With its warm-hued stone architecture, Southern Beaujolais has been dubbed “Land of the Golden Stones”. It’s the most attractive place to use as a base for exploring both Northern and Southern Beaujolais. Capital of Beaujolais, Villefranche-sur-Saône is a businesslike base to start, but you’ll probably want to stay in one of the 39 villages dorés.
Getting There — Villefranche-sur-Saône is accessible by trains from Lyon. It’s a 25-min. journey from Lyon Part Dieu station at 7.70€. For information, visit www.oui.sncf or call tel. 36-35 (.40€/min.). However, the most practical way of exploring Southern Beaujolais is by car. If you’re driving from Lyon, take the A6 north to Villefranche.
Visitor Information — The Office de Tourisme is at 96, rue de la Sous-Préfecture, Villefranche-sur-Saône (www.villefranche-beaujolais.fr; tel. 04-74-07-27-40).
Wine connoisseurs head straight to Northern Beaujolais where the serious Cru appellation wines are grown. Most of the 10 Beaujolais Crus (certified as the region’s best wines that are more nuanced in flavor and capable of aging longer) are within a short drive of Belleville-sur-Saône, the largest town in Northern Rhône. From Lyon or Villefranche-sur-Saône, drive north on the A6.
Getting There — Belleville-sur-Saône is accessible by trains from Lyon. It’s a 35-min. journey from Lyon Part Dieu station at 9.70€. For information, visit www.oui.sncf or call tel. 36-35 (.40€/min.). However, the most practical way of exploring Northern Beaujolais is by car. If you’re driving from Lyon, take the A6 north to Belleville.
Visitor Information — The Office de Tourisme is at 27, rue du Moulin, Belleville-sur-Saône (www.beaujolaisvignoble.com; tel. 04-74-66-44-67).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.