Extending from the southern Vercors as far as Le Devoluy and into Provence, this Drôme region boasts the town of Die as its capital. It is a dream destination for nature lovers and fans of mountainous landscapes, as well as for family holidays. It is also a very lively summer holiday destination, providing a fantastic base for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Le Diois clearly has a lot to offer – why not check it out, you won't regret it! If you're travelling from Lyon, how about stopping off in Crest to visit the Tower and the old town before enjoying the countryside scenery as you head towards Die.
This charming little town boasts a Provençal feel and is surrounded by vineyards producing the famous deliciously refreshing sparkling wine known as Clairette de Die (don't overdo it, of course!), founded by the Gauls then colonized by the Romans. Visit its enormous cathedral (compared to the size of the town!) Lose yourself in the tangle of narrow streets in the old town, where hanging gardens nestle behind stone houses. And note the remains of the Roman ramparts.
Don't miss the enormous Saturday morning market that attracts locals as well as tourists, where the proportion of organic products is way above the national average! You could also stop off at the winegrower's cooperative to taste the famous Clairette.
Not to be missed :
- The Fête de la Clairette in May
- The Fête de la Transhumance in June, when thousands of sheep invade Die before moving up to the high pastures for summer grazing.
- Les Vendredis de Die held on certain Friday evenings in July and August.
Blooming with flowers (hollyhocks) and surrounded by mountains, this medieval market town whose narrow streets are known as viols springs into life in summer, especially in early August when it hosts the Arts et Vigne festival. This unmissable event sees around 70 artist galleries set up in the medieval village houses, along with torch-lit musical evenings, creative shows, workshops and more. It's lovely to sit at a terrace café in Châtillon, soaking up the relaxing and cheerful atmosphere to the trickling sound of the fountains.
Luc en Diois, le Claps and the saut de la Drôme
Just 2 km from the peaceful market town of Luc, which provides a base for paragliding, you can find Le Claps, a gigantic rockfall forming a magnificent chaotic landscape that borders a lake suitable for swimming.
Not forgetting all the little villages that are too numerous to mention, with their stone houses, fountain-filled squares, staircases and narrow streets topped with Mediterranean-inspired galleries and all the Romanesque churches scattered around the Le Diois region. There are varying landscapes: from snaking, cascading rivers to impressive gorges, not forgetting valleys filled with fields of sunflowers, lavender or rapeseed along with the poppies that pepper the landscapes
A whole host of sporting activities
Swimming, kayaking or white-water rafting along the Drôme, canyoning in the Rio Sourd, rock-climbing, mountain walks, mountain biking or cycling (motor-assisted), paragliding, via ferrata, potholing, treetop adventure courses, horse riding or donkey hikes; you’ll be spoilt for choice and there's certainly more than enough to keep the whole family entertained.
Local attractions include truly magical places with stunning views: Les Sucettes de Borne, Lus-la Croix-Haute, the Combeau valley, the Cirque d’Archiane, the Gorges des Gâts, Souberoche and more.
In winter you can do downhill or cross-country skiing as well as snowshoe walks and hikes at the Col du Rousset or Lus-la-Croix-Haute-la-Jarjatte resorts.
Other simple pleasures
Take a break from physical activity to enjoy reading a novel by local author Giono, wander through the farmers' market and antique shops, visit artists' workshops, take a family-friendly tour or visit one of the many summer festivals and concerts.
Treat yourself to walnut tart, Le Diois ravioli (larger and more rustic that the Ravioles du Royans), mountain charcuterie, Archiane trout, honey (don't forget you're in lavender country), ewe’s milk cheese or picodon goat's cheese, fougasse bread and plenty of organic products... not forgetting the famous Clairette, of course!
Le Diois is the ideal destination for recharging your batteries, meeting up with the latest hipsters, relaxing on a terrace café or by the water's edge, taking part in outdoor activities or wandering through breathtaking scenery.
More information at http://www.diois-tourisme.com