Crussol castle back to the Middle Ages

Château de Crussol – outdoor playground for wannabe knights 

Just 5 minutes from Valence and an hour from Lyon, the ruins of the 12th century Château de Crussol stand on a rocky promontory in one of the most beautiful spots along the Rhône Valley.  And the castle is the perfect location for a family day out.   Why?  Here are two good reasons:

First – the way up to the castle is a golden opportunity to start your kids exploring (and tire them out at the same time) 

This medieval gem is well worth the effort.   You will need to wear sturdy shoes, but don’t let that put you off.  There are three ways to get there, so pick your favourite: 

  • Set off from the castle car park for the 20-minute walk to the summit; 
  • Leave from the Rhône Crussol Tourist Office for the 40-minute walk; 
  • Follow the footpath marked ‘Crussol: a mountain packed with history’ that circles the Crussol massif and takes 3 hours to reach the top. 

Once you arrive at the summit, you can explore the castle ruins on your own free of charge at any time of year.  Catch your breath as you take in the view and inhale the clean air whilst enjoy a panorama across the Rhone Valley to the Vercors and the vineyards of Saint-Peray and Cornas.  Between spring and autumn, you can also take advantage of guided tours to discover more about the castle (1h30m tour; 2€ for under-14s, 6€ above). 

©J.Delmarty-Departement_de_Ardeche-ADT07

Did you know?

The site hosts the annual Crussol Festival with music for all agesIt recently won first price in the Heavent Festival Awards in the Green Festival category in recognition of its sustainability policy.

Second: Discover the wildlife and plants of the Crussol massif 

Not only reknowned for its rich history and heritage, the Crussol massif is also home to a varied natural environment.  So take your binoculars and camera, and keep your eyes open.  What better than some quiet time to end your busy day? 

Occelled Lizard

If you are patient, you might catch a glimpse of a Eurasian eagle owl, a Short-toed eagle, or a Black kite.  But look too at your immediate surroundings.   The Crussol massif is home to almost 40 species of wild orchids that flower between May and June – a magical sight for anyone who loves nature. 

Orchid in spring
©A.Renaud-Goud-ADT07

A protected natural area

You can easily see that this site is exceptional in more ways than one and that local authorities are well aware of its importance.  That is why the massif is classified Natura 2000 and is considered a Sensitive Natural Area with one aim – to preserve the environment whilst still leaving it open to the public. 

 At the end of a day at the Château de Crussol, you may already be tired, but if your kids are still wanting more, don’t worry.  There is more to enjoy. 

Prepare and book my stay around Crussol Castle

Can you visit Crussol Castle?

The castle ruins are open to visitors all year round, free of charge, with guided visits available from spring onwards.   Or maybe try a themed Segway tour or vineyard visit.  

Are the Soyons caves open to the public?

The site includes prehistoric grottoes with stalagmites and stalactites, as well as an archaeological museum.   The caves are open from April to October with admission by guided tour only (15-minute walk to the entrance).   The museum in the village centre is open for self-guided visits.

Can you taste and buy wine from the Maison des Vins et du Tourisme?

CertainlyExpect a choice of 8 wines for tasting and 50 for sale. 

Open. Farm in 19h00
2 rue de la République
07130 Saint-Péray
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