According to gradinmath.com, the river Ardèche is central to this very varied landscape of France. The river cuts through departments such as Gard, Lozère and Ardèche. Kayak marathons are also regularly held in which competitions are held on this river. The green surroundings with the crossing of rivers guarantee that you can enjoy sports such as climbing, hiking, cycling and canoeing or kayaking. You will pass the most beautiful villages of this area such as Viviers with its impressive St. Vincent cathedral, Thueyts with its huge bridge Pont de Diable or small towns with names such as Annonay, Mirabel and Coux. Furthermore, the Ardèche is known for its many special caves and water sources..
Top 10 Things to Do in Ardeche
#1. Pont D’Arc
In the very impressive nature reserve of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc you can admire a beautiful natural arch bridge. The bridge at the entrance of the Gorges de l’Ardèche gorge is about thirty-four meters high. Because the water of the river Ardèche is sometimes very high, the arch bridge has slowly worn out. Via a small footpath it is possible to look out over the area from the bridge. There is a small beach next to the bridge. The town of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is a well-visited tourist town with a number of shops and restaurants. Many sporting activities can be found from here, especially in the summer.
Several caves can be found within the Ardèche department, some of which are very special. The stalactite cave Aven d’Orgnac is one of them. This cave is located near the famous place Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Due to its deep and descending entrance, the inside has long been a well-kept secret. It was not entered by researchers until about 1935. In the deep shaft a so-called scree cone can be seen, which was formed by rubble and waste that ended up in the entrance every year. It even contains bones from Ice Age animals. Today this beautiful natural phenomenon can be admired in this Aven d’Orgnac cave. There is also a prehistoric museum at the entrance.
#3. Castle town Vögué
The little gem Vögué is built against a rock. It is definitely one of the most beautiful villages in France. The narrow medieval streets soon lead you to the castle from the sixteenth century. This beautiful castle still belongs to the wealthy noble family Vögué, who have owned it since 1603. The castle with its round towers is well preserved. Changing exhibitions are regularly held, including those of visual art.
#4. Gorges de l’Ardèche
This adventurous gorge is located in the south of the Ardèche. Several rock formations and coves adorn the quay along this eroded stretch of river. The most exciting way to explore this area is of course by canoe or kayak. There are therefore plenty of options to make this possible. Besides the various caves, the highlight of your tour is the beautiful natural arch bridge Pont d’Arc.
#5. Monts d’Ardèche
In the southwestern part of the Rhône-Alpes region in the Ardèche, there is a natural park of more than 180,000 hectares. Due to its enormous surface area, the areas and landscapes are very diverse. The highest mountain in this area measures about 1753 meters. You will find many chestnut trees, volcanoes, rivers and mills. There are several walking routes to follow.
farm In the town of Pierrelatte you will find a very special farm. Here you will find hundreds of crocodiles on just under eight thousand squares. The park is landscaped with a beautiful botanical garden and water features. There are also special giant tortoises to be discovered that come from the Seychelles.
The village of Soyons is located near the town of S. Péray. This small village was an important settlement, especially in prehistory and the Middle Ages. Several excavations have already revealed about 150,000 years of history. You can find a lot about this in the local museum ‘Musée Archéologique’. There is a Roman altar and remains from prehistoric times can be admired. Near this village you can also visit caves that were once inhabited by cavemen. These are the caves of ‘Trou du Renard’.
The many volcanic areas in the Ardèche are home to a number of carbonated springs. The water from these springs is said to have healing powers. Especially for digestion, gout, diabetes and much more, this water could have a beneficial effect. Some well-known sources in the Ardèche are: Vals-les-Bains / Neyrac-les-Bains and Saint-Laurent-les-Bains
#9. Forêt de l’Aventure of Jaujac
This park is all about discovering and experiencing. Like a real Tarzan you can meander through the woods here. A very marked trail leads you through this overwhelming piece of nature in the Ardèche. More than fifty-five activities are spread over a vast area. It is therefore very suitable for a day out with the whole family.
#10. Peaugres safari
park In this animal park you are really on an adventure. You can even drive your own car through areas of rhinoceros and black bears here. It is also possible to complete this tour leaning back in a bus. In addition to a separate area for animals such as crocodiles, reptiles, amphibians and insects, there is also a mega large aquarium. Here you will meet sea lions and penguins, among other things. You will find this park in the north of the Ardèche.