Rhône Alpes is the region that stretches from central France right down to Provence. At Healey Fox we have chosen what we consider to be the best part of this region to work in. All of our properties are in Drôme which is the department bordering Provence and sharing so many of the attributes of Provence that it is often referred to as Drôme-Provençal. But unlike much of Provence, Drôme offers a peaceful environment away from the rush of summer visitors. Drôme is a department where you can still be enjoy the traditional Provençal way of life. Rural properties in Drôme tend to have wonderful views, being the foothills of the Alps and even properties in the small towns are rarely far from views of the mountains. Being the department the furthest away from the Riviera lifestyle, house prices in Drôme are very tempting and it is still possible to find a good selection of properties for less than €200,000.
In Drôme you will be surrounded by olive groves, lavender fields and vineyards with only the sound of the cicadas to disturb your peace. Quiet roads will take you to medieval perched villages, with shady village squares and amongst this gentle landscape you will find the occasional dramatic waterfall tumbling down from the mountains. The climate in this department is notable for its sunshine. Whatever the season most days will offer vivid blue skies and except for a couple of months of the year it is rare not to be able to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine sitting outside one of the numerous little cafés and bars which are to be found in most of the villages. The presence of the mountains reminds you that skiing is an ever present option in the winter and the ease of access via the motorway allows you to access the beaches of Côte d’Azur as the weather warms up. To my mind Drôme is one of the best situated departments in France, offering a traditional French way of life, access to sea and mountains, lively towns, beautiful scenery, a very pleasant climate and good value properties. It is definitely worth considering buying a house in Drôme.
Nyons, Dielulefit and Montelimar are the nearest towns to most of our properties. Nyons being renowned for its olives and olive oil production and Montelimar being famous for its almond nougat. Apart from these gourmet delights Nyons is delightfully situated on the river and has lovely cafés surrounding its tree lined squares, the shops are all under the cover of its stone arcades so you can shop in the shade and when you feel energetic you can climb to the Chateau which crowns the town. Montelimar is often referred to as the ‘Portes de Provence’ and has lovely little squares, narrow pedestrian streets and altogether an air of peacefulness that is unusual in a town, plus the tempting smell of the honeyed nougat pervading the air. Access to the Drôme is via Marseille, Lyons or Avignon airports or TGV station. The nearest being Avignon which is only an hour away, Marseille and Lyon both being approximately 2 hours away. This makes the Drôme not the quickest department in France to access but does account for its lack of tourists and good value houses. I can certainly assure you that it is worth making the journey to get to this delightful corner of France.