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Rhone Valley & Alps France
Tour of Scenic & Historic Sights


Viviers, Tournon, Vienne, Lyon, & Perouges

Roman Ruins, Medieval Cities, & City Walls

Castles, Palaces, Cathedrals, Churches, & Temple

Amphitheaters, Rhone River, & Saone River

Globus, Avalon Waterways, & River Cruise

Nave of the Cathedral of St. Vincent in Viviers, France.

Nave of the Cathedral of St. Vincent in Viviers.

Tours

We use the best tour operators to book all kinds of tours to France including independent tours, hosted tours, escorted tours, and packages. Contact us to book your travel. We book travel worldwide. Check out our Special Promotions.

River Cruise Monaco/Nice to Paris

We were on a Globus Avalon small-ship river cruise tour that started in the French Riviera and Monaco, where we spent one night on the tour. From Monte Carlo we were taken to Arles, France on the Rhone River to board the Avalon Scenery for our seven-night cruise through Southern France. We were headed north in the Rhone River and then the Saone River. For details of our river cruise including shore excursions go to the different regions in the following order: Provence, Rhone Valley and Alps, which is explained here, and Burgundy. From Beaune we were taken by motor coach to Dijon. From there we took a high speed bullet train to Paris, where we spent two nights. From Paris we did an excursion to Versailles. For details of the ship and onboard activities go to Avalon Scenery. Contact Us for more information.

Viviers

Our river cruise ship, the Avalon Scenery, moved from Avignon in Provence to Viviers in the Rhone Valley. There have people living here for more than 2,500 years. The highlight of this medieval town is the Cathedral of St. Vincent, and its Nave is pictured at the top of this page. The cathedral dates from the 14th century, but has been added to through the centuries. The church has outstanding acoustics, and we were fortunate to be given a special organ concert. The music was beautiful. Our local guide told us about St. Vincent and pointed out things of interest in the cathedral.

Tournon

Tournon Castle in Tournon, France.

Tournon Castle.

The Avalon Scenery sailed to Tournon where we docked. We were taken on a walking tour of the city with a local guide. A prominent feature in the city is the Tournon Castle. It dates from the 900s, but significant changes to the castle were made from the 14th to the 16th century Within the castle is a museum devoted to the local history.

Old Town in Tournon, France.

Old Town in Tournon.

Our walk continued through the Old Town part of Tournon. The cobble stone streets and buildings are fascinating to visit. Note the picture above.

Church of St. Julian in Tournon, France.

Church of St. Julian in Tournon.

We passed by the medieval Church of St. Julian, shown above. It dates from the 14th century. Our local guide told us about the history of the church.

Large market in Tournon, France.

Large market in Tournon.

There was a very large market in Tournon. This clearly was the place where the locals went to buy vegetables and all kinds of food. Everything looked clean and fresh as seen above. It was enough to make you hungry.

Vienne

Facade of the Cathedral of St. Maurice in Vienne, France.

Facade of the Cathedral of St. Maurice in Vienne.

We sailed in the Rhone River to and docked at Vienne. This is a very attractive city with Roman Ruins scattered about the city. The Romans were here in 90 BC. On our walking tour with a local guide we visited the Cathedral of St. Maurice. The very impressive facade is pictured above, and the stately nave is seen below..

Nave of the Cathedral of St. Maurice in Vienne, France.

Nave of the Cathedral of St. Maurice in Vienne.


Section of an ancient Roman road in Vienne, France.

Section of an ancient Roman road in Vienne.

We walked through a beautiful city park with gorgeous flowers where are local guide Camille showed us a section of an ancient Roman road. She is standing in the road in the above picture. In the far right corner of the road is an ancient Sarcophagus.

Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne, France.

Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne.

Above is shown the well preserved Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia. Below is seen the Ruins of a Roman theater that was built in the 1st century AD.

Ruins of an ancient Roman theater in Vienne, France.

Ruins of a Roman theater in Vienne.

Lyon

Notre Dame de Fourviere Cathedral in Lyon, France.

Notre Dame de Fourviere Cathedral in Lyon.

The Avalon Scenery moved north from the Rhone Valley to the region referred to as the Alps where we docked in Lyon. The Rhone River and the Saone Rivers meet in Lyon. We had been cruising the Rhone River, but would leave the city on the Saone River as we headed north. Lyon is the second largest city in France. The Romans were here as early as 43 BC. But people come here not only for its history but its food. Lyon is known for it cuisine, which is considered among the best in France. On our walking tour with a local guide we visited the Notre Dame de Fourviere. The majestic cathedral is high on a hill and is pictured above. Below is a view a chapel in the cathedral.

Chapel in the Notre Dame de Fourviere Cathedral in Lyon, France.

Chapel in the Notre Dame de Fourviere Cathedral in Lyon.


The old city section of Lyon, France.

The old city section of Lyon.

We walked the narrow cobble stone streets in the Old City section of Lyon, which is on the west bank of the Saone River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is both interesting and attractive, as can be seen above.

Tower in courtyard reached by a passageway in Lyon, France.

Tower in courtyard reached by a passageway in Lyon.

Behind some doors on the narrow streets are found special passageways and courtyards dating from Renaissance times. If you know where the passageways are they offer shortcuts to different places. The courtyard with the tower in the picture above was reached by one of the many passageways.

Medieval Village of Perouges

Church in the medieval village of Perouges, France.

Church in the medieval village of Perouges.

We went on a shore excursion from Lyon with a local guide to see the important medieval village of Perouges. Once a thriving village, it is said that fewer than 100 people that live here now. The residents are vastly outnumbered by the tourists that come here each day.

A cobblestone street in Perouges, France.

A cobblestone street in Perouges.

The well preserved village is both charming and delightful. You are in awe walking the cobblestone streets, seen above, which lead to many attractive buildings like those shown in the picture below. There are many photo opportunities.

Attractive buildings in Perouges, France.

Attractive buildings in Perouges.

There are both restaurants if you need a rest stop and shops there to purchase souvenirs. While we were there we were treated to a pastry and apple cider in a restaurant. It was a very nice excursion.

River Cruise Monaco/Nice to Paris

We were on a Globus Avalon small-ship river cruise tour that started in the French Riviera and Monaco, where we spent one night on the tour. From Monte Carlo we were taken to Arles, France on the Rhone River to board the Avalon Scenery for our seven-night cruise through Southern France. We were headed north in the Rhone River and then the Saone River. For details of our river cruise including shore excursions go to the different regions in the following order: Provence, Rhone Valley and Alps, which is explained here, and Burgundy. From Beaune we were taken by motor coach to Dijon. From there we took a high speed bullet train to Paris, where we spent two nights. From Paris we did an excursion to Versailles. For details of the ship and onboard activities go to Avalon Scenery. Contact Us for more information.

Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell images and prints.