Crest in the Drôme: the beautiful town with its famous tower on the Drôme river!

The town of Crest in the Drôme Provençale is definitely worth a visit when you are in the region. The lovely town is located on the Drôme river and is recognizable by the large square tower that rises above the roofs. In this blog you can read everything about Crest.Crest 10

The cute town of Crest in the Drôme

In Crest, located on the Drôme River, you go back in time. Narrow streets zigzag upwards all the way to the famous square tower of Crest, built in the Middle Ages. The atmosphere in the village is a bit hippie or alternative. With vintage shops, organic restaurants and a friendly but not polished vibe. Very different from the fashionable Montélimar or Valence.Crest 9

Crest in the Drôme Valley or Drôme Provençale

Crest is located in the Drôme, on the northern edge of the Drôme Valley, a kind of bowl-shaped valley with mountains on all sides and the nicest medieval villages and towns. This area is also called the Drôme Provençale, or the gateway to Provence. Here too you will find lots of lavender fields and beautiful old villages. But it is much quieter here than in the more southern Provence. And it is closer to the Netherlands. All reasons to visit this lesser known brother of Provence.

Map of Crest in the Drôme

‎Drome Region France

What is there to do in Crest in the Drôme?

Even though Crest is not big, there is still plenty to do. Below are five fun things to do in Crest.

1. Climb the highest medieval tower in France and look out over the entire Drôme

Even before we reach Crest, we see it, the high tower of Crest. Standing tall against the azure sky, it was previously part of a 12th century fortress and then used as a prison. At 52 meters high, it is the tallest medieval tower in France.

It is quite warm when Ries climbs up, sweat pours down his back. First you need to walk to this higher part of the city and then climb all those narrow steps. But it’s totally worth the effort. From above you will have a view of the entire Drôme valley, with the foothills of the Alps in the distance. Along the way, an audio tour tells you more about the history and what you see in the distance.

Yes, definitely a beautiful sight in Crest! As adults you pay €9.50 or €10.50 (depending on high or low season). Tickets do not need to be reserved.

Crest, Drome region France 5

Just north of the Drôme lies Burgundy. Read all about southern Burgundy here with cities such as Cluny and Macon!

2. Visit the Provencal market of Crest

It is very busy when we visit Crest, but that is not surprising, because it is Saturday, the weekly market. The entire center is littered with stalls where you can buy cheeses, fruit, bread and pastries and much more. You see many tourists, but even more locals, who use shopping carts to buy the tastiest things to fill their refrigerator.

The central square is completely packed with people drinking cups of coffee, smoking a cigarette (it’s still France) and chatting with their neighbors. Not only can you buy food, also ceramics, aprons, children’s toys and lavender products are displayed on the market.

The Provencal market of Crest seems to be one of the nicest in the area. It takes place every Tuesday and Saturday morning, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crest, Drome region France

3. Go on a vintage hunt

Completely in line with the hippie atmosphere in Crest, you will find several vintage and second-hand shops here. For example, you can buy second-hand clothing at Dégaine ta Frip, vintage furniture and brocante can be found at the Pépite store and second-hand books at Librairie La Balancoire. But we also found several pop-up stores with vintage children’s clothing and used toys / games. Fun to look for the real gems!

4. Take a refreshing dip in the Drôme

Are you visiting Crest in the summer and feeling warm after all that shopping? Then consider taking a refreshing dip in the Drôme. The river runs through the center and along the bank there are several places where you can climb down. In the summer the water is not high, so you can enjoy a nice dip.

Please note: even if the water level is not high, there can always be a current. So never swim alone and make sure you don’t go deep.

5. Visit one of the other cities in the area such as Valence, Saoû or Montélimar

In the area around Crest you will find countless other nice villages and towns. For example, visit the beautiful village of Saoû, surrounded by high mountain peaks with a beautiful forest nearby (read all about Saoû here). Or go to nougat city Montélimar (read our blog about Montélimar here). Valence is also not far away. And if you want to visit one of the other hilltop villages, Mirmande, one of the most beautiful villages in France, is within driving distance.

Not far from the Drôme is the Vaucluse with the famous Mont Ventoux! Read all about hiking to Mont Ventoux in our blog!

Practical tips Crest

You can park for free in several places in Crest. It is even possible to drive all the way up to the Crest tower and park there (also free). We parked our car here.

Half a day is enough time to explore Crest. The town is not big. You can have a drink at the beautiful Café de Paris, have a good lunch at restaurant La Tartine and eat the tastiest crêpes at La Rozell, on the banks of the Drôme.

Nice accommodations and hotels near Crest

In Crest and the surrounding area you will find many nice chambres d’hotes, gites and hotels. We have selected two options below. For the complete overview of hotels in Crest and the surrounding area, click here. You will also find a good campsite near the center of Crest (Camping Les Clorinthes).

Le Cosy €€

Appartement Crest Le cosy

This compact apartment is located right in the center of Crest. There is room for four people here, there is a kitchen, WiFi and washing machine. You stay here from 100 euros per night.

Book herr

Mas de Chaufondes €

mas de chaufondes

This wonderful B&B just outside the center is surrounded by nature. It has a nice outdoor swimming pool and beautiful rooms. There is airco in every room. From 90 euros incl breakfast.

Book here

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