Tulette / Bollène / Bédoin
Vaison-la-Romaine / Grignan / St. Paul Trois Châteaux
Buis les Baronnies / Valréas
Nyons / Orange
Dieulefit / Taulignan / Mirabel aux Baronnies (tiny) /
Pierrelatte / Carpentras / Visan / Velleron
Grillon / Richerenches / Ste Cécile les Vignes /
Vaison-la-Romaine (fruits and veggies)
Nyons / Isle-sur-la-Sorgue / Carpentras / Orange/ Jonquières /
Mornas / Vaison-la-Romaine
Towns & Villages
Around Mirabel are lovely towns and villages to visit. Mirabel itself also has unique streets and squares, as well as a 13th century fountain in this pretty provencal village.
8kms and you are in Vaison-la-Romaine, consisting of 3 towns, in fact. First the Roman one, visible in excavations dating from the 20th century, then the “modern” town, that was built upon these Roman remainders, when times got less
rough. Between these two era’s, a medieval fortified town was built up the hill, facing the modern town. Each one of these 3 towns is absolutely worthwhile to discover.
On Tuesdays there is a big provencal market in Vaison.
Nyons is “our” town, just at 6kms from La Françonne. Everything is at hand there: a cinema, a theater in open air, restaurants, cafés, the market on Thursday morning, beautiful small streets to get lost in and of course a lovely olive oil museum.
Seguret is a classified village and that is very just. The views from the village on the Ouvèze-valley are captivating.
Orange has some Roman remainders, as a theater, still in use, and a triumph arc. Unfortunately there is not much to find about William from Orange.
The papal town of Avignon,capital of the Côtes du Rhône-wines, has very pretty streets and squares to admire. The papal palace can be visited and certainly you should not miss the papal gardens.
At some one and a half hours drive you will find Arles, the place where Van Gogh has lived for some years. The Roman part of Arles is very interesting to visit, the local tourist office sells entrance tickets for several buildings at the same time. The museum of Antiquities is one of a kind, very well presented and has wonderful pieces of Roman art. A visit of Alyscamps, the Roman and later on Christian cimetary, where Van Gogh painted several images, is beautiful, especially during autumn.
Madame de Sévigné, a French countess, who lived at the Louis 14 court, wrote many letters from Paris to het daughter, who resided in this castle in Grignan. Unfortunately the replies of the daughter still have not been found.
In Grignan is a new tradition of cultivating roses of all kinds. They smell lovely in June.
The lavender fields in our area blossom from approx half June till half July, when they are harvested. They are quite close to La Françonne, you will find them already between Vinsobres and Valréas.
Of course the most popular lavender fields in our area are at Sault, some 45 minutes drive. Often people go there and take pictures, in their bridal costumes, which is a pretty sight in itself.
The Mont Ventoux
What would we be in our area without the Mont Ventoux? Each year many cyclists endeavour to climb the mountain and of course we are very proud of those who are our guests and start of at La Françonne, ride 18 kms and start to climb in Malaucène. The itinarary goes by Vaison-la-Romaine.
If you prefer to contemplate the mountain from a distance, you are at the right place, as we have a direct view from our premises on the Mont Ventoux. The Provence’s Giant is always in the sight of many thousands of people at the same time.
Wine and wine tasting
We are surrounded by many wine tasting facilities. The appellation contrôlée that is closest to us is Vinsobres. To continue your trip we recommand Cairanne, Roaix-Seguret and Puymeras. But everybody has his or her preferences! Early September is the start of an interesting lapse of time, when the local caves and supermarkets are trying to get rid at low prices of their stock, in order to save space for the new harvest.
Most children like castles. But these are some that adults might like to visit as well. In the southern Drôme we have of course the castle of Grignan. If you visit, do not forget the Collégiale (chappel), just underneath the castle itself. And then we have the castles of Alan and Suze la Rousse, both very pretty. In Suze’s castle is a wine academy. In the Vaucluse, 30 minutes drive approx, is the castle of Les Barroux.
Theaterfestival in Avignon
In July theater-lovers should go to Avignon for the Festival On. If there is an On, there is an Off, which is nice to visit for anyone. Street theater plays, open garages with small plays, many activities for children and a lot of people everywhere.
Festival Chorégies in Orange
In July as well each year in the Roman theater is an opera festival. If you prefer classical music in a symphonic way, there is always an evening dedicated to that theme. Famous musicians, like Martha Argerich, are welcomed every year.
Baroque music in Rasteau
Every month Markus Hunninger organises a baroque concert in Rasteau.
Pianofestival in la Roque d’Anthéron
French piano-lovers all know the name of the Parc of château de Florans which is at 1,5 hours drive from La Françonne, as very often piano music on the French radio is recorded here. It is a spectacular quality.
Festival of Price winning Choirs in Vaison-la-Romaine
Poyphony at its very best, beware that you will not be addicted to this quality of singing after having heard one of these concerts. Each year 3 to 4 choirs from all over the world are invited to our area and give multiple concerts.
Cancelled for 2021.
Classical music from the Sérénades en Baronnies
This association organises classical music concerts every once in a while in local churches and chappels. It gives you the opportunity to visit these pretty places as well.
In our area you can visit all kinds of musea. In Taulignan a silk museum shows how people here cultivated silk caterpillars. In Valréas cardboard packaging was fabricated for French and other expensive perfumes, having lead to this museum, where you will recognise some packaging. In Nyons the production of olive oil through the centuries is shown. Of course we have a lot of more cultural musea as well, in Avignon (arts) and Vaison-la-Romaine (Roman excavations) and Aix en Provence (1,5 hours drive) with a workshop in the style of Cézanne.
The waste water from the nuclear plant in Pierrelatte has to cool down before it can go into the Rhône river. In the 70’s people created a crocodile farm here, where in the mean time hundreds of crocodiles in many species are living. It is a sought after place by scientists and an interesting opportunity for you to see them live.
Via Ferrata – climbing
In Buis-les-Baronnies, some 25 minutes drive from La Françonne, is a climbing school. Very competent and nice English speaking guides will teach you and your children all the details about climbing rocks.
Nyons has a circuit in the woods where children can exercise on rope ladders and bridges at Col de la Croix. Here as well are good teachers.
We are at about 1 hours drive from the famous Ardèche caves. Most spectacular is the one called Grotte Chauvet, which is a replica, but very well built, and is like the Lascaux copy. Close to Vallon Pont d’Arc it is situated, which is an excellent spot to swim in the Ardèche and have a lovely picknick.
We are very close to 2 swimming pools with lots of tubes, slides and fountains: camping Le Sagittaire (5 km) and the public swimming pool in Nyons.
Kayak & canoe
In the Ardèche and Cèze rivers there are lots of possibilities to hire a boat and flow on the water. Visit the grotte Chauvet afterwards and have a lovely picknick: this is a wonderful day.
In Uzès you can learn how candy is made. Especially children love to go there and serve themselves for free at the entrance of the premises.
Address : Pont des Charrettes, 30700 Uzès
Tel. : 04 66 22 20 25
Close to Nyons are “parapente” possibilities. People weighing 25 to 100 kgs can take a flight above the mountains. Every morning there are so called baptising flights.
You can also book for an accompanied flight.
Photos and videos can be ordered.
Booking at the Nyons Tourist Office Place de la Libération, 26110 Nyons
Tel : 06 78 08 56 02
We have 2 golf courses.
Clansayes (30 min) :
Chemin de la Balle Blanche, 26130 Clansayes
Tel : 04 75 98 57 03
Orange (30 min) :
2247 Route de Camaret, 84100 Orange
Tel : 04 90 34 34 04
Nature and hikes
The vultures at Remuzat
Our area is one of the most diversified of France, according to our guests. Partly because of the landscape that never is the same, whatever direction you go. The main cause for this is the tectonic movements from the Alps, that are north-south oriented, meeting the Mont Ventoux, east-west oriented, being a far part of the Pyrenees. It is like ironing a piece of cloth in different directions: the result is an incalculable pattern. Add to this changes in climate every 10 kms and you have a considerable amount of holiday-types in one: flat by the river, lovely in the vineyard hills and spectacular in the mountains.
A hike to the colony of vultures in Remuzat is fantastic. Take the road to Gap, go left at Saint May, the village overlooking the Eygues-valley. Visit the village and then turn right to “Rocher du Caire”. Park here and continue on foot. In the mean time you will have seen vultures alrady. After the hike, Remuzat is worth a visit, with its vulture’s visitor center and nice restaurants.
Flamingo’s in Camargue
At Pont de Grau in the Camargue is a flamingo’s visitor center. You are the visitor and the flamingo’s are as well. They will come here to rest and between December and March you can see them displaying. It is really worth the trip (2 hours drive from La Françonne).
Carrières des Lumières
Close to Les Baux, in the Alpilles, is a bauxitemine (hey, that’s where the word is coming from). In this stone pit you can see each year a different presentation of painter’s work. In 2021 e.g. it is Cézanne/Kandinsky. Very impressive, even Parisians copied the concept and think it is their idea.
If you feel like a yoga lesson from Stéphanie Lehu, excellent yoga teacher, speaks English and French, she welcomes you either in the classes in Mirabel or comes at your place to teach a small group.
Pascal (speaks English and French) from Base Camp in Nyons will enthusiastically take you on a discovery tour by e-bike. He organises the tour, accompanies you in getting used to e-biking, rents you a bike, a helmet and a bag to store your bottle of water and eventually your lunch.
British Paul organises wine tasting tours in the Côtes du Rhône area. He is an expert in knowledge about grapes, mixing and environmental aspects that influence taste and smell.