Although its name immediately brings to mind the famous Beaujolais Nouveau whose arrival is celebrated every year, Beaujolais is also an area of immense beauty in the north-east of the Massif Central, nurtured by several rivers and with varied terrain. The area offers numerous choices for relaxing, sight-seeing or activity holidays ranging from the more urban Val de Saône, through the vineyards of the Beaujolais hills to the rolling countryside of the Beaujolais Vert which lends itself to outdoor activities.
At Villefranche-sur-Saône, capital of the Beaujolais area, you can visit the Musée Paul Dini, which presents a wonderful overview of contemporary art from across the Rhône-Alpes region. A stroll around the town itself is an opportunity to admire several groups of buildings dating from the Renaissance, not forgetting the many restaurants devoted to cooking local produce which, apart from wine, includes cheese, charcuterie, jams and honey. The Route des Vins du Beaujolais Wine Trail runs from Clochemerle to Saint-Amour through numerous tiny villages tucked away among the vineyards, past chapels and manor houses waiting to be explored.
Visit the Musée de Compagnonnage with its display of the finest masterpieces made by carpenters since the 19th century, or the Maison du Terroir Beaujolais at Beaujeu, the former capital of the ‘comté’. In the west of the region the Beaujolais Vert has a completely different landscape with hills up to 1,000m high, a great destinationfor outdoor activities like walking, horse-riding and mountain biking. Climb to the top of Mont Saint-Rigaud, the highest summit in the region, or go swimming in the largest natural pool in Europe at Cublize. With its wide diversity of scenery, Beaujolais is a destination full of charm and a great place for a perfect all-round holiday.