The Gastronomy of Lyon

Lyon is known as the city of food as many of France's best chefs live and work in the city and surrounding areas. Also two of France's most famous wine growing regions are around Lyon - Cotes du Rhone in the south and Beaujolais to the north.

Lyon has a number of very traditional restaurants serving local dishes along with local table wine, usually of the Beaujolaid variety.

One of the most famous dishes is "machines", which is a morning snack, originally enjoyed by the silk workers. It is a plate of locally produced charcuterie (dry cured sausage) and is usually eaten with red wine from the area, regardless that it is still not noon.

Other traditional dishes include Saucisson de Lyon, andouillette, which is another variety of sausage but made from tripe, a sausage with pistachio nuts in it, Coq au Vin (made famous by English dinner parties in the 1980's) and the fish, Pike. Tripe features again in the "gras double" where it is cooked with onions. Then there is of course the "salade lyonnaise" which is lettuce with bacon bits croutons and a poached egg on top.

Silk Worker's Brains refers to a cheese spread made from fromage blank and seasoned with salt, pepper and mixed with olive oil, vinegar and chopped shallots.

Lyon may be a large city but it is definitely worth spending a day or two in and exploring. can pick you up from your hotel in Lyon and take you from Lyon to Courchevel or Meribel.

Lyon - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lyon has around half a million inhabitants and together with suburbs and satellite towns has a population that is second only to Paris. Lyon is the capital of the Rhone Alpes region.

Whilst for many Lyon is just an airport where they fly into as part of the journey to one of the near by ski resorts, it is actual a UNESCO world heritage site and famed for opts historical and architectural landmarks.

Lyon was once upon a time famous for its silk production but has in more recent times developed a reputation as the gastronomic capital of France. There is also a famous light festival in December each year that lasts for 4 days. Financially Lyon is a major banking centre as well as having a large chemical and biotechnical industry and a significant video game software industry and is ranked second after Paris as an economic centre in France.

Lyon's history goes back to Roman times when a colony was established here in 43 BC, on the site an old Gaul hill fort. The position on the natural highway from north to south-east France was noted and the centre grew, becoming the capital of the area of Gaul.

After the fall of the Roman empire Lyon became a place of settlement for Burgundian refuges from Worms and the capital of the new Burgundian Kingdom. Later Lyon and the area around it became part of the Kingdom of Arles and only became a part of France in the 14th Century.

Lyon has seen a lot of violence over the times, most notably in the St Bartholonew's Day Massacres in 1572 and during the French Revolution, when the city was under siege for over 2 months. Many buildings were destroyed and over 2000 people executed. Napoleon helped rebuild the city a decade later and the silk industry flourished.

During the Second World War Lyon was occupied by German forces and was a strong hold for resistance fighters and is now home to a resistance museum. Secret passages were built between houses to enable local people to escape raids by the Gestapo. The city was finally liberated in September 1944.

The historical regions of the city include the Roman district, the Renaissance district, the silk district and the Presqu'île, which has architecture through from the 12th century to modern day. There are many narrow passageways to explore and special access routes between and through buildings linking streets together. Originally when started in the 4th century these narrow passageways were simply easy access to the river or the workshops on the hill, but over the centuries became routes of escape in times of violence.

Lyon is more than just an airport to access the ski resorts, why not include time to explore this city as part of your ski trip. TheSkiBug offer airport transfers from Lyon but can also drop you at a hotel in the city so you explore everything Lyon has to offer.

Lyon Airport
Lyon airport is otherwise know as Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport and is situated just on the outskirts of Lyon, around 20km south east of the city centre. It is one of two airports in the vicinity of the city of Lyon and was renamed in 2000 after the French writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who came from Lyon and the year 2000, was the centenary of his birth. He died in the second World War as a decorated pilot. The airport is well connected to other cities in France and there are connections to the TGV high speed rail network from the airport.

The airport was opened in April 1975 and replaced the old Lyon airport which could not be extended due to its location. Once the TGV line was connected to the airport in 1994, there were high speed trains to Paris and Marsaille. Since 1997 the airport has been a major hub for internal domestic flights and also international flights and in the winter is one of the main airports for holiday makers to access the French Ski resorts.

In 2011 the airport saw close to eight and half million passengers pass through its doors, making it the fourth busiest airport in France.

Lyon airport is easy to find and easy to reach from the motorway by car or by train from the city centre. There is also the SATOBUS which runs daily between the airport and other cities and towns in the Rhone-Alpes area. Daily buses also run to the south of the country. For Lyon airport transfers there are numerous firms from large companies with hundreds of mini-buses to small, private businesses.

One of the most striking features of the airport is the fan-shaped canopy of the train station, designed by the famous Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.

Over the years the airport has continually expanded and there are now 43 airlines that regularly serve Lyon airport and fly to over 100 different places around the world.

For more information on Lyon airport and flight schedules visit

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