By the other side of the Rhône, a fertile plain streches as far as you can see, with some villages on top of hills and castels. Welcome in Provence, the « nougat », truffle, olive oil, and good wine region.
Montélimar, « Nougat » world capital
Montélimar is often and deservedly considered Provence entering door. « Le Midi » : south of France begins here ! Located on the mythical “Route Nationale 7”, Montélimar is the most important city beetween Valence and Avignon. Here, nougat is everywhere. Don’t hesitate and push the door of one of the many nougat craftsmen, to attend its production (usually in the morning). Take a chance to walk around the pedestrian streets in the old downtown, and why not visit a museum of contemporary arts or the Castle : « Château des Adhémar » that overlooks the city.
Picturesque villages and castles
The hilltop village of La-Garde-Adhémar (labelled «one of the most beautiful villages of France ») is overwatching the Tricastin plain. The little streets and squares, the terrace/medecinal garden or the « Val des Nymphes » all invites you to stroll. At a few kilometers from there, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux offers an old city downtown with well-conserved pedestrian streets. But it’s more than just a typical small town : it’s the capital city of the first truffle producer region of France, far ahead Périgord !
Castles are to be find almost everywhere along the Rhône Valley. Some are ruined, like in Alan or Châteauneuf-du-Rhône but some of them were carefully restored and still offer their splendor of yesteryear.The most famous castle is without a doubt Grignan Castle, Marquise de Sévigné’s majestic residence. Suze-la-Rousse castle, less known, is very beautiful too. And even more : the University of Wine has settled within its walls, so no need to choose beetween heritage and « terroir » (typical soil products) anymore.