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Lyon and Castellane, France in 6 Days

Guest post by rlc

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1: Paris to Lyon

Picked up our rental car at the Paris airport and drove 5 hours to Lyon. We stayed in an Airbnb which was nice, because it was where the locals were as opposed to the touristy area. We went to the Groupama Stadium for a World Cup match (USA v England – go USA).

Day 2: Lyon

  • Maison Bettant
  • Zoo de Lyon
  • Parc de la Tête d’Or

Ate lunch and pastries at Maison Bettant.

Raspberry tarte from Maison Bettant

Spent the first half of the day at the zoo. It’s free and fantastic, attached to the parc. Went back to our apartment, then back to the stadium to watch another World Cup match, Netherlands v Sweden.

Day 3: Lyon to Castellane

  • Nouvel Hôtel du Commerce
  • Ô Délices

Checked out of our Airbnb and drove to Castellane (4.5 hours). Incredible drive, mountains all over the place. Castellane is a very small medieval town in the Alps, close to Nice.

We stayed at the Nouvelle Hotel du Commerce – great hotel. Swam in the pool and went to O Delices for dinner. The concierge recommended it because the food was local, it was fantastic.

Day 4: Verdon Gorge

Drove about an hour to the gorge. Tons of kayaks, paddleboats, etc. for rent. Got a couple kayaks and went up and down the gorge for several hours. Swam at the beach the rest of the time. The gorge was incredible – the clearest, bluest water I’ve ever seen. Lots of families out there, but the adventurous, too. Lots of hiking in the area.

Back to Castellane and ate at La Voute, also recommended by the concierge. Really good, much more typical French meal (now closed, sadly). In the middle of the stores and restaurants, more touristy section. I liked O Delices better, but they both were great.

Some of the delicious food we had in Lyon

Day 5: Castellane back to Lyon

Started off the day with a hike up to to the Chapelle Notre Dame du Roc, great view overlooking the town.

View of Castellane from the chapel

We were going to go back to Lyon early but found out Castellane was having a huge market in the main town square. We spent a couple hours walking around, bought some clothes, wooden items.

Drove back to Lyon and checked in to Le Phenix Hotel, which is right on the river among the shops and restaurants. Awesome place, lots to see and do in the area. Walked along the river for a bit and grabbed dinner.

Day 6: Lyon

Walked around more of the area checking out the shops, stops for coffee and pastries. There were different stands all the way along the river and they’re broken up into sections. All the book stands are together, all the clothes are together, food, arts, etc.

Went up to La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere – not able to take photos inside because it was Sunday, but it was beautiful.

Went back to the stadium for the last game, USA v Netherlands. Drove back to Paris, stayed at the airport hotel.

Final thoughts

The thing that surprised me the most was that English wasn’t as widely spoken as I expected. That was mostly in the non-touristy areas we stayed in, and even when there wasn’t much English, everyone was helpful and we didn’t have any issues at all.

I would’ve liked to have spent more time around the Verdon Gorge – a beautiful area with lots to do, but because of the games, we were on a tight schedule.

Traveled in July 2019

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