Rhône-Alpes is a former administrative region of France, and is now part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. As the name implies, it covers the river Rhône and the Alps mountain range, actually the western end of the range. The capital is Lyon, the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris.
The huge areas of limestone forming plateaus and low-mountain ridges, as well as the high-mountain ridges of the Alps, are karstified, and there are numerous show caves. There is also mining, a result of deposits which formed during the tectonic movements. Among the artificial subterranea, the huge number of glacier caves is notable. They are a rather young development and part of the skiing industry. And as a mountain ridge, it has several spectacular gorges.
The region has numerous sites, so we made two subregions, which have a very high concentration of caves. The first is the Gorges de l'Ardèche (Ardèche Gorge) which has seven show caves on a very small area, and the Vercors, which has five show caves.