Famous for its black olives, the town of Nyons is located in the south of Drôme, at the heart of the Baronnies Provençales Regional Nature Park. Its olive grove is a Remarkable Site of Taste and its olive oil has earned PDO certification.
Nyons' history goes back a long way and many traces of its past can still be seen today. Take a journey through time in this welcoming town, listed among the Most Beautiful Detours in France...
One of the most iconic buildings in Nyons is probably the Pont Roman bridge over the Eygues. With a span of 43 metres, this vaulted grey stone bridge has just one arch and stands 18 metres tall. The viewpoint over the river and the surrounding area promises some beautiful photo opportunities! At the foot of the bridge, old oil mills from the 18th and 19th centuries remind us of how important olive oil production has been for hundreds of years here.
The old town, which you can reach via Rue des Bas-Bourgs, is also brimming with architectural beauties. There is the 14th-century St. James Gate (Porte Saint-Jacques) in particular, which is part of the medieval town walls. Or the 17th-century Church of St. Vincent, which houses a beautiful collection of paintings. We should also mention Place des Arcades, which dates from the 14th century. To this day, it is still the site of the traditional market on Thursday mornings, where flavours and smells mingle with bright colours.
Another emblem of Nyons to discover is the 13th-century Randonne Tower, located in the hills near the town. The somewhat steep ascent to get there is well worth the effort. Indeed, once you are up there, you will be treated to a magnificent view of the town and surrounding scenery! The medieval Randonne Tower was originally used as a keep and a military prison, before becoming a religious building in the 19th century, the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Succour (Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours), which can today be recognised by the statue of the Virgin on top of it.
Next, head to the picturesque Forts district. The medieval atmosphere is still in evidence here, with typical cobbled side streets and vaulted covered passages. Not forgetting the old feudal castle and a few remaining sections of wall depicting other traces of this historic past.
Nyons is therefore a great town for a stroll. With its shaded town squares and many cafés, restaurants and shops, this place has plenty of appeal. Let your curiosity lead you to the Scourtinerie, the last olive-pressing mat factory in France. These small, flat mats woven from coconut fibre, known as "scourtins" in French, are used as filters for olive oil extraction.