Five reasons to visit Valence

Valence is only 4 hours away from Barcelona. Known as the door to the Alps, you will be seduced by its exciting lifestyle, with terraces shaded by banana trees and exquisite local food specialties. Travel to the centre of this beautiful city in our AVE (high-speed) France trains, AVE (high-speed) International travelling between Spain and France, and let yourself be surprised by its old neighbourhoods and canals  

Romans settled in Valence, between Lyon and Avignon over 2,000 years ago and called this city Valentia, "city of vigour" in Latin. In a strategic location between the sea and mountains, and built on terraces on the left bank of the Rhône, it maintains the charm and authenticity of centuries ago. Discover the 5 reasons for visiting Valence. Let's go!

Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire

Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire was built right in the middle of Place des Ormeaux in the nineteenth century. It was consecrated in 1095 by Pope Urban II and currently is Valences's main church

Napoleón Bonaparte attended mass in this Cathedral in 1785. Another interesting fact is that the heart of Pope Pius IV rests in one of the monuments made in Canova marble. 

Its architecture blends several traditional processes of the region. The bell tower was destroyed by a storm and the side chapel was added to the building in the fifteenth century. There is also an ambulatory that allows pilgrims travelling the Camino de Santiago de Compostela to pass through.

Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire

La Maison des Têtes (The House of the Heads)   

One of the places where the city's history has left its mark is the House of the Heads, a magnificent example of architecture from the sixteenth century, with an enclosure filled by figures of gargoyles and saints

It was built between 1528 and 1532. This Renaissance house owes its name to several large heads (têtes) sculpted in relief on its façade: Wind, Fortune and Time, as well as other and emblematic figures, such as Theology, Medicine or Law. 

It stands out for its unique decoration in the heart of old Valence. On the outside, there is a commemorative plaque in tribute of Napoleon, who visited the medieval enclosure in its time.   

Museum of Art and Archaeology  

The Museum of Art and Archaeology was built on the plot of the Episcopal Palace built in the eighteenth century, one of a vast cultural wealth. A wide variety of pieces are exhibited, from prehistoric and Gallo-Roman archaeology, mosaics of Hercules and Orpheus, to paintings dating back to the eighteenth to twentieth century, in addition to Hubert Robert's most important collection and 97 sanguine drawings and paintings with views of Rome and the Roman countryside. 

The contemporary art section mainly comprises the abstract current of the second half of the twentieth century. After its restoration, the museum will have an adjoining modern building, which will make the visit quite an experience, with gardens facing the promenades and streets of Valence, as well as a viewpoint with 360º views of the Rhône Valley. 

Kiosque Peynet  

Symbol of Valence par excellence, this kiosk in the heart of the Champ de Mars, near the great Jouvet park, was designed by architect Poitouxen in 1890 and represented in Peynet's drawings – to which it owes its name.  

It is also commonly known as the "Kiosk of the Lovers of Peynet", since one of his best known drawings shows two lovers under the kiosk listening to the melody of a music group. Currently, a golden heart appears on the top of the Kiosk's dome to commemorate this image. 

There was a time when the Town Council had agreed to destroy it, but it was finally recognised as one of the city's Historical Monuments.  ​

Are you into winter sports? After visiting the city, we invite you to go skiing on the nearby stations. 

Markets and experiences for food lovers

Valence is characterised for having plenty of markets and food delicacies, such as "cailette" – an exquisite variety of pâté –, lamb in the Pre-Alps style, "Tomme" cheese, aromatic melons and traditional sausage plates from the "Ardéchois" area. 

The Market of Valence, found on Place des Clercs, in the heart of Valence, is filled with colours and aromas of the south of France. Without a doubt, it will leave you speechless.  

You can't miss a dinner in a bistro, typical French restaurant, or a meal at "l'Epithèque", a wine bar with a terrace in the shade, where you can taste the delicacies of Michelin-star chef Baptiste Poinot. If one Michelin star is not enough, Anne-Sophie PIC's Bistrot 7, considered best chef in the world in 2012, you can experience what it is to dine in a 3 Michelin star restaurant, which will serve you a spectacular meal, surrounded by baroque style and good humour. 

Travel by train to Valence

Without a doubt, Valence will surprise you. Having a walk across the historic district is quite an experience. You will find plenty of shops with regional and national products, cafés, restaurants and many other interesting establishments. There is even a special tour that follows in the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte across the city, starting at the Tourist Office and wandering around the city, following a layout of copper engravings on the cobblestone of its streets.  ​ ​​

Moreover, if you wish to discover more about France, you can't miss the other French cities connected with our Alta Velocidad (high-speed) International trains, such as Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier, Lyon, Marseille or Aix-en-Provence, always from city centre to city centre. 

Choose how you would like to travel and what you would like to visit and we will define the destinations and means of transport. Have you found out about our discounts? Benefit from our discounts and get the best price for you.