Holidays in the Ardèche are a colourful experience! From the vivid blue of its Gorges to the deep green of its forests, this destination packed with surprises is a sanctuary for all those who love the great outdoors. Book your place at a Sandaya campsite now and discover our top 8 unmissable visits in the Ardèche.
Camping in the Gorges de l’Ardèche: let the adventure begin!
The Ardèche is a land of never-ending discoveries that will not fail to satisfy your hunger for adventure. With as many activities as there are landscapes, it is a delight for outdoor sports enthusiasts, those who love regional culture and history buffs. So what is there to do in the Ardèche? Start by treating yourself and get back to basics... at the water's edge!
Overlooking the famous Gorges de l’Ardèche, your Sandaya campsite offers you a front row seat for admiring the treasures of the Ardèche. On site, a water park, spa, leisure activities galore and accommodation for all the family welcome you as soon as the sunny weather returns. Once you've made your booking, get the most out of your stay with the help of our essential list of the top 8 places to visit in the Ardèche!
1. Canoe down the Gorges de l’Ardèche
Not surprisingly, the magnificent Gorges de l’Ardèche take first place! Famed as being "the most beautiful gorges in Europe", their 22 km long canyon through which the crystal-clear river flows offers a wealth of adventures with the family. Explore the gorges from a canoe, admire the cliffs sometimes up to 250m high, and sail beneath the emblematic Pont-d'Arc in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. On the riverbanks, opt for a hike and discover the luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation: more than a thousand plant species populate this large nature reserve!
2. Travel back in time at the Chauvet 2 cave
Not far from the famous Pont d'Arc, the Chauvet cave is the oldest decorated cave in the world. It is Chauvet 2, the replica of this listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, that you will have the pleasure of visiting just a few minutes from the campsite. With hundreds of paintings and engravings dating back 36,000 years, prepare yourself for an exceptional immersive journey through the Palaeolithic era!
3. Immerse yourself in the origins of the world at the Orgnac cave “Grand Site”
Just 20 minutes from Chauvet cave you will find the Aven d'Orgnac cave, listed as a "Grand Site de France". More than 100 m below ground, you will discover amazing concretions that create this genuine underground cathedral. The sound and light show is a great way to round off the visit! The most inquisitive visitors will be able to continue their adventure at the Cité de la Préhistoire, awarded the label of "Musée de France", with its remains dating back 350,000 years before our era.
4. Take a trip on the Train de l’Ardèche and its rail bikes
Return to the present-day and continue your adventure aboard the legendary Ardèche steam train. In Saint-Jean-de-Murols, you will be able to climb aboard its century-old locomotives and enjoy a wonderful journey back in time. But that's not all! You can also opt for a return trip on a rail bike, a pedal-powered car that runs along the iconic railway line. Running through tunnels, over viaducts and through clearings, this fun activity open to all also offers a stunning view over the Gorges du Doux!
5. Admire the greatness of the Ray Pic waterfall
Head for Péreyres in the centre of the region for a day of hiking in the Monts d'Ardèche! This is where you will find the impressive 60-metre high Ray Pic waterfall. Start by taking in the scene at the panoramic viewpoint and then make your way to the car park and follow a path that leads you through the forest. It is a 15-minute walk to the very last panoramic viewpoint near the water's edge. Although swimming is not allowed, the sight is absolutely amazing!
6. Meet the brown bears at Peaugres Safari
If you are visiting the Ardèche with the family, take your children on an amazing adventure to Peaugres Safari, the largest animal park in the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region. Located near Annonay, its 80 hectares of preserved natural environment are home to some 900 animals, ranging from big cats from the Savannah to brown bears from North America. In addition to the walking tour, it is also possible for you to take your own car or camper van on a real-life safari experience. Two hours will be enough for you to make the connection between Africa and America!
7. Explore the amazing Païolive Wood
Time for a change of scenery in the heart of the Païolive Wood near Banne, an amazing geological curiosity in the Ardèche. This strange forest is in fact the site of a blockfield of petrified rocks with enigmatic shapes... On foot or by mountain bike, set out on the most unusual of paths through oak forests, the Gorges de Chassezac and limestone sculptures.
8. Stroll around the most beautiful villages in the Ardèche
It is impossible to choose just one of them! The Ardèche has no fewer than 21 villages that have been awarded the title of "Villages de caractère". Alba-la-Romaine, in the south-east of the department, was founded more than 2,000 years ago at the foot of the Coiron massif. Not to be missed: its Gallo-Roman theatre and its medieval castle overlooking the rooftops!
Just a few minutes away, visit Vogüé, recognised as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France". Its medieval streets, with Rue des Puces and Rue des Balcons in first place, are a paradise for those who enjoy exploring, and its beach on the Ardèche river is perfect if you want to cool down in the summer.
Finally, the highlight of it all: on the border between the Ardèche and the Gard, discover the picturesque village of Banne and its dolmens dating back 27 thousand years!