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  • Writer's pictureVicky Lopez

Exploring the Rhône River on an Epicurean River Cruise

Updated: 15 hours ago

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a mesmerizing blend of history, culture, and mouthwatering gastronomy? Look no further than a river cruise along the magnificent Rhône River. This iconic waterway winds its way through the heart of France, offering travelers the chance to discover exquisite cuisine, enchanting castles, world-renowned vineyards, and exceptional wines.

Quenelles dumplings served with Nantua sauce

As you embark on your Rhône River adventure, prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey like no other. Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, will be your gateway to a world of culinary delights. Indulge in Lyonnaise specialties such as quenelles (dumplings) served with Nantua sauce or salade lyonnaise, a delectable mix of frisée lettuce, bacon, and a perfectly poached egg. And don't miss the opportunity to tantalize your senses with a traditional Lyonnais bouchon, a cozy restaurant serving authentic regional cuisine.

Continuing along the river, you'll encounter charming villages and towns that offer their own culinary treasures. In Tournon, treat yourself to a glass of sublime Hermitage wine, known for its velvety texture and hints of blackberry and violet. Pair it with locally sourced charcuterie and cheeses for an unforgettable tasting experience. In Avignon, be sure to try a slice of the famous Provençal pizza-like dish called pissaladière, topped with caramelized onions, anchovies, and olives. Wash it down with a chilled glass of Côtes du Rhône rosé wine, renowned for its refreshing fruity notes.

As you venture further, the Rhône River will lead you to prestigious wine regions. In the beautiful village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you'll have the chance to savor powerful and complex red wines bursting with flavors of dark berries and spices. Imagine sipping a glass of this renowned wine while overlooking the iconic ruins of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape castle, adding a touch of history to your wine-tasting experience.

Palais des Papes

Speaking of castles, the Rhône River is home to many stunning fortified structures that have stood the test of time. One such architectural gem is the Palais des Papes in Avignon, a grand Gothic palace where the popes once resided. Explore its grand halls and immerse yourself in medieval history as you learn about the intriguing tales of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Not to be missed on your Rhône River cruise are the picturesque vineyards that dot the riverbanks. In the vineyards of Côte-Rôtie (some of my absolute favorites), you'll encounter delicate and elegant red wines crafted from Syrah grapes. Take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking terraced vineyards clinging to the steep slopes (yes the ones you dream about), creating a remarkable landscape reminiscent of a postcard-worthy setting.

As your journey comes to an end, reflect on the extraordinary memories and flavors you've experienced along the Rhône River. From Lyon's gastronomic wonders to the medieval castles and prestigious vineyards, this captivating cruise has offered you a true taste of France.

Of course, just because your river cruise may end there, your experiences don’t have to. Add a couple of extra nights in Lyon or Avignon to really immerse in the food, wine and culture of the region.

So, are you ready to sip outstanding wines, savor mouthwatering local dishes, and immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Rhône River? Join us on a memorable cruise that will leave you dazzled, inspired, and craving more.

Bon voyage,

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