Lyon, France

Unique Run: Old Lyon, Fourvière, Roman Ruins

Mark Lowenstein

Here’s a run we’ve added to our ‘unique’ list: the cobbled streets of Old Lyon, a climb up Fourvière to a magnificent basilica, and a jaunt around ancient Roman ruins. Rather than map a route, we suggest creating your own, combining these three sections. We also recommend going early, when it’s quiet.   Pont=Bridge. Passerelle=Pedestrian Bridge.

Part 1: Old Lyon. Start just over the Pont Bonaparte. Create your own route along the main streets of Old Lyon: Rue Saint-Jean and Rue Saint-Georges/Tramassac run ~1.5 km north south. Lots of wonderful shops & restaurants. Note: some cobblestoned streets. Go early to beat crowds.

Path up to Fourvière. Mark Lowenstein

Part 2: Fourvière. Access Fourvière from either set of stairs: Mnt des Chazeaux or Mnt de Garillan.  That’ll get the heart rate going! Once up the stairs, you can continue up to the Basilica using more stairs or a series of (still steep) wooded switchback paths. It’s ~1 km.

Part 3: Roman Ruins. From the square in front of the Fourviere basilica, head south on Rue Roger Radisson, for ~0.5 km to the Gallo-Roman ruins complex. The outdoor part of the site consists of the remains of old homes, and a Roman theater. It’s fun to walk/run up and down some of the ancient steps (respectfully). The outdoor part of the site is free and open at 7am. There’s also a spectacular underground museum set in the hillside — well worth a visit!

To head back down the hill from the Roman complex, use Rue Pierre Marion & Mnt. de Chemin Neuf to return to Old Lyon.

Overall, this is only 4-5k, but it’ll get the heart thumping.

Option to Avoid Hill: As an alternative to running up Fourvière, of course you can walk but another option is to take the funicular up (takes 2 mins) and then run down.

Essentials
  • Create your own route. Can be ~5k
  • Hilly streets and stairs above Old Lyon
  • Pont Bonaparte (bridge), Old Lyon
  • Can also take the funicular up (or down) to access Fourvière or Parc Just.

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Essentials
  • Create your own route. Can be ~5k
  • Hilly streets and stairs above Old Lyon
  • Pont Bonaparte (bridge), Old Lyon
  • Can also take the funicular up (or down) to access Fourvière or Parc Just.