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Ardèche: Relaxation and Fun | Insight Guides Blog

Ardèche: Relaxation and Fun

Ardeche river in France
Ardeche river in France

The southern Ardèche is a part of France that many summer holidaymakers will love because there is so much to do here.

Enjoy picnics at the river’s edge and relaxing in the afternoon sun for hours – head to Mazet Plage, Cornillon or Cholet or seek out some of lesser well-known spots such as La Brique en Bois and Les Eynnes. A visit to the Ardèche is also the occasion to try delicious local products such as goat’s cheese or chestnut cream.

The more active holidaymaker will also enjoy the endless leisure activities on offer in the area. Firstly, it’s a great place to go hiking; there are lots of paths that showcase the wonderful mountainous landscape and the more adventurous can hike to the top of the Serre de Barre at night and wait to catch the sun rise. Many companies also offer canoe hire on both the Ardèche and Chassezac rivers where you can take the opportunity to discover the Gorges de l’Ardèche and to pass under the famous bridge - Pont d’Arc, or simply enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the Chassezac.

Pont d'Arc

For daytrips, there are many lovely, typical villages such as Naves or Brahic that were constructed out of stone and are worth a visit. Many of these towns and villages of the Ardèche also offer festive events. The festival Ard’Afrique gives an important place to African culture during five days in August thanks to concerts and markets in Les Vans. Many villages also organise fireworks for France’s Bastille Day celebrations on July, 14th. Note that the celebrations in Les Vans take place a day earlier. It is not the most famous in the area but as the town is at the bottom of the mountain it has the advantage that you can climb to a higher point  to get a great view. Parties called fêtes votives also take place each weekend in a different village with DJs playing music and people can dance or try the typical drink: the marquisette.