Drômois castles - Medieval villages

The Drômois castles

Enter the world of the Drôme castles, three unique places marked by eventful stories.

Château des Adhémar Montélimar - A medieval palace

Located on the site of an old castle motte founded by the Adhémar family in the 10th century, this medieval palace was built by the same family in the 12th century. It bears the name of a prestigious line in Provence and Dauphiné, whose representatives were Lords of Montélimar for several centuries.
The site is composed of a stately home, a Romanesque chapel, a square tower and a fortified enclosure surmounted by a walkway. Over the centuries, the buildings have had many functions: palace, citadel, prison, public cultural place.
This listed historic monument, owned by the Department of Drôme, underwent successive restorations and then opened to the public in 1983.

Suze-la-Rousse Castle - A medieval fortress

Built on a rocky promontory, the medieval fortress of Suze-la-Rousse is a spectacular military structure protected by towers and a rampart. It was transformed in the 16th and then in the 18th century into a large residence. The austerity of the exterior defenses, which powerfully dominate the fortified village, are contrasted by the Renaissance facades of the main courtyard, as well as the interior richness of the paintings, stuccos and plasterwork in the living rooms.
On the outskirts of the castle, listed as a historic monument, stretches the warren, a vast wooded area where the walls of a 16th century palm court, a dovecote and a chapel still rise.

Château de Grignan - A Renaissance and classical palace

In the heart of the Provençal Drôme, overlooking plains and mountains, the castle of Grignan is built on a rocky promontory overlooking the village. Witness of Renaissance architecture and French classicism, the building has had an eventful history. A fortified castle mentioned in the 11th century, it was transformed during the Renaissance into a prestigious pleasure residence by the Adhémar family.
In the 17th century, the Marquise de Sévigné stayed there with her daughter Françoise-Marguerite. Dismantled during the Revolution and then rebuilt at the start of the 20th century, since 1979 it has belonged to the Department of Drôme, which is pursuing an ambitious program of restorations and acquisitions.
Listed as a historic monument in 1993 and awarded the Musée de France label, the Château de Grignan offers visitors precious testimonies on the art of living at different times. This enchanting place also serves as a setting for a cultural program throughout the year.

The most beautiful medieval villages


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Going up the "calade" (cobbled street) of old Soyans is like stepping back in time or leafing through a history book.
Between two rows of houses, often dated, sometimes decorated with sculpture, the walker arrives in front of the imposing old gate of the ramparts housing the small chapel of Saint Philomène. A staircase leads up to the ruins of the castle which dominates the Roubion gorges.
This veritable "eagle's nest" was one of the most important castles in the Drôme but suffered from the wars of religion and the French Revolution. Next to it, the very beautiful Romanesque Saint Marcel church houses original frescoes. From the top, the view of the mountain of Saoû is exceptional.
Below the village, the Roubion offers a spectacular natural setting which calls for swimming.


From the top of the Tour de Crest, the highest keep in France at 52 meters, take in one of the most beautiful views of the valley.
A flagship monument of our territory, the Tower offers you a remarkable example of monumental architecture.
In this country characterized by its gastronomy, you will have the opportunity to taste Défarde, a dish made from lamb tripe; or La Couve, a shortbread flavored with orange. Local producers will delight you in the markets or on the farm.
Crest and its region also offers a fine collection of artisans and galleries, which contribute to making the region an essential stopover on the road to know-how in Drôme.
Also appreciate the Drôme river by takingtime to stroll along the banks or cool off in its turquoise waters!


The 13th-15th century castral village lived around its castle (destroyed in 1793), sheltered from the fortifications which still mark the medieval landscape of the site.
Eleven of the fourteen towers which defended the walls have been preserved, as well as the north gate, or Anguille gate, flanked by two towers connected by a gallery on machicolations. The village is home to many Renaissance facades and houses from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The "Medieval Christmas Market" takes place in Taulignan every year. Many craftsmen exhibitors are present in the streets of the village with various activities.


"The only difference between Nyons and Paradise is that in Nyons, we are very much alive" said René Barjavel. A native of the country, he grew up on these lands surrounded by olive trees at the foot of the Baronnies Provençales. Nyons, classified among ""The Most Beautiful Detours of France"", is nicknamed ""the little Nice"" because of its microclimate with Mediterranean air.
Shaded plots and café terraces, arcades and shops, the Roman bridge over the Eygues river, old mills: everything is there, and even the traditional Provencal Thursday morning market (one of the most beautiful in the Drôme). Nyons oil and olives of course (produced in PDO), truffles, honey, lavender, organic fruits and vegetables, wines, lime trees and aromatic plants:an anthology of colors, smells and flavors.
The small tourist town of Nyons is classified among "The Most Beautiful Detours of France".
Unique and unusual: La Scourtinerie, the last manufacturer in France of scourtins, small flat baskets woven from coconut fiber used as a filter for extracting olive oil.
Want to party ? Take part in the Alicoque (festival of new oil) on the 1st Sunday in February or at the Olivades in July!


Châtillon en Diois

In Châtillon-en-Diois, it is the lapping of 17 fountains with stone basins that accompanies strolls in the rapes (small alleys) of this medieval village, labeled botanical village.
In the Glandasse mountain, the Cirque d'Archiane and its impressive limestone cliffs, marking the southern end of the Vercors Regional Natural Park, is another grandiose site not to be missed.Châtillon en Diois
In Châtillon-en-Diois, it is the lapping of 17 fountains with stone basins that accompanies strolls in the rapes (small alleys) of this medieval village, labeled botanical village.
In the Glandasse mountain, the Cirque d'Archiane and its impressive limestone cliffs, marking the southern end of the Vercors Regional Natural Park is another grandiose site not to be missed.