuf-du-Pape among many other exquisite varieties. Soak it all up on a self drive luxury tour of this attractive and delicious corner of France, the perfect way to get a taste of its intoxicating flavours.