For many spectators, the Tour de France route is an opportunity to discover the riches of the regions it passes through. The tourist guide, published in electronic format this year, lists the outstanding sites of cultural or architectural heritage for each stage.
Download the tourist guide of the stage(.pdf, 13 pages)
The second region in France in terms of its size, economic importance and overall population, Rhone-Alps is also 6th in Europe. This vast area covering 43,698 km² for more than six million inhabitants revolves around four main urban centres: Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne and even Geneva, which, due to its proximity, significantly influences trade and economy in the region.
Through its size and the specificity of its eight counties, the region, accommodating the Rhone Valley with the Massif Central on one side and the Alpine range on the other, offers extreme diversity: mountainous to the east (counties of Savoie, Haute-Savoie & Isère), urban and industrial to the North and in the centre, rural and Provençal in the south (counties of Ardèche & Drôme).
Across this vast extent, despite being the home ground of many industries, the region has not forgotten its farming roots, its fruit industry and its great wines.
In terms of tourism, choice in the Rhone-Alps is also extremely varied. The region not only boasts the most famous ski resorts of France, but also offers many opportunities for “green” tourism, whether in the counties of Ain, Ardèche or Drôme.
Gastronomy, just like in its capital, Lyon, holds a place of honour throughout the region.
The cheese made in this town since the Middle Ages was awarded an “AOC” label. Moreover, it is nicknamed “the Prince of Gruyère cheeses”.
The prestigious ski resort situated in the heart of 450 km of ski runs has a perfect view of the Mont Blanc.
Sub-prefectures: Albertville, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Sub-prefectures: Bonneville, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, Thonon-les-Bains
Stéphane Thebaut© Blandine Guyon
Stéphane Thebaut, a television presenter. He hosts the TV5 show “Question Maison” and is a resident of Veyrier-du-Lac. He was also a journalist for the popular TF1 programme “Combien ça coûte ?” and for RMC (Radio Monte Carlo) Info and France 2.
“I discovered the region during my military service with the Alpine Hunter Battalion. It was in 1982 and I made a promise to myself that I would return to live there. Three years ago, I settled in Veyrier-du-Lac, 27 km from Le Grand-Bornand. I love going skiing on the slopes of Le Grand-Bornand or La Clusaz, which are both family-oriented resorts and have a real spirit. One of the joys about living here is meeting all types of people from different backgrounds. Everywhere you go people say hello and they are naturally friendly. People do not size you up or judge you for what you represent socially. And after a five minute car ride, I find myself in the heart of nature. Above all, it is a great pleasure to wake-up every morning with a prime view of Lake Annecy!
With regard to gastronomy, there are many excellent restaurants including the “Bora Bora” in Veyrier-du-Lac. The owner, Riton, looks like the lead singer of “les Garçons Bouchers” (a French rock group). In La Clusaz, I regularly go to “La Scierie”, “Le Chalet du Lac” or “Le Vieux Chalet”. And naturally I highly recommend a visit to Marc Veyrat’s restaurant for an extraordinary culinary experience. I am a cycling enthusiast and I spent four years (from 13 to 18 years of age) competing in the different age categories. Living here gives me the chance to go to the Aravis and Forclaz Passes regularly or just ride around Veyrier’s lake. Naturally, I follow every detail of the Tour de France, from the race’s tactics to the mountain stages. But above all, I cannot stand people criticizing this fabulous sport, and all the more so, because I believe there is drug-taking in nearly all forms of sport.”