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Villefranche sur Saone - capital of the Beaujolais

Known as the capital city of the Beaujolais province, Villefranche sur Saone lies in the very heart of this stunning wine producing area. The town is large and vibrant, and has culture, history and heritage in spades. Its size and economic importance means it also offers excellent modern amenities. Little known to tourism, Villefranche sur Saone is nevertheless a wonderful base for holidays and well worth discovering.

About town in Villefranche sur Saone

Daily life in Villefranche sur Saone is never less than interesting. There's always something happening, with a perfect blend of traditional, cultural and modern activities to enjoy. The town boasts numerous heritage sites, amongst which are the lovely collegiate Church of Notre Dame, listed as an historical monument, several excellent museums, a Gothic sculpture, a Protestant temple and a glorious covered market. Villefranche abounds with shops of all descriptions, and is packed with a huge variety of bars, cafés and restaurants too. Markets are held on Mondays and Sundays are great places to find and try local products like wines, cheeses, honeys and more.

Visit gastronomic Lyon, historic Anse and the chateaux of Theizé

The town may be off the beaten tourist trail, but that doesn't mean that there are no great places to visit, nor an abundance of things to do! Nearby places worth a visit include the great city of Lyon, of course, and anyone with gourmet leanings really shouldn't miss out on this one! Said to be the gastronomic capital of France, Lyon is the place to eat for the cognoscenti. It's also awash with culture and heritage. Smaller, but equally good to discover, is the Gallo Roman town of Anse, just a few kilometres from Villefranche sur Saone. Anse is built from the local golden stone, giving it a permanently sun-kissed air. It's also quite stunning and is a treasure trove of historic buildings. Then there is the lovely riverside town of Trevoux, or the chateau town of Theizé.

Explore the vineyards and enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities

When you're done with sightseeing and shopping, there are many other things to occupy you close to Villefranche. Wine buffs can't but enjoy touring the vineyards and tasting the acclaimed local wines. Even if you don't drink wine, the vineyards are utterly beautiful and worth seeing just for their scenic value! Outdoor and sporting activities are also legion. Walking, horse-riding, swimming, fishing and cycling are perennially popular. Younger members of the party may enjoy a trip on the scenic railway at Anse, or go-karting at Saint Georges de Reinens.

How to get there

Lyon airport is the nearest, and the city also has a TGV station that makes getting to and from the area really easy. If you get off the TGV at Lyon you can link to a local train that takes you right to Villefranche sur Saone in minutes. Driving is also super easy as the exit from the A6 motorway is right on the edge of Villefranche.

Property prices and availability in and around Villefranche sur Saone

It has to be said, Villefranche sur Saone is not the cheapest place to buy property in France. However, there are some wonderful, quality properties to be found in this area, whether in or just outside the town. Property here tends to hold its value well, so an investment in property in Villefranche is generally a very sound one.

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Villefranche Sur Saone AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Villefranche Sur Saone?

Villefranche sur Saone lies in eastern France. It's located in the east of the Rhône department, north of the capital of Lyon.

Villefranche Sur Saone Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Rhône Guide

  Rhône Map

Population: 35,640

Access: By air: The nearest airport is Lyon. By rail: Lyon has a TGV station with links to local rail services to Villefranche sur Saone. By road: The town lies on the D686, just off the A6 motorway.

Economy: The economy includes wine trading, metallurgy, chemical industry and commerce.

Interesting fact: Villefranche sur Saone is the economic capital of the Beaujolais.

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