OUR REGION - SOUTH ARDECHE

THE ARDECHE RIVER

Meandering through ravines and gorges with dizzyingly high cliff faces is the river Ardèche from which this region derives its name. Stretching some 35km long and with its 25 rapids, it is a paradise for the canoeist.

Quaint villages

In France the Ardèche has one of the highest density of hamlets and little villages, many of which proudly bear the label “Villages de Caractère” or “Villages Fleuris”, that’s to say, quaint and colourful villages where you can leisurely wander through old cobblestoned alleyways, like going back in time, in the ancient ways of life. A true photographer’s heaven.

Shopping

The township of Vallon Pont d’Arc attract many tourists from the region with its boutiques, terraces, bars and cafes. It’s touristy, bustling, and colourful. The Thursday street market is a very popular attraction, selling anything from bling to artisanal beer.

Impressive rocks

A short distance from Vallon Pont d’Arc a natural bridge over the river Ardeche was formed after eons of scouring by sand and water. It is about 66m high. Chances are that you may wish to hire a canoe and pass underneath this impressive natural rock formation.

Points of interest

The province Ardèche has1389 known deep underground caves, formed since the Jurassic and cretaceous eras. A good number of them are open to the public, such as Le Cave d’Orgnac, Cave de la Madeleine and Cave de Saint Marcel. The latter is some 80m deep and is still used to store barrels of wine. The most famous is the Caverne de Pont’d’Arc, proud of intricate man-made rock paintings estimated 36,000 years old.

GROSPIERRES

At the heart of the South Ardèche

DEPARTEMENT SOUTH OF GARD

Villa Tourasse is situated in the community of Grospierres, a village counting about 850 inhabitants. Up to about 80 years ago the main source of income was gained by growing silk worms, lavender and various stone fruit. It even had a railway station. Today the silk industry has long gone, and most lavender fields have been replaced by large vineyards. And the railway station is closed but is now the venue of the weekly “brocante” or flea market.

Grospierres lies within a reasonable close drive from Uzes, Nîmes, Orange, Avignon and Montpellier, each one rich with history dating back to the Roman Empire

Free of use

Tennis

Whitewater gorges

Canoeing

Climbing park nearby

Survival

Very nearby

Hiking

Golf courses

Golf

Illuminated course

Petanque

Discorer caves

Caving

Also for kids

Quad driving

Fly like a bird

Hang gliding

THE RIGHT PLACE TO PUT YOUR FEET UP

Of course your can stay put and dig into with the pile of books you brought. Or just soak up the sun around the swimming pool.

In Vallon pont d'Arc is bustling with boutiques and full of life. Les Vans prides itself of the best open market of the region. Labeaume, Vogüé, Ballazuc, Rochecolombe, picturesque as each is, a photographer’s paradise.

'GOUTEZ L'ARDECHE'

FOR THE GOURMET

The Ardèche offers fruit in abundance, especially stone fruit; “Picodon” for the lovers of goat cheese, and “Caillettes”, “Saucisson” and “Terroir” are dried meat based tasty local specialities. Wine lovers find no shortage of choice – merlot, chatus, chasselas, viognier, grenache, are good and very affordable local wines.

Playing hard or playing cool?

Whether you like sporty activities, or just a relaxing holiday, this corner of the Ardèche offers near unlimited scope for all sorts. And then there is the sight-seeing - quaint villages, impressive landscapes, or prehistoric caves such as the Caverne de Pont d’Arc, a replica of the largest man-decorated cave in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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