Rhone is a French department located in the south east of France. It is the smallest department of the Rhone-Alpes region and stretches over 95km from north to south and pver 65km from east to west. Rhone covers the Beaujolais and the Lyonnais areas. It is bordered with the Ain, Isere, Loire and Saône et Loire departments.
Rhone was created during the French Revolution in 1973 with cities of the surroundings of Lyon. The department is crossed by the eponymous river and by the Saône River. The scenery is composed of mountains and mounts: Monts du Beaujolais and Monts du Lyonnais. The 1,669,655 of Rhone are called the Rhodaniens, the ¾ of which live in Lyon agglomeration.
Rhone is a very French touristy location famous for the Beaujolais wines, the golden-stone villages, surrounding landscapes and so on. This is an idyll for nature lovers who will appreciate relaxation and walks in an astonishing area! Have a walk in the Lacroix-Laval park, probably the vastest equipped open space of the department: a great place for sports and détente. Another piece of greenery may be found in the Parilly park: woods and sports zone will seduce many of you.
The Monts du Lyonnais, located between Lyon and Saint-Etienne, stretch over 40km. This mountainous area (the peak is 900m) is sought-after for its tranquillity and beautiful landscapes. Another area worldwide renowned is the Beaujolais, where is produced the very popular wine called the Beaujolais Nouveau. This area is also nicknamed the country of golden stones due to the ochre colour of the local earth. Vineyards, woods and pasture are the scenery offering great walks.
For those who are more interested in culture, Rhone is also the perfect department. Indeed, the historical site of Lyon is part of the World Heritage (UNESCO): Vieux-Lyon, Croix-Rousse, Fourvière,… Museums in the department are worth visiting. For instance, the Gallo-Roman museum lets you discover mosaics, everyday life items, and archaeological site. A real trip through the years. Another one is the Musée des Confluences which is a meeting, thinking, debating and exchanging place.
Rhone is a pleasant department to settle in but also a good location for buy-to-let investments and second homes. In 2009, property prices there is €2,804 /sq m: a pretty high average considering the France property prices of €3,197 /sq m. However, this may be explained by the fact that Lyon is the major city of the department and the third city of France in terms of population. Thus, it should not be difficult to find affordable properties in the surroundings and in remote villages (Monts du Lyonnais for instance). It is not rare that people work in Lyon but live one hour away from the city. They benefit thus from the countryside art de vivre while working in a large city.
As regards rentals, a property is rented €10.58 /sq m a month (€12.22 /sq m /month on average in France). If you are looking for lets, Lyon and its agglomeration are perfect locations. Indeed, this dynamic and thriving area offers good rental opportunities, partially due to the number of students there. Moreover, a great number of residents are tenants: it will be easy to rent your property in Lyon.
To get updated info about property prices in Rhône, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Rhone Alpes Property Prices.
Culture and historical heritage: as exposed previously, Rhone is a gorgeous department housing many Gallo-Roman vestiges as well as many quarters of Lyon listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. In the departments, many areas are not to be missed: museums, old quarters of Lyon, cathedrals, churches… Furthermore, the department is also renowned for being home to important universities of France (in languages, law and literature and business schools).
Gastronomy: Rhone Alpes is famous for its gourmet food and seduce each year numerous French and international palates. Many of the specialities of Rhone come from Lyon, such as the quenelles (often made of fish), rosette (a sausage), coussins (coloured sweets made of chocolate and marzipan) and blanquette. But there, you can also taste andouillettes, boudin and grattons (grilled grease residue of pork). Not to forget, the delight bugnes, a speciality closely related to beignets (kind of doughnut).
Tranquillity and scenery: Rhone offers either dynamic areas (in Lyon and the suburbs) or peaceful places in the remote villages. For instance, the Monts du Lyonnais, located in the west of Lyon, offer countryside landscapes, greenery and great tranquillity. This is a perfect place for fishing lovers (many ponds and rivers) and family walks on Sundays. In the Beaujolais, admire the vineyards and maybe taste one of the local great wines!
Activities: due to the diversity of landscapes, many activities can be practised in the department. First, ski resorts can be reached in 2 or 3 hrs only. It will take you the same time to travel to the French Riviera. Indeed, for instance, Marseille is only 3 ½ hrs from Lyon by motorway. But Rhone is also an idyll for fishing, hunting, cycling and hiking. Besides, each week ends in spring and summer, the local authorities organized walks: a great opportunity to meet the locals and discover the scenery.
Location – transport Links: Rhone has the advantage to be well-equipped in terms of transports. Indeed, inside the department, it is very easy to travel as many regional coaches travel all over the department (either for school, work or holiday transport). Thus, the main city, Lyon, is easily and quickly reachable. You can also choose to use the train which is connected to Lyon, from where you can travel to anywhere in France and Europe/World. Lyon-Saint Exupery airport offers regular flights to many French and European/worldwide destinations (the UK, Italy, Switerland, Belgium amongst others).
Wine and alcoholic drinks: as exposed previously, Rhone holds favourable lands to the production of wine. In the north of Lyon, the Beaujolais area produces the very popular famous wine called Beaujolais Nouveau. But many other appellations also come from the department: Cotes du Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and so on. Visiting the vineyards is even possible on the Rhone Valley, 13 touristy paths are on offer.
Although you can find detached houses and town houses in villages of Rhone, they have no particular architectural style. However, the maisons de vignerons are very typical from the area. In the suburbs and city centre of Lyon, you will find mainly apartments.
Apartments: as exposed previously, the ¾ of Rhodaniens live in the city centre of Lyon or in its surroundings. Thus, you will find a majority of apartments in this area. They represent a good investment if you are looking for a buy-to-let (good rental opportunities) or a second home in a dynamic zone (good transport links). When they are built in residences, they offer more facilities such as a park, garage and sometimes a swimming-pool.
Maisons de vignerons: these properties are located in the Beaujolais area, i.e. north west of Lyon. They are actually farmhouses situated in the vineyards. Thus, they are mainly inhabited by wine-growers. The maisons de vignerons have a rectangular shape and the roof is covered with Roman tiles. The house is constructed with stones. Many outbuildings are part of the property, which offers an amazing view over the countryside and vineyards.
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