Day Trip to Perouges

A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.

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Travel Tile Our Viking River Cruise ship was docked in Lyon (click here to view our Trip Overview Page). We were enjoying the Viking Cruises "Lyon & Provence" (Avignon to Lyon) boat trip. While docked in Lyon, we had the option to travel to Perouges as a day trip, or to explore Lyon. We selected the optional free tour to Perouges departing at 2PM, and the tour bus drove us through some really beautiful countryside on the way there. The La Dombes district is where fish are raised in a series of 1,200 ponds. Apparently, these fish hatcheries have been there for quite a long time. File this one under "more things that we did not know about France

Perouges is another of those amazing medieval walled & cobblestoned little villages that are all over Europe, but each is just different enough, to where it is always interesting to visit them. It is a medieval walled town 19 miles northeast of Lyon and is perched on a small hill that overlooks the plain of the Ain River.

After the archealogical excavations on the Croix Tombée site, it was confirmed that humans have been present in Pérouges from Chalcolithic (about 2500 BC to 1800 BC) until the Merovingian period (5th-8th centuries) on the Longevent river. There are no records or information for the 8th through the 12th centuries, and the first written records mention the Pérouges old fortress dates from the begining of the 12th century.

After various roads were re-routed in the late 18th century, industry and population declined in Perouges to where fewer than 100 people lived in the village. However, in the early 20th century the town was restored to its medieval appearance, houses and other residences were saved, and it became a popular tourist destination. Because of it's authentic/medieval appearance, it has often been used in historical movies.

A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.

The Galette Perougienne à la Crème is basically the French version of the 'OMG-this-is-so-good' award. Here's why:

  • Flaky Crust Like Whoa: Imagine a buttery, golden crust that shatters in the best way possible. Each bite is like a flaky party in your mouth.
  • Creamy Almond Dream: Forget fruit fillings, this galette's all about the luscious almond goodness. It's smooth, rich, and complements the crust perfectly.
  • Boozy Twist (Maybe): Some peeps like to add a splash of cherry brandy (Kirsch) to the filling. It's subtle, but adds a fun little kick.
  • Simple But Stellar: This galette doesn't mess around with fancy ingredients. It's all about quality and letting the flavors shine.
  • Anytime Snack Attack Fixer: Breakfast with coffee? Afternoon pick-me-up? Dessert to impress (or not, you might devour it all yourself)? This galette works for everything.
Perouges coat of armsImage is the property of Heraldry of the World
Frequently asked questions about Perouges
  • How long does it take to visit the village of Pérouges: The visit takes about 1h-1h30 at your own pace and the stops made. The village is small but offers artists' and craftsmen's studios, restaurants (5 in all), souvenir shops, art galleries and the museum of Vieux Pérouges.
  • Are there artisan workshops in Pérouges: Yes, the medieval city hosts several workshops'artists and crafts all year round. The openings vary according to the season or the craftsman. At a minimum, the workshops are open on weekends and during school holidays.
  • What is the accessibility of Perouges: The streets of the medieval town of Pérouges are covered with pebbles which make very complicated passage for people in a wheelchair, using a cane, pushing a stroller, or walking in flip-flops.
  • How old is Pérouges France: According to the archaeological findings, humans have been present at Pérouges since the Chalcolithic (about –2500 to –1800) age. There is no date for the construction of the fortress itself, but its first written mention appears in 12th century, therefore it is assumed to be built in that period.
  • What accomodations are available in Perouges: As of 1/27/2024, there are 144 hotels in or near Perouges. Click to view a Google Search Results list.
  • Places to eat in Perouges: Click here to view a Google Search Results list.
  • What is the population of Perouges: As of the 2020 census, the population is 1,309.
  • Given its authentic historical appearance, Pérouges is often used as the setting for period films in various movies such as; The Three Musketeers, The Bride and others. You should do a Google Search to view the complete list.
Where is Perouges Located      Map

Pérouges is a great place to visit for a day trip or a weekend getaway. The town is located about 30 kilometers north of Lyon and is easily accessible by car or bus. Click the "map icon" above to view a Google Map of Perouges.

Our Viking Cruises Tour Bus route took us through the La Dombes Lakes Region, an area the French call "The Land of a Thousand Lakes". It is a vast plateau dotted with small lakes to the east of Lyon. Nicknamed La Dombes of a thousand lakes, this part of the Ain region is a paradise for birds. More than 130 species nest here before flying off to other climes.

The above images hopefully gave you an idea of how medieval Perouges appears; narrow cobblestoned streets, everything was built with stone, city wall surrounds the entire village, lookout towers, etc. There were a number of small shops where one could satisfy their desires for a momento.

So perhaps this is one of our "better" Trip Advisor tips - when in Perouges, be sure to go to the museum and walk up the stairs to the roof, because on a clear day, you can see for miles & miles!

After everyone had seen everything in the village, we got back onto the tour bus and returned to the ship in time for the Captain's Cocktail Party at 6:30PM.

Here are some tips for planning your visit to Pérouges:

  • Wear comfortable shoes: You'll be doing a lot of walking, so it's important to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring a camera: Pérouges is a beautiful town, and you'll want to capture your memories on camera.
  • Visit during the medieval festival: The medieval festival is a great way to experience Pérouges' history and culture.
  • Try the local food and drink: Pérouges is known for its delicious food and drink, be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as bresse chicken and pérouges wine.
A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
Cruise Overview
A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
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A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
Perouges, France
A description and images from our visit to Perouges France.
Our Viking Perspective

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