Ardeche

France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Ardeche

The views, landscapes and beauty spots make Ardèche a "must" tourist destination. In this part of France everyone involved in tourism is friendly and tries to ensure you make the most of your visit. There is a wide choice of accommodation including self catering holiday homes, caravan parks, B&B and Hotels and a host of things to see and do including Canoeing, Horse riding and Quads). Holidays in Ardèche are always enjoyable – which is why so many people dream of coming here.

In addition to the world-famous Ardèche river gorges and Vallon Pont d'Arc, there are so many other spots to choose and discover all the multiple facets of Ardèche – simultaneously sumptuous, savage and friendly.

Places to stay include Les Vans and the olive groves, Joyeuse and its magnificent mediaeval streets, Largentière and its historic buildings, Ruoms near the Ardèche river gorges, Aubenas, the market centre for the whole of southern Ardèche, Vals les Bains and its famous thermal spa, Privas, the capital of Ardèche and "marrons glaces" (delicious crystallised chestnuts), Annonay, where hot air balloons were invented, Lamastre in the hills and Tournon, a bustling market town and shopping centre on the river Rhône. Just some examples of the wealth of things to discover here plus the breathtaking views, landscapes, rivers, caves, museums and vineyards...

The main things to see and do in Ardèche
The Ardèche river gorges
Between Vallon Pont d'Arc and Saint Martin d'Ardèche in a nature reserve protected since 1980, the famous vertiginous, wild and impressive gorges – France's Grand Canyon - are 35km long. Their geological evolution began 110 million years ago.

In the limestone rocks, the Ardèche river dug caves, caverns, holes and canyons like the cirque de la Madeleine and the natural stone bridge of the Pont d'Arc, a superb arch 66 metres long, listed as a part of France's protected natural heritage in 1982.
The descent of the gorges and its 25 rapids makes them a "must" for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. You can also drive along the special overhanging road built so everyone can admire this remarkable natural marvel. **Païolive wood Near Les Vans, visit the 16 kilometre long Bois de Païolive, an astonishing primeval forest of white oaks and petrified rocks in the Cevennes Ardéchoises.

It is a series of labyrinths created by the erosion which cut out the soil in immense faults. This mineral and vegetable chaos is full of strange rock shapes sculpted by nature.

Païolive wood
Near Les Vans, visit the 16 kilometre long Bois de Païolive, an astonishing primeval forest of white oaks and petrified rocks in the Cevennes Ardéchoises.

It is a series of labyrinths created by the erosion which cut out the soil in immense faults. This mineral and vegetable chaos is full of strange rock shapes sculpted by nature.