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The Ardèche Gorges

The Gorges de l'Ardèche and the Pont d'Arc are one of the most remarkable natural sites in Europe. Breathtaking landscapes, vertiginous viewpoints, a grandiose environment, to be discovered on foot, by car, or on the water!

The Gorges de l'Ardèche are an unmissable place, a natural site of great beauty, in a particularly preserved environment. Lovers of nature activities, escape  or simple discovery will be won over by the Gorges de l'Ardèche.

On the 29 km that separate Vallon Pont d'Arc from Saint-Martin d'Ardèche, a panoramic road runs along the Gorges de l'Ardèche and more precisely the Nature Reserve. Eleven belvederes have been developed by the Department of Ardèche. They allow you to discover the Gorges de l'Ardèche with remarkable panoramas.

The tourist route des Ardeche Gorges  has existed since 1969. You will certainly come across goats from the Gorges there. They live in the wild and come from Gaud's old farm located in the heart of the Nature Reserve, near the river. There are at least 80 of them. When taking the Route des Gorges, don't forget to stop at the Maison de la Réserve. Located at the entrance to la cave of the Madeleine, the site offers a permanent exhibition to understand the challenges of preservation, the formation of the Gorges with playful models (free visit). Outside, a belvedere offers a superb view of the Gorges de l'Ardèche and its famous cathedral rock.

The Pont d'Arc is un natural bridge, located in the south of the France en Ardeche, 5 km from the city de Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. The bridge has a length of 59 m  for a height of 54 m and was cut by the Ardèche river. It is a famous place des canoeists, because they can pass under and even touch the rock. It is nicknamed the "natural gateway" des Ardèche gorges.




The Ardèche Gorges by Canoe

If you only have to do one canoe descent in your life, it's definitely the Gorges de l'Ardèche, both the sight is spectacular and the environment remarkable.
The descent of the Gorges de l'Ardèche by canoe or kayak is accessible provided you respect a few prerequisites: Be in good physical condition, know how to swim, respect the safety instructions and ensure that the conditions for descent of the Gorges are good .

Upstream of the Gorges de l'Ardèche, many service providers rent canoes or kayaks and take care of picking you up at the end of your descent.

The descent of the Gorges de l'Ardèche takes about thirty kilometers, in one or two days.
Two bivouac areas exist and allow you to “camp” in the middle of the Ardèche Gorges, knowing that wild camping (outside these areas) is strictly prohibited.

Even if the water of the Ardèche is often calm and clear, the Gorges de l'Ardèche have no less than fifteen rapids, hence the importance of not leaving your life jacket.

Ardèche Gorges Nature Reserve

The nature reserve of the Gorges de l'Ardèche extends over more than 1500 hectares, and protects a particularly rich fauna and flora. The flora of the Gorges de l'Ardèche includes several species of willows, junipers, and rare flowers such as the horned poppy.
Among the animals that have taken up residence near  the Gorges de l'Ardèche, we find the Bonelli's Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon, the Egyptian Vulture, the Beaver, the Genette, the Webbed Newt, the Salamander spotted, the eel…


Hike in the Ardèche Gorges

The course of the Gorges de l'Ardèche on foot is less known than the descent by canoe but it is not lacking in interest, on the contrary. The hike can be done in two days, spending one night in one of the two bivouacs. A marked path runs through the Gorges between Charmes and Sauze, with a few fords (check the water level before setting off).

Sports hikers will be able to swallow the Gorges de l'Ardèche hike in about ten hours, but this requires some training.

The Ardèche Gorges by car

The Gorges de l'Ardèche tourist route offers beautiful views,  from the heights of the north bank of the Ardèche. It runs through scrubland and rocks between Vallon-Pont-d'Arc and Saint-Martin d'Ardèche.
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