Lyon tours and excursions
Lyon's tourist office offers a variety of walking tours in English and French. There are guided tours, such as the two-hour ‘Old Lyon and the traboules' tour and the ‘Lyon Renaissance district' tour. The tourist office also offers an audio-guided tour of Lyon, complete with an itinerary map and personal stereos for hire in four languages, including English. Self-guided tours are also available with the excellent guidebook World Heritage Excursions. These include ‘Presqu'île North' and ‘Presqu'île South'.Tel: (04) 7277 6969.
City Discovery runs the 'Lyon Le Grand Tour' on board an open-top double-decker. The 90-minute tour takes in Old Lyon, Fourvière Hill, the Saône River banks and many other sites and monuments. The tour departs from outside the tourist office on place Bellecour.Tel: (020) 7193 8320 (from the UK).
Navig'inter offers various river cruises, including the two-hour tour up the Saône River. The tours start and finish at quai Rambaud.Tel: (04) 7842 9681.
Cyclopolitain offers thematic tours of Lyon in vélo taxis, Tuesday to Saturday. If you're feeling energetic, Jogg'in City has jogging tours in the city centre. The tours last one hour and cover a distance of 5.5km (3.5 miles), with commentaries in English and French. Hotel pick-up.Tel: (04) 7830 4342 ; (06) 7779 3514.
The medieval city of Pérouges, surrounded by green fields, is situated in the Dombes region, 34km (22 miles) from Lyon, accessible from exit 7 of the A42. Once inside the city's ramparts, visitors are transported back to the Middle Ages with a fortress church, picturesque houses and shops. Other features include the Porte d'en Bas and Porte d'en Haut (lower and upper gates), which lead onto rue des Rondes and the Ostellerie (Hostelry) on place du Tilleul. The latter is one of the most beautiful residences in Pérouges, dating from the 13th century and listed as a historic monument.Tel: (04) 7446 7084.
A day excursion in the Beaujolais region takes the visitor on a charming road through vineyards and can incorporate the Hameau en Beaujolais (Hamlet in Beaujolais), situated 30km (19 miles) from Lyon. The Hamlet is a living museum of vineyards and wine production, with guided tours lasting two hours. The price includes a free Beaujolais or Mâconnais wine-tasting session. Open daily, the Hamlet is accessible from Lyon via the A6, exiting at Belleville or by train from Lyon to Romanèche-Thorins.
Visit Beaujolais tourist office, 68 rue de la République, Belleville sur Saône, for further information.
Les Grottes de la Balme (Grottos of Balme)
The Grottos of Balme are one of the most beautiful natural wonders of France, situated about 45km (28 miles) east of Lyon, between Crémieu and Lagnieu. There is a lake, a waterfall and many other natural features to explore. Entrance to the caves includes a guided tour. The caves are open from February to December. Guided tours in English must be booked beforehand. Visitors can reach the caves by following the signs to Crémieu, after exiting the A43 at Saint Quentin Fallavier.Tel: (04) 7490 6376.