Rhône River Information
Rhône is a 812 km long European river. It rises in Switzerland in the Urner Alps, supplies the Geneva Lake and runs from there through the south-eastern corner France before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. Its main tributaries in France are the Saône, Isère, Durance and Ain rivers. The Rhone River crosses the Rhone Alpes and Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur regions as well as the following French famous towns: Lyon, Montélimar, Avignon and Arles.
Rhone is the only river connecting the Mediterranean Sea to North Europe and was therefore a major communication road for people and goods, especially for Phoenocians. This river was also the setting of many historical events like Hannibal crossing. Nowadays it is much appreciated for various leisure activities such as fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, water-polo, rowing, water skiing, sea jousting...
Several events also take place around the Rhone, some are listed below:
- Pardon des Mariniers: literally translated as ‘Bargees'Forgiveness ’, this celebration was first religious but has become very popular. Diverse activities are available in many ports.
- Vogues: this term designates the annual towns' fêtes, with notably funfairs. The Rhone banks indeed offer a beautiful setting for amusement activities for both kids and grown-ups.
- Balls: traditional balls are a typical expression of the French life. Folklore has then pride of place and fireworks sometimes beautifully complete the picture.
- Lyon: the third biggest city in France is a real gem and has truly everything you could want. A rich historical past and strong traditions have left noteworthy vestiges e.g on the Fourvière hill as well as delightful local produce such as pike quenelles or the coussins lyonnais. Besides, culture has pride of place with many events on offer: various festivals and worldwide renowned famous art biennales but also the *Fête des Lumières*when the town lights up and plunges you into an enchanting world.
- Montélimar: the town is built on a hill overlooking the Rhone valley. It is popular amongst tourists for it offers a rich historical & architectural heritage, e.g many ancient chapels and gates or the Adhémar castle. Montelimar is also famous for its delightful nougat. The typical Provencal landscapes are made up from lavender fields and vineyards allowing you to fully relax while listening to the cicada song. This land of traditions indeed boasts a peaceful and friendly atmosphere difficult to leave.
- Avignon: foremost famous for its bridge and its annual theatre festival, Avignon also boasts a rich religious heritage. It is indeed nicknamed ‘City of the Popes’ and its many churches, palaces and convents make up for a stunning medieval decor. Besides, it allows you to discover the typical Provence cuisine and Côtes du Rhône wines and offers a wide range of activities, either shopping or cultural ones. Avignon furthermore refers to a unique southern lifestyle difficult to give up once you have experienced it.
- Arles: this beautiful town is renowned for its numerous Roman vestiges and delights architecture and history lovers. It contributes to give Arles an atmosphere really one of a kind where traditions have pride of place, with bull as emblem. *Courses Camarguaises* and *Toro Brave* are organized in the impressive amphitheater and make up for great shows. Sauntering under the almost always sunny weather is also a much appreciated activity with notably one of the biggest Provence market.