The Ardèche is definitely one of those ‘off the beaten track’ places to go in France.
If you enjoy the simple things in life – beautiful countryside, delicious home cooking, and friendly, down to earth people – Ardèche might be just the destination for you.
The landscape here is wild and unspoilt, perfect if you’re looking for places to go in France where you can have an active holiday, or if you love the outdoors.
And the great thing about the Ardèche is that you’ll find the sunshine, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere of Provence, but without the expensive price tag….so it’s a great destination if you’re looking for cheap vacation ideas.
How To Get To The Ardèche France
View Ardeche in a larger map
The southern part of Ardèche is the most popular place to visit. The spectacular ardeche gorge, carved out by erosion, is a favourite holiday spot; families, rock climbers and mountaineers enjoy coming here for kayaking trips and other activity holidays.
Central and northern Ardèche is in general much more quiet, but still with the same spectacular scenery – rugged mountains, gorges, chestnut and pine forests. And you’ll need to speak french more around here, too!
There are a number of charming medieval villages and hamlets dotted throughout the region – highlights include Balazuc and Vogüé, which has a 12th century chateau (see this website for more information).
And the food here is delicious. It’s not so much fine cuisine, but more countrystyle cooking, like red wine stews and casseroles. Don’t forget to try the local goat’s cheese, Picodon.
Ardèche is also famous for chestnuts so alot of the dishes will have something with chestnut in it (like candied chestnuts).
Love your wine? Wine is up and coming here, so you’ll drink well, too (for wine tasting and buying a few bottles, try the roadside Caveau de Cressol in Saint-Peray.)