We highlight some of the more popular activities, attractions and places to visit in the region…
At the Nyons tourist office be sure to grab a copy of the Drôme Provençale magazine, an excellent source for everything from outdoor activities (hiking routes, bike rentals, horseback and donkey-riding, etc.) to where to buy local wine and artisanal products. You will also find detailed hiking circuits and topographic maps.
Vignolis (Nyons) is the place for tasting and buying the local olives, tapenade and olive oil. Their museum on the local olives and the large, well stocked boutique is the place to stock up on all the local bounty. Website: www.vignolis.fr
Vinaigrerie La Para’s (Nyons) hand-crafted vinegars perfumed with local aromatic plants from the region are made on the premises from local wines aged in oak barrels. Website: www.lapara.fr
Maison de la Truffe et du Tricastin (Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux) takes you through the history and cultivation of the ‘black diamond’. As the largest truffle-producing region in France, you really are in the hands of the experts. Website: www.maisondelatruffe.com
FARMS, LOCAL CHEESE AND PRODUCE
Gaec Le Regain produces the local organic goat’s cheese. Open Feb-Oct. Closed Mon, Tues, Sat morning. Ubac de Courge, 26570 Montbrun-les-Bains.
La Ferme Brès (Nyons) organic AOC olives, tapenade, olive oil, handmade on the premises. Website: www.fermebres.fr
La Distillerie Artisanale Nicoleau (Buis-les-Baronnies). Specialist eau de vie distillery.
Wines to seek out include the AOC Grignan-les-Adhémar, Cru Vinsobres and Côteaux de Baronnies and the sparkling blancs-de-blancs, Clairette and Crémant de Die. To sample the wines, these are the places to start: Baron d’Escalin (between Grignan and Montélimar). Excellent wines served at top restaurants. Website: www.barondescalin.com/fr
Domaine de Grangeneuve (Roussas). Here you will get an excellent tasting experience of the estate’s superb wines as well as a walk in the vineyards. Website: domainesbour.com
Domaine de Montine (near Grignan) is a family estate, with a wide range of wines and guest cottages on the estate. Website: www.domaine-de-montine.com
Caveau des Vignerons de Grignan-les-Adhémar for tasting a variety of local wines from many producers in the region.
To discover the Drôme Provençale Wine Route, go to www.vins-rhone.com/fr/route/en-drome-provencale
Domaine du Rieu Frais (Sainte-Jalle) is an AOC producer of organic Vinsobres. A must-visit in the area. Website: www.coteaux-des-baronnies.com
At Distillerie Bleu Provence you can watch the distillation process, visit a small museum, try a lavender-laced lemonade or local snack at the café, then shop till you drop at their marvellous boutique, replete with local essential oils, skincare, perfumes, soaps, and much more. Website: www.distillerie-bleu-provence.com
La Scourtinerie de Nyons is a museum, factory and boutique rolled into one and the last place in France still weaving the original coconut-fibre filters for wine and olive oil. Website: www.scourtinerie.com
Founded in Grignan, Durance’s elegant perfumes, scented candles, home fragrances and skincare are prized throughout France. An excellent place to stock up on gifts. Website: www.durance.fr
Bureau des Guides des Baronnies and Acro Pôle Aventure offer a number of activities from tree courses, rock-climbing, canyoning and adventure hiking. Websites: www.guides-baronnies.com and www.acropoleaventure.com
Les Attelages offers horse-and-carriage rides through lovely terrains. Website: www.attelagesduchateau.fr
The École de Parapente will take you up, up and away in a paraglider from any of eight different locations. Website: www.provence-parapente.com
For horseback-riding of all different levels, try www.centre-equestrecondorcet.com
Sentouleygues takes you on personalised hikes to view flora, fauna, birds and the local wildlife. Website: www.ladrometourisme.com
Thermes Valvital’s (Montbrun-les-Bains) natural mineral waters are enjoyed in the pool (with exercise classes) or whirlpool. A range of massages and treatments available. Website: www.valvital.fr/stations-thermales/montbrun-les-bains
Pampering among the olive trees at Institut Quintessence. Website: www.linstitut-quintessence.fr
The Musée d’Art Contemporain Saint-Martin (Montélimar) is the area’s top venue for contemporary art. Be sure to check the schedule while visiting the area.
Confiserie Arnaud Soubeyran: Ignore its location on a commercial strip, it’s worth a detour to see the production process, enjoy a fresh, organic lunch in the café and stock up on nougat, calissons de Provence, pralines, chocolate enrobed nuts and fruit, guimauves and other regional specialities, all made on the premises.
From France Today magazine
For more information, visit www.ladrometourisme.com