And he is right…we were truly very pleasantly surprised during our visit to Nyons this week. A firsttimer to this commune in the department of Drôme, and wow! My heart started to beat just a bit faster by all the beauty and authenticity of this town! It has character, lots of character…a dream for a photographer.
The old town
Thanks to a tip from our friend Wilson Thorburn, owner of Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole, we had a walk around the old town of Nyons, which can be easily missed once you walk on the ‘Promenade des Anglais’ or are tempted to put yourself immediately on one of the many terraces for a refreshing Pastis or rosé. All very nice. We wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world!
Good to know
Nyons is nicknamed “Petit Nice” due to its micro-climate, equal to the one in Nice. Due to the favorable climate, many retirees have settled in Nyons. The local wind is called the Pontias.
Nyons owns, like Nice, its own “Promenade des Anglais”, not a seaside boulevard as in Nice, but a narrow winding road over the hills between the olive trees, with viewpoints over the town. Nyons also has a Romanesque bridge over de l’Eygues or Aygues (click on picture to enlarge).
The local specialty is the olive and olive oil in particular. “La tanche” is an olive species that occurs only in the olive groves of Nyons.
In 2008, Nyons has been awarded the “Most Beautiful Detours in France” joining some communes such as Vaison-la-Romaine, Crest, Pernes-les-Fontaines or Apt. All meet the requirements of the organization as they are located away from major roads, have a monumental heritage and have listed buildings or historic monuments, and organize original quality events.
Places to stay nearby
I am pretty sure that Nyons has lots of little hotels and holiday homes for rent during holiday season but the best way to do Nyons is when you can relax in the outskirts of the town. Towns are busy and especially the beautiful ones and to get away from it all or simply being able to take a dive in the pool amongst the gorgeous green vines is a much better option.
We can recommend two places we visited personally, both with a ‘wow’ effect, yet each very different.
There is Maison d’Anvers in Valréas, which is 15km away, a small 20 minute drive. You can click here for their website and here for the article on this blog about this place with a vintage edge. We love it!
And there is Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole, which is located in Vinsobres. 10 km from Nyons, which equals a 10 minute drive. Also here you can click here on the recent article I wrote about them.
Please click on the images for enlargements!