Vals-les-Bains is a town in the southeast of the department of the Ardèche in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and is also a part of the Regional Nature Park of the Monts d'Ardèche. The town is known for its thermal cures.
The spa town, bordered by the Ardèche River and crossed by the Volane and Besorgues rivers, lies at an altitude varying between 328 and 985 metres.
Spa and tourist town, classed as one of the most beautiful corners of France and located on the Spa Route of the Massif Central, it is rich in contrasts all while combining well-being and the pleasures of life.
The Volane crosses the village of Vals les Bains
The spa town of Vals les Bains
The bed of the river Volane in Vals les Bains
Pool of the Hotel Helvie in Vals les Bains
Calvary in Vals les Bains
Saint-Martin Church, 11th century, in Vals les Bains
Vals-les-Bains' history is old, its origins go back to the 17th century. A fisherman named Pierre Brun discovered the water of Vals in 1602. He was cured of his gallstones after drinking the water from one of the springs in Vals. Claude Expilly, an advisor to the Grenoble parliament, was also cured.
Since the discovery of the virtues of the waters in Vals, which has 145 natural springs, its renown became international. For a few centuries now, the spa town has developed a tradition of hospitality in all seasons.
Nestling in a 3-hectare park that constitutes the town's green lung, the spa of Vals-les-Bains enjoys a temperate climate with substantial rain throughout the year. Surrounded by mountains, the urban setting has been renovated with a respect for style, brightened up by many fountains and murals. The town had once once an industrial city with many mills and a mineral water bottling company.
Between the spa neighbourhood and the old town, you can visit the Champanhet House, which opens its doors to you and invites you to discover the living and modern memory of the heritage and the life of the people of Ardéche. The Champanhet family had been the first to exploit the mineral waters of Vals-les-Bains.
The town offers many pleasures, from the splendour of the architecture, the Gothic Revival church and its remarkable stained glass and walnut wood organ, a way of the cross enamelled in black and white... to an extraordinary choice of regional products such as the chestnuts, nougat, blueberries, chestnut beer, the lozenges from the Pastillerie des Thermes, to be found in all their authenticity at the Thursday and Sunday markets.
But most of all take the time to rejuvenate yourself at the Spa, with its thermal cures, wellness and fitness breaks. The spa specialize in the treatment of diabetes, liver, stomach and intestinal diseases and obesity.
A corner of paradise for regenerating, touring and discovering Ardèche.
To see, to do
The water circuit, the natural spring circuit, the art circuit
The Bourganel brewery
The Pastillerie des Thermes
In the area around Vals-les-Bains
Its 14th century castle
The Gargoyle House
The Saint-Benoit Dome
The Cordeliers Chapel
The 19th century Saint-Laurent Church
The weekly market on Saturday morning
Antraigues-sur-Volane: a medieval village with a lot of character
The Saint-Roch Chapel