4,810m: the height of Mont-Blanc, the highest point in Western Europe
400 km² of glaciers
7,000 km of water courses
2 major rivers : the Rhone and the Loire
Glaciers in the North-East, lavender in the South... once again, Rhône-Alpes proves that it is a land of contrasts.
However, there is a common denominator linking the different territories of the region: the Rhone. The "royal river" runs alongside or crosses the Region's eight Departments. As if to prove the importance of water courses in Rhône-Alpes, six of the region's eight Departments bear the name of the river running through them.
Rhône-Alpes borders French regions (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Auvergne, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté), the Italian regions of Aosta Valley and Piedmont and the Swiss cantons of Vaud, Valais and Geneva.
Half of the region's surface area (49%) consists of predominantly urban zones, compared with the French average of 41%.
The numerous towns and cities of Rhône-Alpes ensure good interconnection of regional space and the Lyon Metropolitan area is the third-largest in France, after Paris and Marseille.
Similarly, the conurbations of Grenoble and Saint-Étienne both have populations of over 250,000. Five other major towns are scattered over the territory: Annecy, Bourg-en-Bresse, Chambéry, Roanne and Valence. More than half of the territory is at an altitude of over 500 metres and as such is considered to be mountain zone. This particular feature is a fundamental element in the region's character and represents a strong plus factor in its attractiveness. Rhône-Alpes is the only region in France to have glaciers.
An additional piece has to be added to the "puzzle" of Rhône-Alpes: climate. According to meteorologists, there are no fewer than 24 specific climates in our region.