Mirmande, Rhone-Alpes: tourism & sightseeing
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Mirmande is a perfect little ramparted medieval village, set among trees, orchards and open meadows and with far reaching views across the surrounding countryside. The village is situated 15 km north-east of Montelimar and 25 km south of Valence, in the Rhone Alps region. It is officially listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.
In addition to being a 'most beautiful village of France' it has also won awards for its 'most beautiful roofs in France' and is a member of the 'botanic Villages of the Drome'.
Mirmande is a small village and easy to explore, with a great deal of charm along its meandering paved streets that run up the side of the hill or by following the remains of the ramparts around the village.
As you stroll through the village you will see lots of interesting architectural details in the stonework around the doors and windows of the traditional cottages, and a good number of flowers and garden areas bringing a splash of colour to the village centre - there are numerous attractive little gardens to be glimpsed as you make your way up the hill.
At the top of the hill you reach the pretty roman style Church of Saint Foy and its cemetery which looks down across the rooftops (this church now used for exhibitions - the newer church below the village was built when church attendees complained about having to climb the hill to the upper church every time they wanted to go to church).
Not surprisingly the (upper) church also has fine views extending towards the Massif central and the Rhone Valley.
The first layer of fortifications were made at the top of the hill where the church is but as the village expanded in the Middle Ages it eventually covered all of the hill and another layer of ramparts were built around the lower part of the village. These were a kilometer in length and much can still be seen.
Originally there were three gateways through the ramparts but now only the Port des Gauthiers is still there.
There are a number of relatively wide flat streets in Mirmande and these are linked by lots of narrow streets and steep steps which lead upwards towards the Sante Foy church at the top. Exploring all of these narrow streets is a real pleasure and there are many interesting houses to admire as you wander.
The views, viillage and natural light mean that Mirmande also attracts many local artists and potteries.
As you walk through Mirmande you will notice the beautiful planting throughout the village. As a keen gardener I love it when beautiful architecture and scenery is topped by beautiful plants and gardened areas in the villages I visit.
Mirmande specialises in plants and shrubs with decorative foliage and is one of the "Villages Botaniques de la Drome". You can pick up a leaflet at the tourist office with details of a route to follow to see the best of the planting.
In the vicinity
As well as exploring the region around Mirmande we also recommend you take the time to travel about 35 km west into the Ardeche to visit some of the picturesque villages clustered together such as Alba-la-Romaine, Saint-Montan and Vogué (see Ardeche villages for more details).
If like me you love to see some beautiful planting when you travel and get some ideas for your own garden then here are some other "botanic villages" in the Drome department. These villages have a minimum of 150 varieties of plants in their chosen theme.
Albon - featuring plants with a magical or symbolic interest
Barnave - with plants for dry areas
Chabrillan- specialising in scented plants and peonies
Chatillon en Diois - with a variety of climbing plants and a number of fountains.
Hauterives- specializes in spectacular vegetation
Grignan- features roses and mediterranean plants
Manas- has a collection of rare and unknown shrubs
Montelier - has trees and shrubs with decorative berries
Montvendre - has oriental plants
Map of Mirmande and places to visit
Visit near Mirmande with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Drome
Mirmande is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Mirmande, Loriol-sur-Drôme, Valence, Drome, Rhone-Alpes, 26270, France || GPS: latitude 44.699, longitude 4.8348
Plan your visit to Mirmande, Rhone-Alpes
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbatiale Sainte-Marie (Cruas): religious monument (7km)
- Crest: recommended detour (15km)
- Abbaye d'Aiguebelle (Montjoyer): religious monument (25km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire (Valence): religious monument (26km)
- Parc Jouvet: remarkable garden (26km)
- Valence: town of art and history (26km)
- Viviers: secteur sauvegarde (27km)
- Montelier: ville fleurie 4* (31km)
The French version of this page is at Mirmande (Francais)