The Ardèche has it all - mountains, high plateaus, rivers and lush, fruit-laden valleys, which provide the perfect base for biking, hiking, climbing and watersports.
From the Cévennes National Park in the west to the Plateau des Gras in the far south-east the area is tranquil and sparsely populated, it's a real hidden gem. The valley of the Ardèche River, a tributary of the Rhône, is particularly scenic. The 30 km section known as the Ardèche Gorges, France 'Grand Canyon', is lined by high limestone cliffs, and features vertiginous, plunging gorges. The picture perfect Pont d'Arc (arch bridge) is a hot spot for canoeing or kayaking. The gorges and its 25 rapids makes this stretch of river is a must for canoeists, kayakers and white water rafters. The Bois de Païolive, near Le Vans in the Cevennes Ardéchoises is an incredible primeval forest of white oaks and odd petrified rock shapes, perfect for discovering on foot. The Ardèche is a hilly and rugged region making it superb for mountain biking. There are hundreds of kilometres of mapped mountain biking trails with the area around Vallon Pont d'Arc being particularly popular. Road cycling is also big here - the winding valley roads and the off-the-beaten track climbs are great for a tranquil ride.
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