1. Rich and varied properties
Think of the Alps and your mind wanders to the quintessential log cabin topped with snow. France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is home to a number of these classic properties, but there’s also a range of other styles worth exploring. From townhouses to modern family homes, take a look at our selection of on-sale properties in the region – you might be surprised.
2. Resorts, of course
Imagine world-famous pistes on your doorstep! Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes boasts several renowned resorts, including Chamonix, Val-d’Isère, Courchevel and Valmorel, plus more than 90 others. Discover our top five ski resorts for inspiration!
3. Breath-taking scenery
In winter, this mountain range is exactly as most of us imagine: cold, white and punctuated by snow-dusted trees and weaving skiers. It’s just as beautiful in summer, as the valleys flush green, meadows bloom and locals flock to the lakes (Lac d’Annecy in particular, thanks to its striking turquoise water). Make the most of these warm days with this list of summer activities in the area.
4. Sunny summers
On that note, the weather is sublime in the summer months from June through to September. Highs can reach 26°C in Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes in general enjoys 1,976 hours of sunshine a year. Why not consider this world of contrasts with its clear-cut seasons and year-round activities?
5. The best of both worlds
Thanks to the region’s diverse geography, there’s something here for nature lovers and city folk alike. If you can’t get enough of the great outdoors, the lakes provide a golden opportunity for water-based sports such as water-skiing and kayaking, while the beautiful surroundings act as the perfect backdrop for pony rides and woodland hiking. Moving into the area’s buzzing metropolitan centres, major cities include Grenoble, Lyon and Annecy, which aren’t as isolated as one might expect – Grenoble, for instance, has a population of more than 150,000, with plenty to offer and superb transport links (including a 3hr TGV route to Paris).
6. Miam! Local delicacies
The French Alps… AKA the birthplace of the celebrated tartiflette, a sumptuous collaboration between potatoes, sour cream, Reblochon cheese and ham. It’s also home to the peppery Rosette de Lyon pork sausage, for those seeking a rich, savoury treat. As for pudding, there’s a wealth of local creations, including the sugary Saint Genix brioche with cherry-coloured pralines. Are your tastebuds tingling yet?
7. Friendly locals
Due to its booming tourist industry, the region’s main destinations are relatively cosmopolitan, with a combination of English and French speakers. Meanwhile, smaller towns offer a slower, more traditional pace of life.