Drôme, a department we often drive through as we follow the Route de Soleil to go to the south and the mediteranean sea. But it is also an area with incredibly beautiful nature and many possibilities, with on the left the mountains of the Ardèche, on the right the mountains of the Vercors and of course the Drôme river. Read on to discover the best things to do!
Valence is the capital of the Drôme department and very suitable for a day of shopping. There is a beautiful city park which is called the Parc Jouvet where you can play a game of pétanque as well as enjoy a picknick on the grass. And don’t forget to take some nice pictures at the cute Kiosque Peynet.
An old village that is known for its 52 meter high tower. Many excavations have been done including 596 bronze Roman coins and the remains of a Roman inn. Although the town has changed, the medieval atmosphere remains.
In the beginning of the Vercors mountains lies the bustling town of Die. It is a tourist spot because of the beautiful surroundings and campsites in the area. In the historic center you will find, among other things, old city walls and the entrance gate from the 3rd century. In August there is the fête de la Clairette, during which a wonderfully fresh sweet sparkling wine from the Die region is celebrated.
Not far from the highway you’ll find one of the most beautiful villages in France: Mirmande. The village is built on a hill which created a beautiful view when you arrive. You can walk through the streets and there are a few of good restaurants and places to stay.
Chute de la Druise
This waterfall, literally called ‘the fall of the Druise’, is located in the Vercors. Only the car ride to get there is already worth it. You can walk down a narrow path and stand on top of the rocks and watch the waterfall clatter down. This is at your own risk, because the waterfall is about 70 meters high! If you walk further down you can take a refreshing dip in the ice-cold water.
Gorges du Toulourenc
These beautiful gorges lie on the border of the Vaucluse department. Climb and clamber over the rocks and through the river. Sometimes the water can reach until your waist, so take good shoes and a waterproof bag with you. (Tip: Buy an Oceanpack) The walk is really beautiful and also very easy to do, especially on hot days, as there is shade and refreshing water to cool down. The walk starts from the town of Veaux.
The Vallée de la Roanne is incredibly beautiful. The Roanne is a small mountain river with clear blue water. Small waterfalls occur in some places because of the rocks that are piled up. Swimming and spending the day is very nice at this spot. Bring good shoes because the rocks can hurt your feet. You will find the best spots between Saint-Benoit-en-Dios and Saint-Nazaire-Le-Désert.
The Vercors is really a beautiful nature area of steep cliffs, soft valleys and deep groves. It is also called a ‘natural fort’, which you’ll understand when you visit the area. Various animals live there, including the vulture, ibex and the gems. The Vercors mountains offer various sports activities, such as walking and cycling. One of the most beautiful hikes is to climb to the top of the ‘Trois Becs‘.
The forest of Saou is a beautiful forest in the middle of a valley. You can relax on the green grass with many picnic areas, or take a walk.
the Via Rhôna is a path especially designed for cyclists. It runs from Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea. The path is very well paved and mostly flat, because it runs along the river. It is really ideal for a cycling holiday. If you only want to go cycling for a while you have to bear in mind that you’ll also need to get back, so don’t go too far 🙂
Tree climbing park
Go to an ‘Accrobranche’ park. You will find this a lot in France. It is a park in the forest where you can go from tree to tree by climbing, hanging and zip lining. There are different routes, from easy to difficult. I myself have been to such a park several times, it remains fun!
Take a dive in the river
The Drôme is a small river that flows into the Rhône river. At different places you can swim and relax in the cool water. Along the road that runs from Crest to Saillans are several spots where you can park the car and walk to the water.
Horse riding in the mountains of the Vercors
Do you like horse riding? Then definitely go to the Vercors. You will find all providers via this website. You can opt for a ride of 1, 2 or 3 hours, or even take a guided trip up to a whole week! This way you discover the most beautiful places you would otherwise never have visited.
Caving in the caves of the Vercors
Caving is an activity in which you will discover caves. With good equipment including a helmet and flashlight you walk through the caves and over the rocks. Along the way everything will be explained and you will encounter stalactites, stalagmites and subsurface water. The tour operators offer guided tours at different levels, from beginning to advanced.
Nougat production in Montélimar
The city of nougat cannot be missing from the list. Nougat is a sweet kind of candy made from sugar, honey and nuts. It must be made according to a specific recipe. In the city of Montélimar you can visit L’artisan nougat, where you get a free tour of about half an hour. During the tour the production process is explained and you can taste different types of nougat. The tour is also in English.
The castle of Grignan is located in the middle of a medieval village. There are lavender fields around this village, which creates beautiful pictures. The castle is huge and on the top of a hill. There are guided tours with English translation, but you can also walk around the different rooms by yourself. The terrace provides an amazing viewpoint with the possibility to see the Mont Ventoux in the distance.
This palace is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. A French postman named Ferdinand Cheval has made the building from different types of stones and materials that he himself collected. Various historical icons have been incorporated into the building, such as the white house and other buildings. Cheval has received support from, among others, the famous painter Pablo Picasso, because of the special and artistic character of the building.