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About Ardèche

Why Ardèche?
Even among the French this area is known to be one of those “off the beaten track” places to go in France. However it is well known among European tourists and French residents who love a beautiful countryside, delicious home and organic cooking, and friendly down to earth people. 

Ardèche history truly starts in prehistory, as evidenced by a number of amazing caves located primarily around the Ardèche River canyon. The most famous beeing The Pont-d'Arc Cavern that was discovered in 1994 and which is applying for the UNESCO World Heritage label due to the exceptional conservation of these world oldest painting (– 32 000 years). Every one of the region’s main rivers (the Ardèche, the Ibie, the Chassezac, the Beaume, the Euyrieux) has sections that include rapids and monumental canyons. Ardèche’s mountainous area played an important historical role during many of France’s conflicts and wars, in particular the War of Religion between the Catholics and Protestants. So, whether walking along the country side or strolling through one of its medieval cities, our tours will give you ample opportunities to relive numerous historical events.

Like many small towns throughout the world, small villages and regions in France have had to cope with the loss of manufacturing and blue collar jobs. Previous important industries in Ardèche included silk and chestnut production. Now, the largest growing industry is tourism. With its rivers and streams, Ardèche has become a favorite place for canoe and kayak enthusiasts from around the world. 

Agriculture is a very important industry in this region. As a result some 50% of the population in the department live in rural communities, compared to a national average of 75% of the French population that live in urban locations. 

Ardèche is especially known for its growing number of ecologically friendly farming or organic networks, associations, cooperatives, and businesses. This growing trend has become more evident with the number of Bio or organic markets that exist on a weekly basis in towns across this region. 

In a “chest-nut” shell, ARDECHE is simply one of those places that many people miss, but one that should never be missed when exploring a slice of France!

LIVE Webcam over the gorges