Starting life as a breathtaking glacier in the Swiss Alps, the glorious Rhone flows through Lake Geneva before meeting the Mediterranean Sea west of Marseilles. A cruise along its scenic banks will reveal France at its most picturesque. Think lush, verdant vineyards, sun-baked hilltops and lavender-scented countryside.
The river flows through France’s gastronomical heartlands and a river cruise will offer you many opportunities to sample the region’s best offerings, while stops in the culinary capital of Lyon and the wine mecca of Burgundy are sure to keep any budding connoisseur thoroughly happy.
But pleasing the palate is not the only thing that this outstanding cruise has to offer. The exquisite landscapes and cultural heritage are thought to have inspired artistic masterpieces by the likes of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin.
River Cruise Selection
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RHONE
Provence is Southern France at its finest. The name alone conjures up images of sun-drenched fields and pretty boulevards. This upscale region is packed with culturally iconic towns, beautiful beaches and stunning Roman architecture. Many river cruises will stop at Arles for the colourful sun-baked houses and beautiful locations, some of which you may recognise as Van Gogh created some 200 artworks depicting the beauty of this area. Another stop, the stylish Aix, is home to polished pavement terraces, moss-covered fountains and crumbling ancient abodes. You’ll certainly pick up on the Mediterranean vibes in this sun-blessed part of the world.
Two of France’s greatest passions come together in Burgundy: food and wine. Burgundy’s vineyards were afforded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015 and the area is as dashingly good looking as it is fertile. Many river cruises include wine tasting experiences in this fantastic region. If you’re travelling further afield, the town of Dijon, famous for its mustard, of course, is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants. Look out for the proudly-displayed Michelin stars when dining out.
The striking Ardeche Gorges are guaranteed to take your breath away, and a river cruise is undoubtedly the best way to witness them in all their glory. Fondly referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’, the serpentine Ardèche River (a tributary of the Rhône) cuts a meandering pathway through these spectacular limestone gorges.
A trip along the Rhone is sure to show you a stunning slice of French life.