VARIED LANDSCAPES, RICH CULTURE, PEOPLE TO MEET AND MORE
The Ardèche is known for its richly diverse culture and varied landscapes, where there's something for everyone:
- "Nature" outings: you can explore the Pilat natural park (www.parc-naturel-pilat.fr), the Vercors natural park (www.parc-du-vercors.fr) and the Monts Ardéchois regional natural park (www.parc-monts-ardeche.fr) – all are less than an hour's drive away; 30 minutes away there is the Ile de la Platière nature reserve (www.ile.platiere.reserves-naturelles.org)
- Must-see attractions: La Cité du Chocolat - Valrhona in Tain l’Hermitage (www.citeduchocolat.com), Peaugres Safari Park (www.safari-peaugres.com), Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace (www.facteurcheval.com), the Still Museum (www.jeangauthier.com) and the Vélorail of the Gorges du Doux (www.velorailardeche.com)
- Original excursions: La boîte à Gromolls, a traditional leathercraft workshop in Tournon, the “discovery walk of mushrooms” in Lalouvesc, the medevial feast in Désaignes, …
- "Relaxation and sport" outings: Devesset Lake( www.lac-de-devesset.fr), St Pierre de Boeuf fast-water area (www.espaceeauvive.com), the motor sports paradise in Rochepaule (http://centretoutterrain.free.fr), Accro-branchés ® recreational tree climbing in Annonay and the Ardèche relaxation and leisure centre at Saint-Victor (www.ardechedetenteloisirs.fr)
- "Gourmet" moments: St Péray sparkling wine and crispy copeaux, St Félicien soft curds, Teyssier ham in Saint-Agrève, the Chestnut farm in Lamastre
- Our favourites: Monsieur Julien's dairy farm, the museum of leather and vellum in Annonay, Monsieur Lionneton's caillettes and Cornas wine, to name but a few.
Then too, there's the castle museum at Tournon sur Rhône (www.ville-tournon.com) and Annonay, the home town of hot air balloons and Canson paper.
And of course the Ardéchoise, the biggest cyclotourism event in Europe at the end of June.
The verdant Ardèche is a walker's, cyclist's and horse-rider's paradise, and we have several files' worth of guides available plus information about fishing areas in the vicinity.