Although Nyons is in Dr the town is a good appetiser for Provence proper. French families stay there in both summer and winter, as the rounded, shrub-dotted hills shelter the resort from the mistral. In summer, the cooling pontias breeze blows down the Aygues Valley, sometimes written as Eygues or Aigues – all of these variants mean water.

Arcaded streets on the northern side of the town lead to the Quartier des Forts, built in the Middle Ages. The beautiful, covered Rue de Grands Forts leads to an old gateway, once part of the town’s protective castle, but it is best just to wander at will through the narrow streets. South-west of the church the River Eygues is crossed by Pont Roman, 13th century despite its name, with a single 131 foot (40m) arch that many believe to be the finest in Provence. When you are ready to leave, take the narrow road known as the Promenade des Anglais north-west out of Nyons to complete a circular trip that offers the best view of both the town and the valley.

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