Located in the little known Drome department, or province, of southeastern France, Diois ("dee-wah") is one of the nation's best-kept secrets. Part Provence and part foothills of the Alps, it has all that those regions have to offer, minus the steep prices, crowds and tourist traps.
Hiking in the highlands of the Vercors, which has thousands of natural caves and cliffs.
Die, bordered by the enormous Mount Glandasse, was the first century B.C. Roman capital, Dea Augusta Vocontiorum. It still has 1.2 miles of surrounding Roman ramparts built as protection from invaders.
Die is noted for its arts scene, festivals, funky shops and hip younger crowd. Not to be missed is the Transhumance Festival in late June, when thousands of sheep are run through the streets on their way to the mountains.
The bell tower of the Cathedral Die.
The Diois is famous for its A.O.C. Clairette de Die, a fruity sparkling wine.
In July, the mountain slopes are blanketed in sunflowers, lavender and the hybrid lavandin. The Diois is recognized for its artisanal distillation, drying and production of wildflowers, herbs and plants for medicinal, culinary and cosmetic use.
Hiking on the massive Mount Glandasse.
The Drome river.