Discover the charm and authenticity of Valence, the gateway to the French south. A Roman town during Antiquity, a wealthy medieval city, the prefecture of the Drôme department and now the capital of the Sud Rhône-Alpes, Valence has a rich and diverse architectural and natural heritage.
Its division into three terraces, the quaint climbs linking the lower and the upper parts of town, and its network of open-air canals stretching for almost 17 kilometres make up a unique landscape.
Its colourful markets, welcoming pedestrian streets, urban parks and lively neighbourhoods are all steeped in the character of Provence. Thanks to its prime location on the banks of the Rhone, at the intersection of the Vercors Massif and the Monts d'Ardèche on the other side of the river, Valence offers outstanding quality of life a mere two hours from Paris and the sea by high-speed train, and just one hour from the first ski resorts.
Gastronomy is king here, with three chefs with Michelin stars, quality food based on excellent local produce, and great wine estates and designated origins.
Valence Museum, located in the old Bishop's Palace, focuses on art and archaeology and boasts a lookout point offering an amazing 360° view on the Rhône Valley and the cliffs of the Vercors Massif.
The city's long history and its position at a crossroads explain are the reason behind the diverse cultural influences, from Provence and the Dauphiné all the way to the Caucasus, as Valence has been home to a fully integrated Armenian community since the 1920s.
With almost 6,500 students, Valence has the largest decentralised university site in France. Galas, challenges and sports events punctuate student life in a friendly atmosphere.
City and nature, economic growth in an attractive setting, cultural and sporting life: Valence will conquer your heart!
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