Valence lies on the left bank of the Rhone river in the Drome department of South East France. It is commonly known as the ‘Gateway to the South of France’ - being a compulsory point of passage between Paris and the Mediterranean. This is a transport crossroads and easy to reach by road, rail (two hours from Paris) or aeroplane. The best places to stay in Valence are ideally located for exploring this lovely city.
The city’s history dates back to Roman times and there is much for the sightseer in terms of buildings and monuments. Probably the most significant sight is the Cathedral St. Apollinaire a beautiful eleventh century building in Romanesque style. Nearby in ‘vieux Valence’ there is the Maison des Tetes (named after all the heads sculpted on its facade) and the Maison Mauresque (a building celebrating the French love of Moorish architecture). The Musee d’Art et d’Archaeologie houses a fascinating collection of art from the sixteenth century onwards. There is also the bijou Italian theatre and an Armenian centre - celebrating the large contingent in the city.
There are many wide open spaces. In the centre, Jouvet park is one of the prettiest in the region and has lovely views towards the ruined Chateau de Crussol. The Champ de Mars has boulevards to stroll and the famous bandstand of Raymond Peynet. You can also stroll along the many canals or take advantage of Valence’s self service ‘rent-a-bike’ scheme.
For gastronomes, Valence is justifiably proud of Anne-Sophie Pic, restauranteur and holder of three Michelin stars. Not to mention the two other Michelin starred establishments here!
The city is often used as a stopping off point either on the the way to or from the South of France, but choose one of our picks of the best places to stay in Valence and you've got a great reason to linger for longer!
Stunning conversion of a 16th century mansion located in the historic centre of Valence. The rooms are spacious and airy, with smart modern, tiled bathrooms, whilst maintaining a rustic charm with exposed stonework and wooden beams. A chic base from which to exlore the area.
Luxurious, contemporary hotel which is renowned for it's three Michelin Starred restaurant - headed by Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Bedrooms are cool and sleek with designer pieces from Bruno Borrione. Enjoy the beautiful garden and outdoor swimming pool. A foodies delight.