Top 10 of the best nature site in Pays Diois
1 – Conquer the highest summits of la Drôme at le Vallon de la Jarjatte in Lus-la-Croix-Haute
This small preserved cirque is listed for its picturesque mountain landscapes made of cliffs and needles emerging from the forests of spruce trees. This is the Alpine side of the Nature Regional Park of the Vercors, dominated by the 2,453 m high Rocher Rond, one of the highest summit of la Drôme.
2 – Drink from the source : the River Drôme at la Bâtie des Fonds
Accompanied by the trickling sound of water, visitors are invited to discover the source of the river Drôme walking along an educational trail at la Bâtie des Fonds hamlet. Cutting the Pays Diois in two and with its banks harbouring beaver’s dams, the river Drôme is the backbone of the region. Its clear waters flow freely without the restrictions of barrages, making it the last wild river of the Alpes.
3 – Fly away with the birds of prey at le Cirque d’Archiane at Châtillon-en-Diois
The vultures were reintroduced in this natural limestone stronghold thanks to the Nature Regional Park of the Vercors and are now perfectly at home in their new environment. These kings of the sky with a wingspan approaching 3m wide now glide over our mountains like guardian angels. ‘Le sentier des vautours’ is a bird observation walk.
4 – Travel back in time at le Serre de l’Âne at la Charce
Listed as a geological world heritage site, le Serre de l’Âne rocks are made of inclined strata laid bare: 5 million years of the earth’s history are recorded in its folds. One can clearly identify in the rock the passage from one geological stage to another. This educational trail makes understanding the past while reading the present easy.
5 – Lose yourself in le Claps, Luc-en-Diois’ Rocky Chaos
The Pic de Luc rock fall in the Middle Ages has left a spectacular pile of limestone boulders thrown around randomly by Mother Nature. This listed site offers to the curious visitor a maze as well as the ‘Saut de la Drôme’ waterfall that tumbles down in cascades in this exceptional site. Down below you will enjoy small pools of water, prefect for a swim.
6 – Immerse yourself in the timeless alpine pasture at the Sapey mountain in Aucelon
This secluded and preserved Natura 2000 site unveils its protected biodiversity and rich mosaic of natural environments to nature lovers. Hikers will be impressed by the 360° views over les 3 Becs, Mont Ventoux, les Baronnies, the Roanne Valley and le Dévoluy mountains all visible from the ridges.
7 – Flower power at Vallon de Combeau near Châtillon-en-Diois
This is the kingdom of orchids and in spring the glen is carpeted with flowers. Combeau is also the gateway to the Nature Reserve of the High Plateaux of the Vercors, the largest of its kind in mainland France. 17,000 hectares without roads or villages where the only sound heard is the whistling of the marmots. A wild virginal space of rare beauty exclusively dedicated to pastoralism and hiking.
8 – Let your imagination run free at les Sucettes de Borne in Glandage
These elegant geological curiosities are in fact chiselled rocky blades pointing above the pine forest by the side of a mountain stream. These figures were modelled by erosion over time and dreamers will enjoying figuring out what they look like…
9 – ‘Boulegue’* at the Marais des Bouligons at Beaurières
This marsh, remains of an ancient lake and unique by its location in a mountainous region, is la Drôme’s largest wet zone. Walking on a boardwalk amongst the reeds you will be able to visit this fragile natural environment with your feet dry, knowing you are also preserving it. It is a heaven for dragonflies, butterflies, amphibians and birds so make sure you take your binoculars. * meaning ‘to move’ in Occitan language
10 – Let the waters soothe you a the Roanne river Gorges
It required the whole of 19th C civil engineering talent and the sweat of workers to access this unspoilt and remote location. So, enjoy your journey on the stunning windy road linking St Benoit to Saint Nazaire-le-Désert !
Here rivers flow out of mountains, the Roanne river unfolds, its beautiful pool of fresh turquoise waters inviting you to a secluded dip. Be the first to discover the best spots by exploring the river banks !