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With the highest mountains in France and the river Rhone, Rhône-Alpes must be the most popular of France's non-maritime regions.
Rhône-Alpes is located in the east of France. To the north are the French regions of Bourgogne (Burgundy) and Franche-Comté, to the west it borders the region Auvergne, to the south it borders Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The east of the region contains the western part of the Alps and borders Switzerland and Italy.
Rhône-Alpes contains the departments (capitals in brackets) of Ain (Bourg-en-Bresse), Ardèche (Privas), Drôme (Valence), Isère (Grenoble), Loire (Saint-Etienne), Rhône (Lyon), Savoie (Chambéry) and Haute-Savoie (Annecy).
Alpe d'Huez has been one of the most famous places in the Tour de France since over 30 years, basically almost every year since 1976, although the famous Fausto Coppi won the stage in 1952 already! In 2011, Alpe d'Huez once again will be the end of a stage, the first time since 2008. Other famous riders were Lance Armstrong, the late Marco Pantani and the Colombian climber Luis Herrera. But it has been called the Dutch mountain as well, and not for nothing: 8 out of the first 14 stages were won by a Dutchman, including Peter Winnen (2x), Joop Zoetemelk (2x), Hennie Kuiper (2x), Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunisse. The last one was Carlos Sastre in 2008, winning the Tour as well. If you want to visit the mountain during a Tour stage, be sure to arrive early. And by that it is not meant early in the morning, but days before to secure a great sport, preferably at one of the 21 hairpins, all named after stage winners. The climb is 13.8 km at an average 7.9 per cent, starting near Le Bourg-d'Oisans and finishing at about 1,850 metres above sea level.
Saint-Exupéry International Airport (LYS) is located 20 kilometres east of the city centre of Lyon. It services flights to and from other cities in France, Europe and Africa. Air France is the main airline providing domestic routes to Lyon. It is in Terminal 2, along with Royal Air Maroc while all other airlines are based in Terminal 1.
In 1994 the LGV Rhône-Alpes high-speed rail line brought TGV service to the airport, providing direct trains to Paris and Marseille.
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