Mirmande in the region of Drome, Provence, is one of those French fairy tale villages. Perched on a hill top between Montélimar and Valence, it’s both medieval and fortified and winds its way up the hill to the Roman style church of Sainte Foy at the top. It’s one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France as well as one of the Villages Botaniques de la Drôme, so you know you can expect something special.
Over the centuries its streets and its people have had to adapt to embrace first the silk industry and then, as that lifestyle gave way, growing fruit in the many orchards that surround it. Famed cubist André Lhote put down roots here and as with all places of incredible beauty, it’s a bit of a honey pot for local creatives and artists.
The wonders of Miramande
It’s a haven of steep, cobbled streets, leg burning steps and catch your breath views out across the Drôme. It may not take you long to explore but it’s a great stop off place for coffee or lunch if you’ve just headed out of Valence or need to burn off some of nougat from Montémilar (read about our sticky encounter with gorgeously gooey Montelimar nougat makers).
- The church of Sainte-Foy – from here you can enjoy fabulous view over the Rhône valley and the Vivarais mountains
- The Chareyron orchard (wild fruits)
- Guided tour of the village
The Drôme is a region that’s full of local flavour and colour and sweet Montémilar and Mirmande are just the starting point of a journey into history, gastronomy and unspoilt landscape. It’s a much underrated department that doesn’t seem to get the press of its Provencal cousin, but it will reward you in spades for the time that you spend there.