Vallon Pont d'Arc is a village in the west of the Ardèche department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
The village is known and loved as the departure point for canoeing and kayaking down the Gorges of the Ardèche. Vallon Pont d'Arc is like many vacation spots: quiet and peaceful in winter and very lively in summer when the population multiplies by 10, the village comes to life and the bars, cafés and restaurants welcome visitors in a cheerful ambiance.
Vallon Pont d'Arc in Ardèche
Descent of the Ardèche in canoe
An important prehistoric site and a spot for cultural tourism, in summer Vallon Pont d'Arc attracts visitors from all horizons. Situated at the gates of one of the most beautiful natural and tourist sites in France, the Gorges of the Ardèche, its riches are absolute marvels: the iconic Pont de l'Arc, classified a “Grand Site de France”, and the many caves listed as historic monuments that testify to human presence since at least 50,000 years ago, the most famous being the Grotte Chauvet.
For reasons linked to tourism, the name Vallon was replaced by Vallon Pont d'Arc.
Many edifices illustrate the historic richness of Vallon Pont d'Arc.
Just wandering the small streets, you will see that the old town is very interesting from a historic point of view. Aubusson tapestries can be admired at the Town Hall, located in a château built in the 17th century. And don't miss the very popular weekly and evening markets.
To see, to visit in Vallon Pont d'Arc:
Covered square: the oldest square and former grain market
Place Armand Puaux: called the Orchard Square, before becoming a fairground, the spot had been planted with fruit trees
Le Mas Gontier: a hamlet mentioned already in the 14th and 15th centuries
The château: built between 1630 and 1639, today the Town Hall
The Saint Saturnin Church: dating from the first crusades
Protestant Temple: 15th century
In the area around Vallon Pont d'Arc:
Pont d'Arc: a spectacular natural stone arch carved out by the Ardèche river
Gorges of the Ardèche: 40 kilometres long with remarkable landscapes
Grotte Chauvet: paleolithic cave - not visible – reproductions can be seen
Aven d'Orgnac: grand Site de France