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As Jean Ferrat said in his song, "the mountain is so beautiful". And to enjoy the mountains, what's better than to visit Ardèche. Whatever the season, you will not fail to find something you like in this department. Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the department has a large natural variety from north to south: Haut-Vivarais has a moderately mountainous terrain, the Bas-Vivarais, rich in groundwater has seen its limestone soil dug into gorges or caves, the Middle Vivarais and the Coiron plateau lie between the two, while the Shore is a narrow plain with rich geology. These geological and fluvial variations have led to a diversification and a natural wealth: in Ardèche, the forest is present in half of the territory. And to ensure a comfortable accommodation, take advantage of our Airotel campsites. Here are two of the most beautiful destinations in Ardèche: Gorges de l'Ardèche and Vallon Pont d'Arc - Chauvet Cave.
A canyon of more than thirty kilometers in length, the Gorges de l'Ardèche start in the limestone plateau of Pont-d'Arc, and end at Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche. They delimit the departments of Ardèche and Gard. They were formed by the passage of the river in the limestone plateau. Moreover, the water that has flowed there has left a fairly impressive vestige: the Pont d'Arc.
In garrigue, the surrounding space lets the water through the ground, which through infiltration has created an underground network of rich water, which you can admire in the many caves and sinkholes: the avenues of Marzal, Orgnac, Chauvet Cave, Saint-Marcel and Madeleine. To facilitate the access of tourists to the Gorges, the Gorges de l'Arèche Tourist Route was created in 1969: its eleven belvederes allow to have a breathtaking view of all the gorges. Moreover, if you go there, you will be able to observe the Natural Reserve and its exceptional fauna and flora: eagle of Bonelli, dwarf iris, juniper of Phenicia, asplenium, biscutelle...
If you now want to be in the heart of the action, there's nothing like going through the gorges from the inside, by boat, by stand-up paddle or by canoe kayak for 30 km. If necessary, prepare your luggage for the night: two bivouac areas are there to allow you to rest or sleep. Other options are hiking and other activities, including a scooter ride.
The Vallon Pont d'Arc and the Chauvet Cave are two flagship destinations of cave art. The Chauvet Cave, discovered in 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet holds no less than a thousand paintings and engravings. Hailing its exceptional character, UNESCO has classified it as World Heritage since 2014. In order to preserve it, the cave is not open to the public. On the other hand, a faithful representation is at Vallon Pont d'Arc. So, if you want to combine culture, history, and fun, visit the Gorge of the Ardèche. Your trip will be more memorable.