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A diverse land

The Drôme department is found in the very south of the Rhône-Alpes region. Together with the Isère and the Haute-Alpes, it forms the old province of Dauphine, which was dismantled in the aftermath of the revolution. The Drôme is renowned for its diversity, both in terms of its landscape and its culture. The Tour de France often passes through here as the roads are well maintained and quiet and the scenery is unsurpassable.

Stunning scenery and fine wines

The northern part of the Drome (Vercors, and the Drôme Valley from Crest to Die etc) is fairly wild in places, with fewer people than elsewhere and lots of tiny hamlets (some with just one or two people) hidden away. It is slightly isolated here although the scenery is certainly breathtaking. This northern part of the Drôme contains many deep, fruit-bearing valleys. Over millions of years, these valleys have produced large round pebbles that have been put to good use in local construction. The central area of the Drôme meanwhile (Montelimar and its surrounding villages) is not quite so interesting from a scenic point of view. It is the southern area of the Drôme however that many seem to prefer, as this region is very similar to the 'Provence-style' countryside people are familiar with. It is also an area of fine wines and preserved historical character. The 170ft keep in the town of Crest is the largest medieval building that still stands in the world. As it happens, the best way to see this incredible feat of construction is by abseiling down it!

Welcome to Provence!

There are a large number of towns that claim the title, 'Gateway to Provence' and Valence is one of them. This university town is the capital of the Drôme and home to around 64,000 people. The exceptional old town is dominated by the impressive Cathédrale St-Apollinaire. Head to the top of the Château de Crussol, 5km away, and you'll be able to take in the breathtaking views that reach out not only into Provence but also across the Rhône valley.

Sweet tooth paradise

46km to the south of Valence you will find Montelimar, the ideal location if you have a sweet tooth. They've been producing unique, chewy nougat in this town since the 17th century. The best shopping in the department is also to be found here, in its semi-pedestrianised town centre. Valence makes a great base for exploring the incredible gorges of the Ardèche just over the department's border. This area of natural beauty is a fantastic site for a whole range of outdoor activities.

Keeping the peace

The department's number one export is called Clairette de Die. It is a sparkling wine from the Roman town of Die. The town was home to an amphitheatre, castle and temple but the locals, fearing they would be swamped by tourists, destroyed them all in the 1970s so they could maintain their peaceful way of life.

The lost world

France's largest nature reserve, home to an array of creatures, is located in the Vercors. The Vercors appears to be the country's best-kept secret, despite being showcased in the 1968 winter Olympics. It is located beneath enormous overhanging, limestone cliffs and contains deep forests and winding rivers. It's an exceptional place and hosts a range of outdoor activities no matter what time of year you visit.

How to get there

There are a number of options when it comes to flying into the Drôme department. The nearest airports with direct flights from the UK are Grenoble, Avignon, Nîmes and Lyon. However, it may be possible to find cheaper flights by flying into Geneva in Switzerland. If you are travelling by ferry or the Channel Tunnel then one alternative to driving down is to hop aboard one of the fast and comfortable TGV trains, which will take you to down as far as the Valence TGV station. There is another station in Valence town centre but with fewer trains. The time from Paris to Valence is 2hrs 23mins.

Drome property prices

The increase in tourism and the decrease in land available means that property prices are rising. The advantage is that there is a strong rental market. It is also still possible to find properties needing renovation work. Properties in the Dômes' central area are slightly less expensive than those in the north and south.

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Drôme AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Drôme?

The Drôme is located in the south of the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France.

Drôme Property Map

IN THE REGION OF RHÔNE-ALPES

Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map

IN RELATION TO THE REST OF RHÔNE-ALPES

GUIDES TO THE TOWNS/CITIES IN Drôme

Crest Guide

Die Guide

Montélimar Guide

Nyons Guide

Romans sur Isère Guide

Valence Guide

AGENTS WITH PROPERTY FOR SALE IN Drôme

Sextant France
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ARB French Property
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