Ardeche is a simply beautiful, natural department in the Rhone-Alps, a mountainous region in the southeast of France. Consisting of mountainous foothills and turbulent rivers, Ardeche is both beautiful and perfect for activity and adventure holidays. Taking a rural Ardeche gite can be either a hub of adrenaline fuelled activity or a peaceful, picturesque Ardeche retreat. Each year, hundreds of adventurers descend on Ardeche property rentals hoping to conquer their ambitions of climbing, kayaking, walking or simply enjoying the Ardeche countryside.
Ardeche activity and adventure holidays are what have made Ardeche gites such highly regarded holiday properties. Accommodation in the Ardeche countryside gives the tourist an unrivalled opportunity to divulge in a huge range of outdoor activities and adventure. Ardeche is famous for its natural sporting arenas, from the maze of gushing rivers to the shear rock faces and caves which can be found near almost every one of the Ardeche cottages throughout the area, regardless of their exact location.
Climbing in Ardeche is big business. Climbers merge from around the world into Ardeche gites in order to tackle some of the more famous climbs in the area like those around the Pont d’Arc. Due to the different rock types in the area, (including granite, limestone and phonolite), there is climbing in Ardeche suitable for every level of climber, and many guides and climbing schools to help too.
With four main rivers running through this rocky landscape, an Ardeche property also acts as the perfect accommodation for those wishing to take an exhilarating trip through the gorges and canyons of the department. Kayaking and canoeing in Ardeche are hugely popular, and can take many forms, from a tranquil paddle down calm waters to the manic plunges through rapids set deep in gorges. Whatever level of fear you wish to reach in a canoe, Ardeche will be able to oblige!
In order to explore the Ardeche countryside, you certainly do not need to get the adrenaline flowing if you do not want to. Whilst activity and adventure in Ardeche is one option, taking a peaceful, rural Ardeche retreat is an excellent option. The glorious scenery and wholesome gastronomy mean that it is very easy to relax and recharge from Ardeche accommodation, whether it is a small, cosy Ardeche cottage or a luxurious villa in Ardeche’s plains. There are over 6,000km of walking and hiking trails in Ardeche too, as well as bridle paths and cycle routes, making it perfect for mountain bike or horse riding holidays too.
There are a disproportional number of delightful villages across Ardeche which cannot fail to endear tourists. The beautifully maintained mediaeval village of Labastide de Virac still stands proudly on a rock outcrop overlooking the Cevennes Mountains, and houses two of the best restaurants in Ardeche. If you have taken self catering accommodation in Ardeche, you will undoubtedly visit the commercial centre of Barjac, a delightful town which hosts a number of fares and festivals throughout the year. Berjac’s Friday market is also worth visiting.
The climate of Ardeche is delightful for the vast majority of the year, meaning you can enjoy the great outdoors whenever you decide to stay in your Ardeche accommodation. In summer, temperatures average over 20°C from the beginning of May until early November, with daily peaks well into the 30’s (°C) during July and August. Even winters are mild, with average temperatures in the coldest months remaining above 15°C.
Depending on the exact location of your holiday property in Ardeche, there are a number of airports close by. Ryanair provide flights to Nimes (FNI), Flybe fly from the south coast of England to Avignon (AVN) and there are a range of option from the UK to Lyon (LYN), Montpellier (MPL) and Marseille Airports (MRS), although these last three are all around 2 hours from an Ardeche gite.