Rhône-Alpes Travel by Canals and Rivers

The French region of Rhône-Alpes has many rivers and small canals. But the main one would have to be the Rhone river that cuts through Switzerland before entering France and finishing its course in the Mediteranean sea.

The Rhône-Alpes region's lakes and inland waterways cover 35,000 hectares. 2,500 km of streams and the many rivers and torrents conspire to make this one of the best-equipped regions for water sports.

Lakes Léman (Geneva), d'Annecy and du Bourget are favourite spots for water sports. Lakes of Aiguebelette, Mont-Cenis, Roselend, Grangent and Villerest are also very popular amongst tourists. Although the Rhône, Saône and the Loire canals are witnessing an increase in river tourism, the Ardèche and its river system is fast becoming a haven for running water sports. Every year, over 150,000 people explore its gorges in canoes / kayaks.

The principal river of the region, the Rhone river, rises in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps and flows generally south-west across southern Switzerland, entering the eastern end of Lake Geneva near Montreux, and leaving the western end of the lake at Geneva.

It then follows a twisting course through the Jura Mountains of eastern France. At Lyon, where it is joined by the Saône River, the Rhône turns south and flows to the Golfe du Lion in the Mediterranean Sea. On this last section of its course the river flows through a valley that separates the uplands of the Massif Central on the west from the French Alps on the east. The river passes through Avignon, centre of a wine-growing industry famous for red wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

It is therefore possible to go on a wonderful holiday up the Rhone River in order to discover the amazing countryside an rich culture of this typically French region.

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