Isère is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution. It was created from part of the former province of Dauphiné.
Isère includes a part of the French Alps. The highest point in the department is the summit of La Meije at 3,987 meters. The Vercors Plateau dominates the west of the department.
Inhabitants of the department are called Isérois.
The Grande Chartreuse is the mother abbey of the Carthusian order. It is located near Voiron 14 miles north of Grenoble and can be visited. Monks at the abbey distil a beverage rich in alcohol called "the chartreuse" and made of several hundred of plants picked in the mountain.
Isère features many ski resorts, including the Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes. It also hosts the Coupe Icare, an annual festival of free flight, such as paragliding and hang-gliding, held at the world-renowned paragliding site at Lumbin.
Isère produces the following cheeses: Bleu du Vercours-Sassenage and Saint-Marcellin.