Take in the beauty of landscapes that have been shaped by the river...
With some sections lying deep between the slopes of Lyon’s two hills, and others that widen into a basin suitable for conducting fluvial trade, the River Saône was for a long time the city’s main artery. It is also both a dividing line and an essential link between two distinct parts of the city: the Presqu’île (peninsula) and Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon).
From one bank to the other, follow your tour guide, who will paint in words the many boats that once navigated the river, the little ports tucked in between riverside houses and the various jobs of the ‘gens de rivière’ (river people). You will also discover the eventful history of its bridges, the gradual construction of the riverbanks and the arrival of steam-powered vessels. The banks of the Saône also served as a venue for extravagant ceremonies, such as those held to celebrate the arrival of royalty, and the ‘Fête des Merveilles’ (a local celebration related to the day of Saint Pothinus, the first bishop of Lyon).However, the ‘opulente nourrice’ (literally the “ample wet nurse”), as the Saône was called by Guillaume Paradin in the sixteenth century, has at times been a destructive force, a fact that is attested to by the visible traces left by past floods.
In the twentieth century, the people of Lyon’s relationship with the Saône became gradually more distant. Since 2013, the city has been rediscovering the river, as redevelopment of the lower banks has allowed locals to take strolls along the water’s edge and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Tour provided by ONLYLYON Tourisme et Congrès's tour guides
Please ensure you arrive 10 minutes before the tour commences
Booking is necessary
Cancellation free of charge 72 hours before schedule activity
Children and minors remain under the responsibility of their parents during this visit. The participation of an adult is mandatory for each reservation
Walking guided tour
Metro D > Vieux-Lyon
Exit of the "Vieux-Lyon" metro station, avenue Adolphe Max - Lyon 5th
The 'pont du Change'
The only bridge across the Saône till 1643, linked the squares Place du Change and d'Albon, enabling the people of Lyon to reach the Presqu’île from the episcopal district. It was 211 m long, 6 m wide and formed of 7 arches, and even had homes built on it!
30 anthusiastic guides : an unprecedented offer indeed!
Tourism Professionals | Group of people
"Look and listen to the stones of my city".
Teaching people to look, telling stories, making sense of things, that's mainly what motivates me in my job.
My own personal story has mainly unfolded in Lyon, which I have proudly seen blossom over the past decades.
Sharing with visitors from all over the world -I speak English and German- the beauty of my city is a great pleasure to me, and an honour. But what I also like is talking to the locals themselves, while helping them understand the specific characteristics of their area.
Originally from the countryside surrounding Lyon, I went travelling around the world before returning to Lyon, which many French people rate as the most beautiful city in France, except for their home town of course!
As a child, I always associated Lyon with the zoo in Tête d’Or Park, with its bear, elephants, lions and other animals. Later on, as an apprentice archaeologist in Fourvière, I discovered the city’s history and heritage.
I hope to share my passion for art and history with you during your stay and take you back through time as you discover the birth of this great city in the traboules (hidden passageways) of Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon), imagine the sounds of the silk looms on the slopes of Croix-Rousse hill (where the silk industry once thrived), and learn about Lyon through its painted walls in the city centre. In short, I want to share my love for the city!
From Fourvière Basilica to the museums in the Presqu’île district, I know how to get children interested in history and heritage, without forgetting the parents of course! My tours are lively and dynamic, so you can feel the heartbeat of my city and feel at home.
Far away from Lyon, my specialism at university was Egyptology, and my second passion is Japan: once you get me started on these subjects it’s difficult to stop me!
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