King of the wintersports is of course skiing with over 150 ski resorts located throughout the Alps and the Jura Mountains.
But the full range of wintersports awaits you in Rhone Alps, including not only mainstream activities such as snowboarding, telemark and toboganning but also more unusual ones – dog-sleighing, igloo-building, night skiing (by full moonlight) and Baroque church snow-shoe tours.
After a busy day of sport, there are plenty of opportunities for spa treatments and even chocolate bodywraps.
The Ardeche gained its reputation as a top canoeing destination at the end of the Second World War.
The beautiful, though popular, descent from Vallon Pont d’Arc to St Martin d’Ardeche goes through stunning scenery and should be taken at a leisurely pace with stops to swim, sunbathe and picnic.
You can bivouac or camp at one of the various sites en route. There are shorter itineraries for beginners. Canoe hire is available as well as other organised outward-bound style activities.
Beaujolais is one of the famous name wines from this part of France. Usually red, it is made from gamay grapes which are well suited to the area’s granite soil.
The 14 mile long Beaujolais route takes in visits to producers in Brouilly, St-Amour, Fleurie, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent. Alternatively, try the new ‘Route des Etoiles’ a 12 stage guide to the area’s wine and culture, spearheaded by 12 women each passionate about their wine, or visit Vauxrenard and be guided around the 2.8km wine trail by a local wine-maker.
The Vanoise National Park lies south of Mont Blanc. With an area of just over 520 square kilometres, its geology varies from sandstone and limestone to schist, and its altitudes from 770m to 2796m. The terrain includes 107 summits, alpine pastures, over 100 lakes and 20 glaciers.
As a result, it has a huge variety of flora and fauna and, of course, its scenery is magnificent. It is particularly noted for its alpine flowers, chamois, ibex, marmots, golden eagles and bearded vultures.
This was the very first French National Park, established in 1963 to protect the ibex. There are now some 2,500 ibex and 5,500 chamois. It is best explored on foot and there is over 500 km of footpaths to choose from, ranging in grade from easy to strenuous.
Camping is not allowed although there are huts - most are manned in July and August, and serve dinner and breakfast. Pre-booking is advisable. There is a park information centre at Termignon la Vanoin.
You can enjoy a real chocolate experience at the L'Ecole du Grand chocolat Valrohna chocolate cookery school, from discovering the origins of chocolate, taste experiences and even workshops.
If you're an avid skier, head straight to the Les Duex Alpes near Grenoble, which is voted one of the best skiing villages in France.
The town of Brides-les-Bains is known as the resort of "Elegant Women", as it is France's leading slimming spa resort. So if it's a relaxing holiday you're after, you've found the right place as you'll find several dozen doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, hydro therapists and dieticians. There are also many beauticians, hairdressers and a relaxation therapist, with the main attraction being Le Grand Spa des Alpes.