Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is vast and very varied with many places to visit and lots of different activities to try. You'll be amazed by the beautiful mountains and lakes of pure water, wonderful panoramas and a palace like none you've ever seen before.

    In the Ardèche caves (les grottes ardéchoises) you can learn about mankind's prehistory and see traces of the middle ages and in the national park surrounding the Auvergne volcanoes (Parc naturel régional des Volcans d'Auvergne) explore the natural history of the Earth. And, winter or summer, there's lots to do in the mountains and the other family friendly attractions. This list of things to do in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is sure to awaken your senses. Discover 10 things to do in the Auvergne-Rhine-Alpes.

    1

    Aiguille du Midi

    A breathtaking view over the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc ski area

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Aiguille du Midi is a vast peak with stunning views that you can experience on a cable-car ride. Breathe in the pure mountain air at the top of the Aiguille du Midi and feast your eyes on the view. In just 20 minutes from the centre of Chamonix you can be at the top of one of the highest needles (aiguilles) in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The trip up in the cable car will give you a glimpse of what is to come.

    Once you're at the top you'll be surrounded with 360° views of the Alps. If you want to be brave try the Step into the Void (Pas dans le vide), a glass viewing box over a void with an unforgettable, breathtaking view. Tip: although everything has been done to make your trip safe and secure but don't forget you'll be very high up in the mountains. So make sure you have warm clothes, sun glasses and sun cream.

    Location: Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, 100 Place de l’Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 50 53 22 75

    Map
    2

    Lake Bourget

    Floating on a natural lake surrounded by mountains

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Lake Bourget (lac Bourget) is the biggest natural lake in France and it beautiful shores are a great place to try lots of different water sports while surrounded by mountains. You can enjoy everything the Aix-les-Bains spa has to offer and still be right next to the sporting activities on this beautiful lake in Eastern Savoie.

    If you want to explore a little, you can rent boats, kayaks, paddles or pedaloes. And there are beaches with lots of facilities near the water that can be as warm as 25 °C in summer. A great place to relax in the afternoon after you've spent the morning walking in the Chambotte mountains.

    Location: Lac du Bourget, France

    Map
    3

    Bastille fort of Grenoble

    Take a cable car up to Grenoble's fort

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Bastille fort of Grenoble is a must-see historic fort. If you're staying in Grenoble one of the first things you'll notice are the cute round cable cars which are so characteristic of the town. Nicknamed "bubbles" they are a great way of getting from the centre of town to the hill of the Bastille, which is where the fort is located. The bubbles give you a great view of the town and the countryside around.

    Once you're at the top, as well as the old military fort there's also a contemporary arts centre to visit. If you're feeling energetic there are lots of sporting activities in the Acrobastille amusement park. There are cafes and restaurants there as well, making it as popular with the locals as it is with tourists who can get away from the city in just a few minutes.

    Location: Quai Stéphane Jay, 38000 Grenoble, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 76 54 90 85

    Map
    4

    Postman Cheval's ideal palace

    Open the doors of your imagination

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Unusual

    Postman Cheval's ideal palace (le Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval) will make you wonder if you've been transported to south Asia despite being built by a local rural postman. Ferdinand Cheval's "ideal palace" really is a one-of-a-kind historical monument in Hauterives, about 1 hour's drive south of Lyon.

    For 33 years he added new details, each one different, making your visit a feast for the eyes and the imagination. There are columns and arches, balconies and gigantic statues, mythical beasts and farm animals, all surrounded by greenery. Each year there are also temporary exhibitions and workshops for children.

    Location: 8 Rue du Palais, 26390 Hauterives, France

    Open: Opens daily at 9.30 am, closing times vary according to season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 75 68 81 19

    Map
    5

    Grotte Chauvet 2

    A trip into prehistory in the Ardèche gorges

    • Families
    • History

    Chauvet 2 Cave (Grotte Chauvet 2) in the Ardèche gorges (les gorges d(Ardèche) is a replica of a spectacular decorated cave discovered at La Combe d'Arc and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walls are covered with hundreds of drawings and paintings dating to the Palaeolithic era. It's about 15 minutes away from the original cave and about 1 1/2 hours drive from Avignon, Nîmes and Valence.

    There is a free car park nearby. You should allow a good hour to make the most of these masterpieces and learn more about how the people who made them lived. In the school holidays there are activities for children. A light jacket is a good idea because it's cold even in summer.

    Location: 4941 Route de Bourg St Andéol, 07150 Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 75 94 39 40

    Map
    6

    Aven d’Orgnac

    A forest of a stalagmites

    • Families
    • Photo

    Aven d'Orgnac (le grand site d'Aven d'Orgnac) is a gigantic cave with hundreds of formations. On the surface there is also a modern interactive museum about prehistoric life and a walking trail. The ticket price gives you access to everything. In the cave the visits are guided to help you learn more about how nature created it.

    The underground visit lasts about an hour and should keep old and young alike interested, so it's good for families, especially in the summer when its nice and cool (about 12 °C). Although you do have to walk down 700 steps to get to the cave, there is a lift for the way back up.

    Location: 2240 Route de, L’Aven, 07150 Orgnac-l’Aven, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 75 38 65 10

    Map
    7

    Vulcania

    A fun way of learning about volcanoes

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Vulcania is a theme park that helps you learn about volcanoes while you have fun. It's about 15 km from Clermont-Ferrand. During the school holidays there's a shuttle from the station to the amusement park that is designed to help you learn more about the Volcanoes for which Auvergne is so well known. As well as rides and games there are scientific explanations, big screens and educational walks.

    There are also playgrounds and special activities for the children. For those 3 and over there is the Cité des Enfants where they can use water pistols, gears and pendulums to play with water and light.

    Location: Route de Mazayes, 63230 Saint-Ours, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)4 73 19 70 00

    Map
    8

    Murol castle

    Life live in the Middle Ages

    • Families
    • History

    Murol castle (Château de Murol) sits on a rocky promontory overlooking the village of Murol, helping you experience life like a 15th century lord. It's only 30 km from Clermont-Ferrand and there is a car park at the foot of the rock. From the ramparts there is a magnificent view of the valley.

    If your children are studying the Middle Ages at school they're going to love being able to see how lords really lived then, including the kitchen, the vegetable garden and poultry yard and the Lady of the Manor's bedroom. In the summer the castle comes alive with a cast playing all the parts of medieval life, from jousting and blacksmithing to basket making.

    Location: Rue du Château, 63790 Murol, France

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +33 (0)44 73 88 82 50

    Map
    9

    Puy Mary

    Explore the slopes of a volcano in Cantal

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Puy Mary is the highest volcano in Europe. Its dormant slopes are unspoiled and protected but ideal for sports enthusiasts of all levels. To get there in summer, leave your car in the (paid) car park at the Peyrol pass and walk. But there are also shuttle buses.

    Although the path is sometimes steep it is well maintained and the views of the Auvergne Puys are really worth the effort. At the right time of year there are wild blueberries you can pick to help you on your way. If you'd rather go down than up, it's also possible to ride these slopes on mountain bikes. And in winter it's best known for cross-country skiing.

    Location: Puy Mary, 15400 Le Claux, France

    Map
    10

    Le Pal

    A great family day out with rides and animals

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Le Pal is an amusement park and zoo that's fun for the whole family. Whether you like thrill rides or animals, Le Pal has plenty of both, and should be able to keep the family occupied for the whole day. This amusement park and zoo is about 1 1/2 hours drive from Clermont-Ferrand and 2 hours drive from Lyon or Dijon.

    If you're taking the children there please be aware there is a minimum height requirement of 1 metre on some of the rides. So if your children are very young the choice is more limited. As a plus, if they get tired of walking you can hire a pushchair for the day.

    Location: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre, 03290 Dompierre-sur-Besbre, France

    Open: In summer, daily from 10 am to 7 pm or 8 pm. In spring the park is open at the weekends and occasionally on Wednesdays.

    Phone: +33 (0)4 70 42 68 10

    Map

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

    Check restrictions for your trip.
    Back to top

    Maps