Villages of Ardèche south France
SOUTHERN ARDECHE FRANCE
Old province of Vivarais country, Ardeche offers many wonderfull landscapes.
The district is covered in half of its territory by forests where it is pleasent to take a hike with a temperate climate in the north while the south offers mild temperatures characteristic of the Mediterranean where the olive trees are exposed.
During your stay in Ardeche, you can visit many touristics sites all located in the south.
The gorges of the Ardèche open you to the amazing landscapes of its natural reserve mix of “garrigue” and vertiginous rocks.
The famous medieval villages like “Joyeuse”, its museum of the chestnut grove and the gorges of Labeaume; Saint-Alban-Auriolles and his dolmen, Balazuc, Saint-Montan …
The natural curiosities such as the famous Chauvet cave in the valley of the “Pont d’Arc”, the Aven d’Orgnac and all the megalithic sites (over 750) along the paths.
Cultural tourism is not left out with the Romanesque churches of Larnas and Bourg-Saint-Andéol Visit Viviers and its cathedral or the castles of Largentière, Vogüé and Labastide de Virac. Try the Aluna festival in Ruoms, a big pop-rock musical event that enjoy visitors with an hight quality programming, one of the most important in the South of France.
ARDECHE CITIES & VILLAGES
Famous villages and cities in the Vivarais Cevennes country and in the southern Vivarais country
The country of Les Vans, a territory that offers a multitude of small villages, lined with beautiful chestnut forests or attached to the cliffs, overlooking the Chassezac valley.
This country, by its geological curiosities, offers your a mosaic of landscapes alternating reliefs of the Cevennes mountains and Mediterranean landscapes.
It includes small hamlets joined by paths. It is the country of hikers and sportsmen but also more gentle walks on the trails that connect the hamlets.
All these villages are less than one hour from your campsite proudly displaying their heritage.
From 5 to 15mn campsite
At altitude of 289m, this Ardèche village offers a distant panoramic view at the crossroads of the “Monts de l’Ardèche” (moutains) natural park and the “Cévennes” national park.
With magnificent buildings, its remarkable architecture, remains of the splendor of the village in the seventeenth century. Indeed, thanks to the cultivation of the mulberry tree for the business of the silkworm, Les Vans acquired a beautiful prosperity with its four mills. The beautiful homes of the historic center are a testimonial of this success.
In 1900, thanks to a worldwide subscription, two monumental statues were made by Alfred Boucher, in honor of Louis Ollier, father of orthopedics and surgical repair, native of the city. One of them still sits at “Place de Graves”. The other, who was in Lyon, was stlolen by the Germans during the war.
The 17th century church of Saint Pierre houses a magnificent baroque wooden altarpiece and a bell tower with four bells, the largest of which weighs more than a ton. The Protestant temple, flanked by its remarkable columns testifies to the very Protestant past of the city. Finally, three museums allow to better know the history of the Vans, the museum of France René Evesque (archeology, geology, local tradition), the museum Léopold Ollier and the house of the olive tree.
To visit also: the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (eighteenth, nineteenth), the castle of Saumès (sixteenth) and the beautiful door decorated with the coat of arms of the family of Chanaleille. Visit the megalithic bridge.
Only 2 km from the Vans, in addition to its narrow streets lined with beautiful stone houses, the village Chambonas has an exceptional historical heritage.
A magnificent castle flanked by five round towers capped with their glazed roofs that you can see through the entrance gate.
A church, which was built, thanks to the important resources of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Gilles. Chambonas is an important step on the way of pilgrimages towards the “Massif Central” mountain chain.
Finally the Bridge of Chambonas which is the largest medieval bridge in Ardeche, impressive with its five arches supported by massive pillars.
The museum of the pig, in the hamlet Les Sielves 5 kms from Chambonas, is dedicated entirely to homage to this friendly animal : popular arts, cinema, various objects, mythology. There is also a small animal park where your children will enjoy the traditional animals of the farm.
Integrated in the town of Vans, this peaceful village is magnified by the splendid landscape of the Chassezac gorges. Above it, the Bois de Païolive (forest).
The gray houses of the village, in the shadow of the Ermitage Saint Eugene, a beautiful castle, a lord in 1652, restored from the ruins of an old hermitage. Today, the hermitage has regained the splendor of yesteryear thanks to a recent restoration. The proximity of Païolive wood, is an opportunity to have beautiful walks in the garrigue of the “plateau des grads”.
In the north of the “Cévennes” national park, Gravières is a natural border between two types of landscapes: the Mediterranean and the mountains. This village is dominated by a rocky bar, 945 m high: the “Serre de Barre”.
With its amazing landscapes, Gravières will amaze you with the beauty of the architecture of its houses, built solidly on sandstone rubble. Dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. They are witnesses of the prosperity of the village when the inhabitants produced the silkworm, which is very important to the textile sectors. At the heart of the village, admire the church of Saint Victor (12th century), decorated with many sculptures, down below, the bridge that spans the Chassezac which offers beautiful small beaches.
The village of Brahic is part of the town Les Vans although it is the most extensive with 7 hamlets: The Anglies, Vénissac, Coste, Perrier, Murjas, Martrimas, La Parde. It is located on the southern flank of the Serre de Barre, culminating at 909m altitude, 6.5 km from Les Vans.
Enter the village by shale porches, usually narrow, to wander through the streets that climb to the top of the village offering a nice view of all the valleys.
In the heart, the church of the 12th century, flanked by its bell tower, faces an old manor house with a big square tower.
Villages of Ardeche, charming villages to visit just a few kilometers from your campsite.
The old villages around the town Les Vans:
The Assions, Chassagnes, Naves, Gravières, Brahic, Bannes, Berrias and Castelljau
Between 15 and 30 minutes from the campsite
Nice villages to visit :Malarce on Thinnes, Saint-Pierre-le Dechausselat-Saint Jean, Saint-André de Cruzière, Labeaume, Chassiers, Vinezac
Near your camping Castanhada:
Typical villages :
Et bien d’autres…
Other nice sites :
Liloo, les plantes Epiphytes
the MOULIN de Vincent (MILL) and its olive grove
The Bamboo plantation of Anduze