SURROUNDING



A small selection of special activities in the Ardeche

Walk in Aiguèze



In Aiguèze you will find many places of interest to visit such as the round walk with its stunning panoramic view, the ancient lavoir the church of Saint-Roch, the renaissance gate, the ancient checkpoint, le donjon & the Sarrasine tower remains of the medieval fortress, the old hospital of the XVème century, the house of the Sculptor, the rock of Castelviel…

For more information please contact the local tourist office.

History of Aiguèze



Nowadays visitors experience Aiguèze as a peaceful, friendly village with its 200 inhabitants. So it is hard to imagine it’s violent war-torn past. In its splendour days, the population counted some 1000 inhabitants and 500 men at arms. During the 100 year war, around 1382, the population was reduced to only 9 living souls! All the houses were razed to the first floor, which explains the uniqueness of medieval ground floors with renaissance upper fronts.

Charles Martel founded around 732 the first stones of a fortress, after the battle of Poitiers, on the heights of a basin of rich water, «Aigo» in the Occitan language, where the village gets the name from.

The Sarrasine tower is one of the oldest monuments in Aiguèze, built to defend the frequent attacks from the arabo-berber tribes, « the Sarrasins », since the XI century.

In the '60s, the young family of the Ventajols had the great idea to reopen the vaults of the Sarrasine, which served in ancient times as a stable for noble’s horses. «L’Auberge Sarrasine», the restaurant which the family set up had a high reputation and was recommended all the way to Lyon!

Well, today Family Scheer breathes new life into the old stones.

Nature



The Gorges de l’Ardèche is made up of a series of gorges in the river and locally known as the “European Grand Canyon”. Most of the canyon is protected; it is governed by the Réserve Naturelle Gorges de l’Ardèche. The cliffs offer habitat to rare birds such as the Bonelli’s eagle.

The Pont d’Arc (French pont = bridge) is a large natural bridge, located in the Ardèche département in the south of France.

The mountains of the Ardèche and the Cévennes National Park. The only French national park in the low mountains, it is home to a significant permanent population and cultural heritage.

The Camargue, classified by UNESCO and a barefoot walk in the seawater in only a 2 hours by car!Les Sautadets de La Roque-Sur-CèzeLes Gorges du Gardon

Activities



The Ardeche is an ideal playground for those looking for an activity holiday – it offers kayaking, climbing, horse riding aplenty and much more besides…Swimming, (5 minutes walk)

Best city’s

Provence city’s

Provence marked scenic route, 30 km

Festivals

Caving

Climbing

Diving

Canoe, kayak

Canyoning

Crocodile farm in Pierrelatte

Gastronomy



Looking for the best restaurants in the South of France? There are 5 restaurants and cafe’s that cater for all tastes in Aiguèze! In our region, one can experience from simple «Bistronomie» up to Michelin star restaurants.

Aiguèze has 3 wine caves where you can tase the gorgeous “Côte du Rhone” right from the vineyards you are looking at! And that, without stepping to a car. The region has many famous vines, such as Tavel, Chateau Neuf du Pape..

From November through to March there are black truffles and white truffles during the summer months.

Gorgeous specialities from locally produced food can be enjoyed at the restaurants and at any of the numerous markets.

Caves and Grottos



La Grotte the Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche (50 km underground cave).In the heart of the ‘gorges de l’Ardèche’, the cave of Saint Marcel d’Ardèche will transport you in an enchanting universe. You will discover huge halls and amazing water basins, unique in Europe.

La Grotto de la MadeleineThe Madeleine Cave is situated at the heart of the Ardèche Canyon on the scenic road that overhangs the river Ardèche from Vallon Pont d’Arc to Saint Martin. The Madeleine Cave opened in 1969 and has since been awarded three stars by the famous Michelin Guide.

L’Espace de restitution de La Grotto Chauvet (advised Unesco-heritage site)The painted cave of Vallon Pont-d’Arc (known as Chauvet Cave) has exceptional universal value. It is a masterwork of human creative genius (a set of exceptional artwork whose age makes it very unique). It provides a unique account of a living civilisation (the first Homo sapiens civilisation in Europe).