Les than a one-hour drive from Lyon and a stage city in the 2019 Tour de France, Europe’s industrial capital has reinvented itself as one of the top visionary cities. Chosen as a UNESCO Creative City for Design, you have to see the Cité du Design in St-Etienne and explore this learning, research, and exhibition space. As for lovers of modern architecture, head to Firminy, south of the city, to visit Le Corbusier, a unique European urban environment.
DINNER IS SERVED!
In a restaurant overlooking the village of Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, 50km south of Saint-Etienne, the chef with three Michelin stars, Régis Marcon, serves up gourmet cuisine inspired by the surrounding nature. Fresh herbs, Puy lentils, cheese from Ardèche... Not to mention the mushrooms which have come to symbolise the establishment. A true foodie, Régis Marcon has also invested in the Cité Internationale de la gastronomie which will open in Lyon this autumn.
ON SE CULTIVE
There’s no need to be an amateur or specialist astronomer to enjoy the exhibitions and projections at the Stéphanois planetarium. Kids and adults alike are welcome beneath the amazing dome, for an unforgettable journey through space and time. It’s a great reason to extend your stay in Saint-Etienne before you follow the Tour west towards the Haute-Loire.
A wellness break and bespoke treatments at Royat thermal spa in Chamalières, just 3km from Clermont-Ferrand. Through the listed entry hall with its painted arches, you can then soak up the benefits of the thermal springs. Mini-break or longer stay: relaxation guaranteed!
In 2019, after an 11-year absence, the Tour is back in Briourde. This Haute-Loire town is a familiar name to cycling aficionados as it is the birthplace of Romain Bardet, who finished second in the Tour France in 2016 and third in 2017. It goes without saying that Briourde is proud to welcome the 2019 Tour de France!
The famous factory has been bringing the cutlery industry back to life since 1987. In this building designed by Philippe Stark, from which rises an 18m blade, curious visitors can learn about the history of knives and the original building, with guided tours all year round.