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Valence

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At an indefinable point along the Rhône, there’s an invisible sensual border, and by the time you reach Valence, you know you’ve crossed it. The quality of light is different and the temperature higher, bringing with it the scent of eucalyptus and pine, and the colours and contours suddenly seem worlds apart from the cold lands of Lyon and the north.

Valence is the obvious place to celebrate your arrival in the Midi (as the French call the south), a spruce town made up of tidy boulevards, large public areas and fresh-looking facades as well as a very pleasant old quarter. Although there’s little in the way of sights, the town holds some outstanding restaurants, as well as many convivial bars in which to while away a few hours in the sun.

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