|From Vassieux, the Col de Rousset road winds south through 8km of woods of pine and fir before taking the final steep twisting descent of 10km to DIE, with terrific views of the white crags and pinnacles of the southeast end of the massif. Although it's an attractive little place, Die is worth no more than a brief stop to sample the local crémant (sparkling white wine), Clairette de Die, which can be tasted and bought in the caves surrounding the town. There's a tourist office in place St-Pierre (MaySept daily 9am12.30pm & 2.307pm; OctApril MonSat 9amnoon & 26pm, Sun 9.30am12.30pm; tel 04.75.22.03.03). If you plan to stay the night here, there are five campsites, the cheapest being the Camping municipal (tel & fax 04.75.22.14.77) on the edge of town, as well as the modest but comfortable Hôtel St-Domingue, rue Camille Buffardel (tel 04.75.22.03.08, fax 04.75.22.24.48; €4055). La Dolce Vita restaurant on place de l'Horloge serves menus from €10.|
Six kilometres south along the River Drôme at the Pont de Quart the road forks left for CHÂTILLON, 6km away not a bad place to take a break on a hot day, as you can swim in the river below the bridge. Châtillon village is lovely, lying in a narrowing valley bottom surrounded by apple and peach orchards, vineyards, walnut trees and fields of lavender; it also has a couple of good hotels and three campsites.
From here, the road enters the sunless trench of the Gorges des Gats, winding up between sheer rock walls to GRIMONE, a mountain hamlet on the flanks of a grassy valley with fir trees darkening the higher slopes. The Col de Grimone is visible above the village. A path cuts across the valley directly to the col from where it's about 7km down to the main Grenoble road, a tarmac trudge alleviated by the view eastwards to the mountains.