3 secret places for your countryside fix near Lyon


LyonNature and Outdoor ActivitiesEntertainment and Nightlife

Se mettre au vert ... à deux pas du centre de Lyon !
© Lyon Country House - Se mettre au vert ... à deux pas du centre de Lyon !

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 27 March 2024, updated on 15 April 2024

Fancy a breath of fresh air just a stone's throw from Lyon's Place Bellecour? From a cabin perched in the trees of a chateau to a 'country house in the city' and a classroom that's become a cosy cocoon under the playground plane trees, here are three secret spots to escape to the wild around Lyon. A city break doesn't have to be all urban jungle...

Perch up in a cabin in the trees at Lyon Country House

Sleeping perched in the trees close to the city centre? At Lyon Country House, you're served the great outdoors at the heart of the city! Between centuries-old cedars and stone basins, you can play explorers in the three-hectare park where a historic chateau stands. And enjoy your own green bubble in the accommodation, each one designed as a micro-paradise: a country-house-style watchtower, intimate suites or a luxurious wooden treehouse with a view of the Saône. When it comes to dinner time, everything's provided: just cross the river to treat yourself to a gourmet meal at Auberge Paul Bocuse. In the past, the chef came to pick his wild garlic on the estate.

Lyon Country House

Sleep in an old village school at La Maison d'Ambronay

Hopscotch, the white lines of a playground and a large blackboard hanging under the plane trees in the courtyard... in the village of Ambronay on the Route du Jura, the old primary school has metamorphosed into a chic, vintage guest house, where every detail is a nod to its origins. There are clothes hooks, desks and world maps in the common spaces, from the entrance through to the kitchen-dining room. And in the bedrooms (previously extra-large classrooms), unusual objects such as rulers and pencil cases can be found dotted around, like sweets at break time!

La Maison d’Ambronay (French website)

Exoticism at Folies de la Serve

This time, the Haut-Beaujolais is your destination, where you can opt for the splendors of the Orient or the spirit of the gypsies... The estate offers a wide choice of accommodation: gypsy caravans, small oriental pavilions or rooms from the world of a thousand and one nights. So many opportunities to let yourself be transported into an exotic and unique universe, with the impression of falling asleep in the heart of faraway lands for magical nights. A true invitation to travel!

Les Folies de la Serve

Lodges Lao, a picturesque getaway in the Pierres Dorées Beaujolais region

Situated 30 kilometres to the north-east of Lyon, Bully is one of those remarkable villages with a Toscan accent and a timeless charm, surrounded by vineyards and houses built in stone. Surrounded by l'église, le château et son donjon, les gîtes de Laô sont une invitation à goûter à la douceur de vivre beaujolaise. Une ancienne ferme rénovée en cinq chambres colourées surplombant un hectare de parc. Les gourmets apprécieront les petits déjeuners en terrasse et les dîners à base de produits du terroir (sur réservation). Le gîte est également équipé d'un jacuzzi et d'un espace détente. Que demander de plus ?

Gîtes Laô

Sleeping on the water at Domaine de la Dombes

This time we're going to the Ain, to Saint-Paul-de-Varax to be precise, just 1 hour from Lyon, for a charming break with a different flavour, staying in a tree house at the heart of a 30-hectare estate. You can choose between houses on stilts, tree houses, floating huts or huts surrounded by animals, with different levels of comfort and for 2 to 6 people. It is an opportunity to live like a true adventurer, in harmony with nature, as most of the lodges are deliberately without water or electricity and equipped with dry toilets. It's an eco-sensitive project designed to minimise environmental impact and encourage guests to reconnect with nature. Deer hut, duck nest box, hedgehog burrow, dragonfly hut... A truly poetic moment to admire the mist on the lake at sunrise!

Domaine de la Dombes

Recommendations and advice Want to get away from it all in the Lyon area? With these addresses located on average 1 hour from Lyon, you can of course reach the city in just a few minutes. But why not take the time to discover these sites or their immediate surroundings in slow-motion. Most of them offer 'relaxing' activities on site (spa, massage, park, animal watching, fishing) or more sporting activities in the immediate vicinity (cycling, hiking, horse riding, etc.). It's a great way to feel like you're on holiday, reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy a bucolic environment! An excellent and original holiday close to Lyon!

Also to be read - Plan your trip to Lyon - 7 delicious delis in Lyon

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