Located south of Valence, Montélimar is a welcoming city in Provençale Drôme. A legendary stop on the Route Nationale 7 road, the city is famed for its nougat and is the uncontested capital of this sweet treat.
Steeped in history, Montélimar possesses some beautiful built heritage represented by its flagship monument: the Adhémar Castle. Built on top of a hill, it overlooks the city and offers magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. Once a medieval palace, its Southern Romanesque architecture dates back to the 12th century. Some fine reminders of its past still stand today, like a fortified enclosure with a wall walk on top, a seigniorial lodge, a chapel and a keep. At the end of the 16th century, it became a bastioned citadel then a prison until 1926. Today, it is a contemporary art centre that hosts temporary exhibitions. At the foot of the castle is a park where you can make the most of its splendour and take a pleasant stroll.
Continue your tour of Montélimar with a leisurely walk along the pedestrian streets in its historic centre filled with shops. There are still a number of old mansions to see, like the Renaissance-style house of Diane de Poitiers, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. There's also the 17th-century Hôtel du Puy-Montbrun and the 18th-century Hôtel de Chabrillan. The St. Martin Gate, made of stone, is one of the last remnants of the ramparts. Rebuilt in the 18th century, the Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross (Sainte-Croix) still has its bell tower and choir from the 16th century. Around the church, enjoy the streets of shops and town squares with terraces where you can soak up the city's lively atmosphere!
Another famous spot in Montélimar is the Allées Provençales, avenues planted with plane trees and dotted with cafés next to a pleasant park. Popular with children, this huge park with century-old trees has a small farm, a large duck pond, a playground and a merry-go-round.
Culture enthusiasts mustn't miss the Saint-Martin Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts a temporary exhibition every summer featuring big names in contemporary art.
Your trip to Montélimar will also be a trip back to your childhood days. Start with the Palace of Sweets and Nougat, a fun interactive space for children and grown-ups. Then head to the Museum of Miniatures. Based in an old chapel, this attraction devoted to the art of miniature-making has a very fine collection of dolls' houses. And of course, don't forget to stop by one of the city's many nougat shops!