During millennia, nature has shaped this spectacular landscape that we explore today at our own pace and to our liking. Nature lovers and sporty people immerse themselves in many ways in this setting of unspoilt and captivating nature.
Different routes on the river
Canoeing is definitely the most popular way. From April to October, canoe rental companies in Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche organize the descent, including shuttle transport to the starting point of the route.
Hot tip: upon your arrival there will be no waiting to catch a return bus.
You get back to your car and belongings right away.
Descents of 24 to 70 km on 1, 2 or even 3 days with overnight stops at one of the two bivouacs in the heart of the nature reserve are possible.
This whitewater course is one of the few in Europe accessible to fit and strong swimmers without any previous canoë skills.
The 32 and 24 km courses can be done in one day. For families with kids, between 7 and 12 years are allowed to sit in the middle (ability to swim is essential), we recommend the 24 km course. But to truly immerse yourself in this unique atmosphere and explore the nature reserve, you rather should plan 2 days. A night at the bivouac surrounded by unspoilt and pure nature will become an unforgettable memory. In the evening and early morning, you will experience a kind of “alone in the world” feeling. Take your time, get off the beaten tracks, let go the crowd ahead and the nature reserve will be yours.
Families and curious beginners who just want to experience the gorge in small doses before attempting “the great adventure” can fully enjoy the atmosphere on an upstream canoë trip leaving from Sauze beach. Stop for water fun and a picnic. After a lazy break take the same way back.
Qualified river guides accompany families and groups to add an educational note to the trip and provide 100% safety.
And to be trendy, practice Stand Up Paddle at the end of the Gorge in Sauze.
More quiet visitors will appreciate a pedalo ride on fancy or traditional boats under the impressive fortress of Aiguèze.
Hiking along the river…
If you prefer to be near the river instead of being in it you can go for leisurely strolls or adventurous hikes.
Experienced hikers cross the canyon during two days with an overnight stop in the middle at bivouac Gournier. Designated loop trails lead you into the canyon.
Very young hikers and their families may just find out what the gorge looks like by a short forth and back adventure walk leaving from the beach in Sauze.
A hiking guide book “Masterpiece of time” provides you with all the necessary information whether you walk in the canyon or the surrounding area following one of the 84 km of designated trails. Families and sporty thrill seekers will select their must-do hikes.
View from the top
A scenic road with eleven balcony viewpoints runs along the river providing striking and dramatic vistas. Start your drive in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc and follow the twists and turns of the Ardèche River.To savour the experience it’s best to take your time and make regular stops to drink in the views of the canyon below.
From below to the top, underground or on horseback, but always in the heart of the canyon
The cliffs of the l’Ardèche Gorge are ideal for climbing accompanied by a qualified guides whether you prefer half-day, day lessons or longer training . The climbing guidebook of the Ardèche provides route descriptions to experienced climbers.
The Cave of Saint-Marcel is the starting point for caving routes in the bed of an underground river. An extraordinary adventure on the footsteps of the first visitors of the cave. Various trails for all levels – families with kids (age minimum 7) or sporty people. Highlight: a thrilling zip line ride!
The only equestrian center located in the Ardèche Gorge offers diverse equestrian experience – horse riding, horses and ponies for short rides or longer treks. For beginners or confirmed.
Thousand and one fish...
The Ardèche is home to barbel, minnows, brown trout, perch and blageons. The shad, migratory fish come to breed in the spring in the Ardèche to return to the sea at the end of the summer. Qualified fishing instructors offer courses for beginners or confirmed: fly fishing or lures, fishing techniques for children, families and groups.