Grignan, Drome: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Grignan in Provencal Drome (Rhone-Alpes region)

Visit Grignan (Rhone-Alpes, France)

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Grignan is a pretty village dominated by its large chateau, in the Drome department (Rhone-Alpes region) to the north of Vaison-la-Romaine.

Exploring Grignan

Grignan dates back to the 11th century and was fortified in the 12th century: it is a hillside village which developed around its castle.

Much of the growth of the medieval village took place in the 13th century when a new fortified wall with 12 defensive towers was built around the village. The ramparts were carefully maintained up until the 18th century but partially destroyed in the 19th century.

Facade of the Chateu Grignan

The castle was built in the 12th century but was later transformed and is now said to be one of the leading Renaissance castles in south-east France.

The Chateau de Grignan is above all well known because of visits there by Madame de Sévigné, a French writer famous for her letters many of which were to her daughter, the wife of the Count of Grignan. Madame de Sévigné visited Grignan castle three times during the 17th century and died there during her third visit.

The Maison du bailli has an interesting history: it dates back to the 13th century and has had various uses across the centuries: it has been the Maison du Justice, the home to a religous group - the Penitents blancs, a chapel and then a boys school.

Other monuments to look out for in Grignan include the 19th century Fontaine Sévigné on the Place de l'horologue, the belfry built in 1600, the communal bread oven (four banal), and the communal washhouse (lavoir).

The Saint-Sauveur College church is also worth visiting, and is unusual in that it is built into the cliff wall.

The village is home to a wonderful collection of roses and as you walk round you can admire the 400 roses of more than 150 varieties. You can pick up a plan from Grignan tourist office with some of the main planting sites marked on it.

Mediterranean plants have been planted at the foot of the roses adding to the charm. Grignan is classified as one of the "Botanic Villages of the Drome".

View across Grignan from the castle

Attractions in the region

All of the "Village Botaniques" have at least 150 different varieties of plants of their chosen theme that add an extra dimension to visits to the villages. Other villages in the Drome which have been classified as "Villages Botaniques" include the following:

  • Albon for its magical and symbolic plants;
  • Barnave for its drought tolerant plants;
  • Chabrillan for its scented plants and peonies,
  • Chatillon en Diois for its climbing plants and fountains;
  • Hauterives for its unusual vegetation,
  • Manas for its rare shrubs,
  • Mirmande for its plants and shrubs with decorative leaves,
  • Montelier for its shrubs and trees with decorative berries,
  • Montvendre for its oriental plants.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Drome guide and the Rhone-Alpes guide.

See also:

Map of Grignan and places nearby

Visit near Grignan with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Drome

Address: Grignan, Nyons, Rhone-Alpes, 26230, France || GPS: latitude 44.4203, longitude 4.9089

Plan your visit to Grignan, Drome

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Abbaye d'Aiguebelle (Montjoyer): religious monument (8 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Michel (La Garde-Adhemar): religious monument (13 km)
  • Jardin des herbes: remarkable garden (13 km)
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux): religious monument (14 km)
  • La Ferme aux crocodiles: zoo or wildlife park (18 km)
  • Viviers: secteur sauvegarde (19 km)
  • Nyons: recommended detour (20 km)
  • Cathédrale Notre Dame de Nazareth (Vaison-la-Romaine): religious monument (24 km)
  • Vaison-la-Romaine: town of art and history (24 km)
  • Seguret: most beautiful village (25 km)
  • Abbatiale Sainte-Marie (Cruas): religious monument (29 km)
  • Dentelles de Montmirail: site of natural beauty (29 km)

Market days in Grignan, France

Regular market(s) are held in Grignan each Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Grignan (Francais)