Each February, the town of Nyons─the first in France to become an AOC appellation for its olives and oil─celebrates the Fête de l’Alicoque, which marks the end of the olive harvest and the start of pressing, giving travellers the chance to come and taste the oil before it goes to bottle. Tasting tables around the Place des Arcades are set up especially for the celebration, with bite-size bits of grilled toast set out for people to taste the first olive oil of the year. Mentioned on the Routes of the Olive Tree, this two-day event is a mix of festivities and markets all revolving around the region’s olive oil (and also includes visits to the mills to see them in action).
The region of Drôme Provençale sits between Dauphiné and Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux, an area along the Mediterranean lined with lavender fields and olive groves that’s so picture-perfect, it has been the subject of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Cézanne. The Huguenot and Waldensian trail runs through the countryside of Dieulefit (known for its pottery), 30 kilometres east of Montélimar, while the Routes of the Olive Tree passes through Nyons, a village in the Regional Park of Les Baronnies Provençales in the east of the Rhône Valley, 60 kilometres north of Avignon.