Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

From the peaks of Mont Blanc in the east to the tips of volcanoes in the west, and the Rhône Valley in between, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France provides picturesque settings for some of the most fascinating archaeological and historical sites. From Roman ruins to Romanesque churches, striking Gothic cathedrals to and magnificent castles and fortresses. The city of Lyon is widely recognised for its archaeology and history and is included on the UNESCO list of World heritage Sites. As the birthplace of Vercingetorix, Clermont-Ferrand is thought to be one of France’s oldest cities.


Auvergne still bears visible scars of having been shaped by volcanic activity. The chain of volcanic cones are as fascinating to us today as they were to the Romans 2,000 years ago. Covering much of the Massif Central, the region has breath taking landscapes of green mountains and wild gorges that are dotted with Roman ruins, Romanesque churches and medieval castles. The departments in Auvergne are: Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme.

Built into the side of the hill are the remains of the Roman theatre and Odeon in Lyon.

Rhône Valley

The Rhône Valley is the second largest wine producing region in France. It is the majestic Rhône River that has placed Lyon, now France’s third biggest metropolitan area,  at the crossroads of Europe for millennia. Today the river transports holiday makers, in Roman times the river was a crucial waterway that led to the establishment of many Roman cites along its length. Including Lyon, Vienne and Saint-Romain-en-Gal. The departments in Rhône-Valley are: Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Rhône.

Rhône Alpes

The high Alps to the east of this region mark the international borders with both Switzerland and Italy. The two departments that make up this area are what was the historic Duchy of Savoy; annexed by France in 1860 following the Treaty of Turin. Besides the Alps and skiing, the area is known for its quaint medieval towns; the lakeside town of Annecy an Chambéry are just two examples with well preserved historic centres. The departments in Rhône-Alpes are: Savoie and Haute-Savoie.