The Gorges of the Ardèche are 1,575 hectares of land classed as a nature reserve since 1980.
The Ardèche river, which snakes along over more than 22 kilometres, is like a landscaped guide to the Gorges of the Ardèche, as well as the main actor in millions of years of geological, archaeological, animal and vegetal evolution.
A tourist site of the Ardéche known throughout the world, the gorges are a canyon hollowed out of the limestone plateau between Vallon Pont d'Arc and Saint-Martin d'Ardèche. A panoramic route was built in 1960 on the northern side and you can follow the gorges in your car through the scrub land.
This natural and cultural heritage is one of the most remarkable sites in France. It offers grandiose and untamed landscapes and the richness of its geological and archaeological heritage is incomparable.
There is an abundant wealth of flora and fauna in this reserve and more than a thousand different animal species have been counted: vultures, eagles, falcons, otters, etc that share a patchwork of rivers and streams, caves and potholes, oak forests and scrub land, cliffs and rock faces, all with a diversity of plants that make it a wonderland for botanists.
Over time, Nature's work has left behind spectacular masterpieces, such as the Pont de l'Arc, perfection itself at 66 metres high, the Grotte Chauvet and Aven d'Orgnac caves and more.
In spring, the Gorges of the Ardèche take on the air of a very lively vacation spot with thousands of visitors coming to Ardèche to canoe or kayak down the river. The multicolour canoes paddle or rush along the transparent waters; shouts of wonder and of amusement resound in the valley throughout the year. The boatmen of the Ardèche propose a descent of the Ardèche unlike any other: aboard their flat-bottomed boat. Anyone from the age of 7 to 77 can admire the landscapes.
The site is also a paradise for walkers where peaceful strolls or more rugged hikes let you discover the fragrances of nature, the oaks, the scrub land, the cry of the beavers or the eagles. A 35-kilometre trail has been marked out for exploring this fabulous land.
More than 7000 hectares of this territory have been recognized as a Natura 2000 Site.
The Maison de la Réserve has as its objective informing and raising visitor's awareness of this exceptional environment
In the area around the Gorges of the Ardèche
Vallon Pont d'Arc: a spectacular natural stone arch carved out by the Ardèche river
The Caverne du Pont d'Arc
Aven d'Orgnac: grand site de France
Vallon Pont d'Arc in Ardèche
The cirque of Gaud in the Gorges of the Ardèche
The village of Balazuc along the Ardèche river
The Ray-Pic waterfall
The rock of the Cathedrale in the Gorges of the Ardèche
Réserve Naturelle des Gorges de l'Ardèche - Le Village - 07700 Saint-Remèzehttp://www.gorgesdelardeche.fr/