Explore the Beaujolais UNESCO Global Geopark
Known across the world for its wines, the Beaujolais area also boasts one of the most diverse and complex geological histories of any part of France, and, in some respects, of the whole planet! It’s to help highlight this exceptional heritage that the Beaujolais area has been designated a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Located northwest of Lyon, on the eastern side of France’s Massif Central volcanic mountain ranges, the Saône Valley serving as its eastern border, but benefiting from views eastwards as far as the Alps, the Beaujolais area’s geological history goes back many millions of years. Of course humankind’s activities, history, heritage, culture and local life have also shaped the area you see today.
A good part of the Beaujolais area’s identity, its past and its potential derive from its stone. Depending on exactly where you go, it can look golden, ruddy, green, white, grey or black, as the local traditional architecture demonstrates so clearly. Exploring the heart of the Beaujolais area, many unique sites prove worth a visit, such as the village of Oingt, part of the association of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, or Mont Brouilly, an iconic hill providing a great view over the vineyards, the Saône Plain, La Dombes’s flatlands and the French Alps.