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Two main rivers and tributaries of the Loire and the Rhône flow through Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, located in the southeast of France.

In 2016, France merged two of its former regions, the mountainous Auvergne of extinct volcanos and Rhône-Alpes. The combined region comprises 12 departments bordered to the East by the Alps Mountains around the region’s capital of Lyon, filled with Gallo-Roman history, a culinary culture, and nature preserves.

City Préfecture (Departement)


  • Lyon, region capital (Rhône)
  • Saint-Étienne (Loire)
  • Bourg en Bresse (Ain)
  • Annecy (Haute-Savoie)
  • Chambéry (Savoie)
  • Grenoble (Isère)
  • Valence (Drôme)
  • Privas (Ardèche)


  • Moulin (Allier)
  • Clermont Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme)
  • Aurillac (Cantal)
  • Le Puy en Velay (Haute-Loire)

Cities of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes


The area from Rhône-Alpes includes 3 major cities: Lyon, Grenoble, and Saint-Étienne, all UNESCO World Heritage sites with Chambéry and Annecy. Historic Gallo-Roman ruins also dot the land like those in the town of Vienne. This region, known for gastronomy and wine production of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône, is filled with stunning natural beauty. Lakes, hills, mountains, and gorges include notable Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), Lac du Bourget, Lac d’Annecy, Gorges de l’Ardèche, and Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Here, the region hosted 3 Winter Olympics at Chamonix, Grenoble, and Albertville.

Oak forests of Forêt de Tronçais, pastures, lakes, and ponds fill the rural area of Auvergne between the northern hills and southern dormant volcanic landforms of Massif Central in the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys mountain ranges.

Paris Explored

Exporing Touraine in the Loire Valley

The city of Tours and Château d’Artigny was a good starting point for our self-guided driving tour throughout the Loire Valley of France. Our day’s agenda took us through the region of Touraine, to Château de Chenonceau and Château d’Amboise. We first arrived at Chenonceau, one of the loveliest and most romantic of all the chateaux… From there, we headed off to the town of…

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Chateau d’Artigny

Upon leaving Chartres, France, we headed off to Château d’Artigny near Montbazon, a few miles away from the city of Tours. Sitting along the Indre River in the heart of the Loire Valley, this near-replica of the 18th-century château at Champlâtreux was completed in 1928. We called it home for a few days while we took in the local sites. However, this…

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Chartres Cathedral

In addition to enjoying rich cafés, fresh local cuisine, regional wine and chévre cheese, we set out to experience the home to some of the world’s greatest architecture… the Loire Valley. This fertile terrain is rich in scenic antiquity and France’s aristocratic past. Abundant with historical fortresses, chateaux and churches, high on my list of places to visit was the UNESCO World Heritage…

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Paris: First Experience

I’ve always believed that travel is good for the mind and soul. It exposes us to culture, language, food and surroundings beyond the familiar setting of our everyday. On one such trip to France with my husband, I worked to capture the allure of this culture in photos as my eye could capture. Among the…

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