Out and about A journey in the metropolitan area

Décines-Charpieu, Paradise for sports lovers

Décines-Charpieu - Le Grand Large © DR
Published on 07/12/2021

Are you looking forthings to do? Go east! With the OL Vallée leisure complex, the cultural venue Le Toboggan, and the Grand Large lake and water sports centre, Décines-Charpieu offers a wide range of sports activities that will satisfy those looking for fresh airand excitement. Get set.

Unless you’re a football fan or history buff, you may not be familiar with Décines-Charpieu. This town in the east of the metropol-itan area, located about 15 kilometres from Lyon city centre, currently has nearly 30,000 inhabitants. Also known as ‘La Petite Arménie’ (Little Armenia), it was home to thousands of workers at the height of Lyon’s industrial period in the twentieth century. It was once part of ’Isère and was the hometown of the Djorkaeff family, which produced some famous footballers. It is also the home of the Olympique Lyonnais football team’s new stadium. Suffice to say that there is no shortage of things to do. 

You can begin your day there with a morning stroll along Jonage canal and the banks of the Grand Large lake. A former reservoir for a hydroelectric plant, the lake is nowa favourite spot for fishing, sailing and jogging, as well as for familypicnics and days out. As for Jonage canal, which feeds into the River Rhône, it is at the heart of a joint redevelopment project run by its five bordering towns, in order to reveal all of the site’s ecological richness for local residents.

Now you’re warmed up, time for some sport. You can choose from: an escape game, ninja course, padel, futsal and the list goes on. OL Vallée has decided to offer the residents of Lyon a chance to discover new sports activities, such as indoor surfing (see page 46) and virtual reality experiences. 

Décines-Charpieu - OL Vallée © Lofti Dakhli

Need to cool down? Take a dip in the pools of the Camille Muf-fat water park, or explore the surround-ing countryside by following one of the walking trails (including the Cusset dam, Miribel-Jonage park and Grand Large lake).

In the evening, you can enjoy the varied programme on offer at the show venue Le Toboggan, a championship match in the stands of the Groupama Stadium and, soon, a comedy show at Le Théâtre à l’Ouest, which is set to open in OL Vallée this December. Finish with a drink at the leisure centre or visit the indoor food market Les Halles Décinoises where you will find local producers (Thursday until 7 pm) and, on Friday, a Street Food Party.

Surf the wave

Are you dreaming of surfing in water at 27°C opposite a beach bar? You don’t need to go all the way to Australia. Décines-Charpieu is home to Europe’s largest indoor wave so you can go surfing all year round! You don’t need any experience, as the level of difficulty can be adapted to complete beginners. To replenish your energy, you can grab a poke bowlat the bar-restaurant Manao.

OL Vallée Leisure Complex

Where to eat?

Located in the middle of its own kitchen garden, La Table de Vartan is the stronghold of Chef Jean-Pierre Martinak, who prepares his dishes with vegetables that could not be sourced any closer, grown on-site by market gardener Gérard Essayan. Following lunch, you can take a stroll through the garden, buy vegetables there and even reserve a workshop. 

La Table de Vartan
45 Route de Vaulx,
Décines-Charpieu - Le Toboggan © DR

Culture vultures

“Culture is the key to many things, in particular our emancipation,” claims the team at Le Toboggan. Each season, they prepare a carefully curated selection blending drama, film, dance, music, comedy, exhibitions and more...Ready to explore this autumn? Kader Attou, Thomas Fersen, Compagnie Portés de Femmes, Waly Dia, Bérengère Krief....

Le Toboggan
14 Avenue Jean Macé,

A change of scenery

The tastefully decorated Kopster Hotel, adjacent to Groupama Stadium, is not reserved just for football fans. Covid permitting, you will find after-work socialisingand ladies nights out, for example, in the spacious bar room and restaurant. Want to take your night out into extra time? You can sleep there with rooms for up to four people. 

Kopster Hotel
12 avenue Simone Veil,

A breath of fresh air

Popular with sailingenthusiasts, the Grand Large is a 150-hectare man-made lake and the starting point  for many walks. For example, there is the walking path Le Biézin. It is a round walk that presents no difficulties, on foot or by bicycle, with its signed paths and numerous facilities (including play areas, a rest area and an observatory).

Distance: 3 km
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty level: easy

Chemin de Sous-Biézin, Décines-Charpieu.
Routes, signpostsand information is available to download at www.grandlyon.com.