It has 8 departments, both rich and varied. Its metropolis, its large cities, and its mountain villages are set against immense nature areas and high peaks. The Rhône-Alpes region, a neighbour of Italy and Switzerland, is at the heart of Europe.
A European economic centre
30,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the Chauvais cave drew the first works of art. Commerce prospered as of the period of Gaul and put the region at the heart of Europe. The textile and metallurgy industries of the 19th century have given way to chemistry and research.
Some of the companies in the region
For more information, consult the Invest in France Agency’s website
In 2010, Saint-Étienne became the Unesco City of Design. It has a rich Art Nouveau heritage, the City of Design, the Museum of Modern Art and the Biennale du design. The Firminy-Vert neighbourhood is the largest urban complex designed by Le Corbusier in Europe.
Parc des Écrins
It is the largest national park in France, known for its 40 glaciers and some one hundred peaks of more than 3,000 m. At 4,102 m, the Barre des Écrins is the highest point of the range. The fauna and flora are exceptionally rich.
The skier's paradise
With 220 ski resorts, the Region has the largest skiing area in the world. While Courchevel and Megève are known for the beauty of their slopes, Tignes and Les Deux Alpes favour a festive atmosphere and Morzine and Samoëns focus on authenticity.
Foods of mountains
The poultry of Bresse, fish of Léman, and meat products of Lyons are among the best known specialties. They rival the cheeses: beaufort, abondance and reblochon. In fondues or tartiflette, these cheeses will be exalted by the aromas of Beaujolais wines.
The festival of lights
As night falls, small lights are lit and placed on the edges of windows in Lyons. The scenographies and light shows organised in the city attract several million visitors over the course of 4 days.