Holidays to France are back on! Here's why you should take a Rhone River cruise this year

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  • Raymond Blanc
    French chef
Photo credit: Sugere Loic / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sugere Loic / EyeEm - Getty Images

France has lifted its ban on UK travellers visiting the country, which means checking into the best hotels in Paris for a mini-break, heading to the mountains for a ski holiday or soaking up the winter sunshine of the French Riviera.

It's also the perfect time to get inspired for a warm weather French river cruise later in the year, and the Rhone River is perfect for this.

BEST RHONE RIVER HOLIDAYS

As one of Europe's best-known rivers, the Rhone is a fantastic European river cruise destination, especially if you're a fan of great food, scenery and views! It takes you through France's picturesque landscapes, connecting cities and winding down to the Mediterranean.

Francophiles will really be in their element on a River Rhone cruise, which offers everything from the world-famous vineyards of Burgundy to the celebrated food of Lyon.

In case you haven't already considered a cruise along the Rhone, we've picked seven reasons why 2022 is the perfect year to explore the magnificent river.

And if you're searching for the perfect way to experience the Rhone, you'll want to check out our food and wine cruise with Marcus Wareing and Oz Clarke in March, our gourmet cruise with Raymond Blanc in July, or our autumn foodie cruise with James Martin and Susy Atkins in October.

Here's why you should explore the Rhone River on a cruise in 2022.

1. You'll visit incredible cities and towns

From underrated Lyon (a wonderful alternative to overcrowded Paris) to delightful Arles, with its impressive Roman amphitheatre, there are many incredible places to explore along the River Rhone.

Photo credit: Gabriel Zimmerli - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gabriel Zimmerli - Getty Images

You'll experience Burgundy and the Rhone Valley (with many opportunities to sip delicious wine), take in the quaint town of Viviers, be wowed by the sun-drenched vineyards of Beaune and marvel at the sites in pretty Avignon.

2. It's a foodie paradise

As the gastronomic capital of France (and even the world according to some gourmands), Lyon is a terrific place to start a food-packed Rhone cruise.

Photo credit: Gary Yeowell - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gary Yeowell - Getty Images

It has more than 1,500 eateries and thanks to its location surrounded by farms, lakes and valleys, you'll be treated to quality regional ingredients. Beaujolais and the Rhone Valley offer top-notch wines and there are delectable cheeses to match.

3. You'll get to meet some of the best chefs around

Yes, really. On Good Housekeeping's exclusive Rhone river cruises, you'll enjoy cooking demonstrations, trips to food markets and the chance to hear the kitchen tips and tricks of top TV chefs.

For 2022, you can join the legendary Raymond Blanc for an interactive cooking demonstration and tasting, James Martin for a special gala dinner cooked by James and Marcus Wareing for a visit to Lyon's food markets.

4. You'll sleep on a luxurious ship

If you've always wanted to cruise Europe's rivers in style, sailing the Rhone aboard one of the world's finest river cruise ships, is the way to do it.

On Good Housekeeping's Rhone cruise with Raymond Blanc, for example, you'll explore the region on stylish all-suite ship Scenic Sapphire, which comes with all-inclusive food and drink, a salt therapy lounge, fitness facilities, and a pool and sundeck.

5. There's so much to see

Aprt from experiencing beautiful destinations along the river, you'll have plenty of time to stop and visit amazing attractions. In Beaune, you'll see the colourful 15th century Hospices de Beaune, a glorious example of High Gothic architecture, while Avignon is home to the stunning Popes' Palace.

Photo credit: Hiroshi Higuchi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Hiroshi Higuchi - Getty Images

It features turrets and towers, with its exterior resembling a mighty fortress. Pretty Viviers is another must-see. A visit to this quaint town is like stepping back in time.

6. You’ll sail through natural scenery

The countryside along the Rhone is unbelievably picturesque, from the neat vineyards climbing up the sides of hills, to spectacular, deep green valleys.

Photo credit: Philippe Paternolli - Getty Images
Photo credit: Philippe Paternolli - Getty Images

The breathtaking Ardèche Gorge, known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’, is one of the most beautiful natural attractions you can take in. It's made up of 32km of steep limestone cliffs, some up to 300 metres high, which have been carved out over millions of years.

7. You'll learn about one of Europe’s most revered artists

Celebrated artist Vincent Van Gogh spent a year living in and painting the city of Arles, where he produced hundreds of works, including his famous masterpiece Starry Night over the Rhone.

Photo credit: Instants - Getty Images
Photo credit: Instants - Getty Images

Stopping off there as you sail along the Rhone means you can sit in the exact spot where he created it, and visit the former hospital L’Espace Van Gogh where he was committed after cutting off his left ear, now a cultural centre which retains the lovely courtyard garden that he painted while there.

Browse our exclusive River Rhone cruises for 2022.

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