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, 11 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 fertile imagination of the writer René Barjavel was nurtured here and visitors may be similarly inspired. The town is also well known for its favorable climate.
Perched at an altitude of 800 meters, the village is one of the most visited stops on the Lavender Route. It is also a Unesco world heritage site.
Sub-prefectures: Die, Nyons
Sub-prefectures: Apt, Carpentras
Lionel Duroy, former journalist with the French daily newspaper Libération and the Événement du jeudi magazine, is a writer. A renowned biographer, several of his novels (Trois couples en quête d’orages, Priez pour nous) have been turned into films. He owns a house in Bedoin.
“I discovered the region quite by chance. Through a friend, we rented a gîte in the Baux de Bedoin, 500 meters from where our house is now. Its architecture reminded me of the North African villas of my childhood. It became a mythical place for me. I spend every holiday and the whole summer there, so between four and five months a year.
I’m also extremely fond of cycling. To such an extent that life without it would plunge me into the depths of despair. I’ve six bikes in total, two of which were made especially for me, including an Alex Singer. I’ve been cycling seriously since the age of around 17 or 18. The strongest scenes in my books have come to me in the saddle. I carry a little tape recorder in my sock and record a dialogue or the two or three phrases that start a scene. When I’m in Paris, I go out on a 60-km ride every two days. In Bedoin I tend to do 100-km. I have my favorite circuits. I often go to Suzette, a little village at the top of a peak. I also go to Sault before climbing the Eastern side of Mont Ventoux, as far as the chalet Reynard. The North side of Mont Ventoux from Malaucène is also very enjoyable, through the Toulourenc valley. My passion for cycling is quite separate from the sport of cycling. But since seeing the Grande Boucle - Tour de France - pass within 500 m of the house, I’ve always had great respect for the cyclists involved. I saw Marco Pantani climb Mont Ventoux in his Pink Jersey. I was moved by him and his handsome features.”