Ardèche and Drôme are the two southernmost departments of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-central France. They feature rolling hills and low mountain ranges, deep canyons, an almost Mediterranean climate and vegetation.
Unlike the rest of the former Rhône-Alpes region, Ardèche and Drôme are usually considered to be part of Southern France, in terms of both climate and culture. A popular French rhyme goes: « c'est à Valence que le Midi commence » ("The South begins at Valence"). Especially in Drôme, lavender fields (that are commonly associated with Provence) are not an unusual sight.
Valence is served by the TGV high-speed rail link Paris–Lyon–Marseille. Going from Paris to Valence takes 2:10 hours, from Lyon 35 minutes, from Marseille one hour. At Valence you may connect to regional trains.
Ardèche and Drôme can be reached by car with motorway (autoroute) A7 from Lyon or Avignon and Marseille, which runs in north-south direction along the border shared by the two departments, passing Valence, Privas, Montélimar. Northern Drôme is also accessible via A 49 from Chambéry/Grenoble.
- 1 Canyonning in the Haut Chassezac. The Haut Chassezac offer a beautiful canyon which is accessible for everyone to practice canyonning.
- Climbing. at Buis les Baronnies
- Canoeing. on the Ardèche and Drôme rivers
- Picodon a cheese made in Drôme.
- Clairette de Die. a natural sparkling white wine made around Die village.
Neighbouring departments and regions:
- Isère to the northeast
- Loire to the north
- Vaucluse to the south
- Gard to the south
- Lozère to the west
- Auvergne to the northwest