The Rhône-Alpes has to be one of France’s most beautiful regions, from the towering peaks of the Haute-Savoie to the rolling hills and vineyards of the Ain. Whether you’re a skiing fanatic, a gastronome, a keen hiker or all of the above and more, you’ll find your perfect home in this gem of southwestern France. Join us as we explore the best villages and towns in the Rhône-Alpes.
This gorgeous town is nestled in the Ain countryside, northwest of Lyon. Its architecture is typical of the region, with pale, pastel buildings, colourful shutters and intricate iron balconies. You’ll find all the services you need easily accessible in the historic centre, from pharmacies to schools and medical care. The central square of Carré Amiot is currently undergoing modernisation, with plans for 4,000m2 of commercial space and new greenery.
Classified as a three-star ‘ville fleurie‘, or ‘town/city in bloom’, Bourg-en-Bresse takes care of its appearance! The scheme ‘Nature en ville’ brings nature closer to the town, with new public spaces, allotments, golf courses, natural zones and more. For the wine lovers, you’ll have plenty to do: the nearby Jardin de Beaujolais takes you through vineyards and a wine route, including, of course, tasting!
Average house price: €1,700/m2
A tricky one to pronounce, but worth it. This charming town has relatively affordable property, many with views to the green hills surrounding it. A thriving centre means there’s plenty of life, from amateur dramatics to public lectures on local history, the January funfair, and over 67 sport associations.
West of the station is where you’ll find the most desirable properties, with many characterful, detached homes surrounded by beautiful gardens. For history lovers, head down the Route du Maquis and you’ll come across the Château des Allymes, open to visitors Wednesday-Saturday afternoons.
Average house price: €1,740/m2
Mirmande, in the very south of the Rhône-Alpes, is a pretty village of historic buildings in honey-coloured stone. Wandering around its winding streets, you really feel like you’ve gone back in time. No wonder it’s listed as one of the ‘most beautiful villages of France’! Its medieval walls still remain, albeit in ruins in places, but you can still walk around the ramparts in parts. At the top of the hill is the église de Saint-Foy.
If you’re green-fingered, you’re in the right place. Mirmande is a ‘botanic village’, with a trail of beautiful gardens to follow throughout the village. Many botanic villages have specialisations and Mirmande’s is in shrubbery and plants with colourful foliage. When it’s in bloom, it really is a sight to behold.
Average house price: €2,085/m2
Chosen as one of France’s favourite villages, this is the ideal place for anyone considering purchasing a ski home! Its beautiful stone homes are popular among local and overseas property hunters alike, while the municipality has always been careful to maintain the feel of a true Alpine village, rather than a big ‘station touristique‘. The village even represented the Rhône-Alpes on TV show ‘Le Village préféré des Français’.
Now, the ski slopes are shorter, but more than enough when you think how uncrowded they are. It sits at 1,800m, with 25km of north-facing pistes, 1,200m of vertical and 11 lifts.
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