Lyon is not short of attractions, but what can you do when you have explored nearly everything the region has to offer? Go for a day trip to the innumerable attractions around! This is usually one of the most beautiful things about visiting Lyon. You will never run out of things to do or see, and if ever you do, there are more than enough options around if you are willing to spend at least two hours on the road. But with so many options to choose from, which ones do you prioritize if you have limited time? Scroll down for our recommendations on the best day trips from Lyon, France, so that you never lack places to tour whenever you are in the region.
It is irresistible to come to any part of France and not mind their wines and vineyards. Whether or not you are passionate about wines, a day trip from Lyon to the Beaune and Burgundy wine region is simply a must. This area is at the heart of the region’s wine activities, and awaiting you here are plenty of vineyards, wine merchants, cellars, and wine-tasting tours. Additionally, you can spice up your day trip with an appreciation of the beautiful Burgundy architecture as well as incredible lessons on all there is to learn about the craft of winemaking.
Beaune & Burgundy Vineyards Private Day Trip from Lyon
Duration: 9 hours
Annecy is an old town in an idyllic setting and just a short distance from Lyon, making it a great destination for a day trip. The town sits at the foot of the mountains, and it boasts a plethora of medieval pedestrian streets and ancient churches that will take you back thousands of years ago. Yvoire, on the other hand, is a medieval village located less than 70 km (43 miles) from Annecy. It sits on the shores of Lake Geneva, and the main attraction here is an authentic village that has been around for more than 700 years. If you are a history and culture buff, then this is a road trip you wouldn’t wish to miss.
Wine and Cheese Tasting Experience in Annecy
Duration: 2 Hrs Duration
There are plenty of wine tours in France, and Cote Rotie Wine Region makes a solid plan for a great day trip from Lyon. This is a beautiful location reputed to produce some of the country’s finest wine, and a day trip will expose you to great lessons about the region’s products—and why they are considered among the best. It is a chance to increase your knowledge of wine through lots of wine tasting. You can also take a tour of Regional Nature Park or simply soak up the refreshing and breathtaking views of the French countryside.
Vienne Cote Rotie Wine Half-Day Tour with Tasting from Lyon
Duration: 4 hours
If you are a history enthusiast, a trip to Perouges from Lyon will be highly tempting. The town is only 30 km (18.6 miles) away, and it is a cradle of medieval history. It is a beautiful walled town, with a lot of artifacts that point to the way of life hundreds of years ago. One of the most prominent attractions here is a paper-making workshop and a silk-wedding-dress-making workshop that will mesmerize you by the primitive yet skillful methods the ancient communities used to get work done.
Pérouges Medieval Village Private Half-Day Trip with Tasting from Lyon
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
5. Grottes de Cerdon
Grottes de Cerdon, also known as Caves of Cerdon, is only 75 km (46.6 miles) north of Lyon, and it is a great destination if you are looking forward to immersing yourself in extremely unique nature. The series of underground caves are believed to have been in use during prehistoric times. The start point is at a place where a river used to flow underground. The spot is believed to have served as a shelter for lepers who were considered outcasts by the communities. In recent times, the caves have been used as storage facilities for maturing blue cheese.
Geneva, home of luxury chocolate, is about 150 km (93 miles) from Lyon, making it another easy target for a road trip. A visit to this Swiss city will bring you face-to-face with several chocolate workshops where you will not only savor some of the world’s best chocolates but also learn a lot about the craft of chocolate making. Additionally, other notable activities you will enjoy with this day trip include a tour of United Nations Office, attending watchmaking classes, enjoying the beautiful outdoors around Lake Geneva, and going for exciting bike tours of the city.
Vienne is only 33 km (20 miles) from Lyon, and not known to many, it once served as a major hub for the Roman Empire—it still has several remnants that can be seen to this very day. A great place to soak up such history is at Gallo-Roman Museum. You can also use the day trip to climb Mount Pipet and enjoy city views from an eagle’s perspective, tour the famous Chapelle Notre Dame de la Salette, stroll along the banks of River Rhone, and go for a food tour at the area between La Scarpetta and the river.
If you are looking for a day trip to explore some of the region’s top cultural and historical sites, then choosing Avignon as a destination is a very sound idea. The town is littered with gothic ruins and medieval buildings with some dating back to the 14th century. It is home to Palais de Papes, which happens to be the largest gothic medieval palace in the world—an attraction that fascinates visitors of all ages. Then there is also Pont du Gard and the magnificent Cathedral Notre-Dame des Doms, where you will learn incredible history, dating back to the 10th century.
There are so many reasons why a day trip to Dijon will be enticing. To begin with, it is home to one of the oldest museums in France—Musee des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. What you’ll find in this museum are some of the finest collections of arts from various parts of the globe. There are several medieval exhibitions with lots of history from bygone centuries, including Well of Moses, which is a stone sculpture believed to have been erected during the 14th century. Cote de Nuits Vineyards is another notable attraction that makes Dijon an appealing destination for a day trip.
This is another day-trip destination from Lyon that will delight every wine lover. Beaujolais is well-known for its Beaujolais nouveau, or “young wine,” and it is home to a variety of top wines in France. Apart from wine-tasting and vineyard tours, a day trip to this little town will also treat you to spectacular views of the famous golden stone villages, which are sometimes referred to as Little Tuscany. One thing to note, however, is that the best way to explore this region would be on bikes—since there are marked bike paths that will lead you to several destinations in no time.
Golden Stones Beaujolais Wine Tasting Trip from Lyon
Duration: 4.3 hour
Use Lyon as a base to explore the region
Going for day trips is a great way to explore the region, which has lots of attractions—and you’ll discover what lies beyond Lyon. Use this list of the best day trips from Lyon, France, as a guide to finding out about the many highlights the area has to offer.
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