Ardèche and Drôme are the two southernmost departments of the former Rhône-Alpes region (now part of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) in south-central France. They feature rolling hills and low mountain ranges, deep canyons, an almost Mediterranean climate and vegetation.
- Orgnac l'Aven
- Vallon Pont d'Arc in the Gorges de l'Ardèche
- Gorges de l'Ardèche, 30 km long canyons along the Ardèche river, cut deeply into the limestone plateau, paradise for canoeists
- Vercors massif of the Prealps, located at the North of the Drôme.
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.
The closest major airport is Lyon-Saint Exupéry (LYS). There are direct TGV high-speed trains from the airport to Valence Ville (downtown station), taking 30 minutes.
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