Boost your wellbeing in fresh air in wide open spaces

Here the peaks are mostly ancient volcanoes known as sucs.  Walk amongst them on the GR7 or along the open-air artist’s trail that follows the Watershed Line – Le Partage des Eaux.  Or explore the landscape on skis from fully equipped snow resorts such as La Croix de Bauzon or La Chavade, the Suc du Pal or Montivernoux.  The water here is rich, pure and transparent, whether underground on in the department’s many lakes. Thanks to this remarkable geology, the Monts d’Ardeche has been awarded Geoparc status by UNESCO. 

©M.Dupont-ADT07

Did you know?

The Loire begins at the foot of one of the highest peaks, Mont Gerbier de Jonc, close to the Mézenc massif which is famous for its 360° views.

Geologist experience in the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d’Ardeche

The Ardeche mountains make up the major part of the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d’Ardeche, created in 2001 and comprising 152 communes and 78,600 residents across 228,000 hectares.  The result of a community project designed to protect and harmoniously develop the area, it embraces quality agricultural products, landscape preservation, and sustainable tourism. Local architecture also reveals the history of the Ardeche mountains: dry stone terraces, Romanesque churches and feudal castles, silk weaving mills, paper mills and tanneries. 

The natural environment is exceptional too with remarkable diversity and a variety of agriculture that produces some unique flavours.  Around 300 farms are certified organic – herds of prized cattle producing Fin Gras du Mezenc beef; blueberries; chestnuts, and even vines and olive trees in the south. 
And whether you are an experienced or novice geologist, you will find UNESCO-listed gems spanning every era across more than 550 million years.
The Monts d’Ardeche Geoparc includes almost 60 ‘geosites’ accessible to visitors. 

Therapy, wellbeing, and revitalisation at three thermal spas

Treat your body to the therapeutic properties of Ardèche’s thermal waters at the spa towns of Saint-Laurent-les-Bains, Vals-les-Bains and Neyrac-les-Bains. 

The three spa resorts also offer a full range of wellbeing and relaxation treatments such as warm baths, massage, sauna, and hammam.  All guaranteed to leave you feeling fresh, chilled out, and all the more ready to enjoy the attractions of Ardèche. 

Mineral Waters from Ardeche

Ardeche is one of the richest in France for mineral water: 

  • Vals from Vals les Bains.  Recognised since 1602, it is soft and light with fine bubbles and properties that are both rehydrating and thirst-quenching. 
  • Chantemerle and Ventadour, both from the Pestrin Spring at Meyras-Neyrac les Bains. 
  • Reine des Basaltes, a naturally gassy water from Asperjoc, rich in bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium. 
  • Vernet, a light water with low mineral and salt content from Prades. 
  • Arcens, slowly filtered through the volcanic rocks of Mont Mezenc and Gerbier de Jonc is thirst-quenching and rich in bicarbonate. 
  • Grande Source du Volcan gushes from the foot of the Aizac volcano in the Ardeche Cevennes, and is sparkling with a low mineral and salt content. 
Saint-Laurent-les-bains, in spring
“Chantemerle” and “Ventadour” two of the mineral waters of Ardèche
Woman relaxing at the Séquoia Redwood Spa in Vals-les-Bains
Couple practicing dog sledding activity at La Chavade in a snow-covered landscape.
©M.Dupont-ADT07

Total chill out amongst the Ardeche mountains at the source of the Loire

Take a weekend or midweek break to discover winter activities with Nordic dogs. 

Imagine setting out across a blanket of pristine snow on a sledge pulled by dogs.  No snow?  No worries.   Strap on the harness and let these exceptional running dogs pull you along on a unique journey through meadows and woodland.   

What are the roads like in Ardeche?

Ardeche is made up of numerous valleys of varying depths, which means you find many narrow winding roads and some small passes to negotiate in order to move from one valley to another.  But once you arrive in the mountain area, you are on a vast plateau with roads that are significantly wider and straighter.  In Ardeche, it is better to count time rather than kilometres, so ask for information from locals and tourist offices before you set out. 

Where can you buy good local produce in Ardeche?

You will find plenty of boutiques run by local producers as well as farm shops and craft workshopsLook out for the Goûtez l’Ardèche label (Taste the Ardèche) which has been running for 30 yearsIt includes more than 700 carefully selected products that guarantee the origin of raw materials, expertise of production, and taste quality.  

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