All you need to know about the Ardèche Gorges

It’s time for adventure! Discover the Gorges de l’Ardèche: a spectacular natural gem, perfect for a getaway full of fun and natural beauty. Embark on this unforgettable experience!

The Ardèche and its Gorges

Discover the Gorges de l’Ardèche, a natural jewel classified as a Nature Reserve since 1980. Stretching over 30 kilometers, this spectacular canyon, shaped over 110 million years, is not only a site of breathtaking beauty, but also a biodiversity sanctuary. The diversity of its flora and fauna, including Egyptian vultures, peregrine falcons, Bonelli’s eagles, rock swallows and mammals such as beavers and otters, makes it a site of major ecological interest. Wildlife enthusiasts will be captivated by the presence of rare species such as the asp viper, the ocellated lizard, the spotted salamander, and unique trees such as the Phoenician juniper.

The Ardèche Gorges are a must-see destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Offering a variety of ways to explore them – by canoe, kayak, on foot, mountain bike, or by car via the D290 road, which offers breathtaking views of the canyon – each means of discovery promises a memorable and immersive experience. Canoeing or kayaking down the gorges is particularly popular, offering a unique perspective on this grandiose landscape.

The famous Pont-d'Arc

Discover the Pont d’Arc, an exceptional natural monument and spectacular landmark of the Ardèche, just 5 kilometers from Vallon Pont d’Arc. This 60-metre-high natural arch, which majestically spans the River Ardèche, is not only a symbolic starting point for exploring the famous Ardèche Gorges, but also a site of great historical and natural importance.

Classified as a protected natural area, the Pont d’Arc is closely linked to the ornate cave of Pont d’Arc, better known as the Chauvet cave. Overlooking the gorges, this cave, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2014, is considered the “first great masterpiece of mankind”, marking the Pont d’Arc as a crucial site for understanding prehistory and a tourist mecca.

The Pont d’Arc site offers a breathtaking view of the arch and the river, and has been specially designed to make this jewel of the South Ardèche and Cévennes more accessible. In high season, a shuttle bus runs between the site and the Pont d’Arc-Ardèche tourist office, providing easy access for all visitors.

The arch, formed some 124,000 years ago by river erosion of the Ardèche, is impressive in its dimensions: 54 metres high and 60 metres wide. To admire this natural monument, there are sunken beaches and a lookout point set back from the road. Pont d’Arc is often referred to asthe “natural gateway” to the Ardèche Gorges, and is generally considered to be the starting point for the gorges, which extend as far as Saint Martin d’Ardèche.

During a canoeing trip down the Ardèche river from Vallon Pont d’Arc, you’ll have the unique opportunity to pass under this majestic natural arch, an unforgettable experience for nature and adventure lovers. A visit to Pont d’Arc means plunging into the heart of an exceptional natural and historical heritage, offering a window on humanity’s prehistoric past while enjoying breathtaking scenery.

Medieval villages of character

As well as water-based activities, the Ardèche Gorges invite you to explore charming medieval villages and discover the region’s cultural and historical heritage. Visitors can bathe in the crystal-clear waters of the gorges, and discover historical treasures such as the famous Chauvet caves.

Discover the characterful villages of the Ardèche, hidden perched gems that have been bathed in sunshine for generations. These villages, with their medieval souls and authentic hearts, proudly celebrate their traditions. Spread out from north to south in the Ardèche, these 21 emblematic villages are united by a quality charter and proudly bear the ‘Village de caractère’ label. They invite you to discover their know-how and dynamism, seducing visitors with their architectural wealth and cultural heritage.

Grotte Chauvet 2

Grotte Chauvet, also known as Grotte de la Combe d’Arc, is a global Paleolithic treasure, dating back over 30,000 years. Home to remarkable illustrations of animals in carved or painted form, this cave offers an invaluable insight into ancient art and human history.

Although access to the original cave is restricted to preserve its integrity, an exact replica, Grotte Chauvet 2, has been created. Opened in April 2015, located near Vallon Pont d’Arc, it represents the world’s largest restitution site. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Grotte Chauvet 2 offers visitors a unique immersive experience, enabling them to discover the prehistoric masterpieces of the original cave in an exceptional setting.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top