Discover the Gorges of
The Gorges de l’Ardèche are located between Vallon Pont d'Arc and Saint Martin d'Ardèche. These two Ardéchoise municipalities are connected by a 35 kilometres road that runs parallel to the gorges.
The Gorges de l’Ardèche Management Union is responsible for:
- The preservation of gorges
- The compliance of visitors with current regulations
- Scientific monitoring of flora and fauna (natural heritage)
- The welcoming and giving out of information to the public
- Raising awareness by carrying out various educational activities
PROTECTING THE NATURE RESERVE
Many plant and animal species are preserved thanks to the Gorges de l’Ardèche Nature Reserve:
- Birds: the vulture percnoptère, the bonelli's eagle, the peregrine falcon, the rock swallow, the Circaète Jean-le-Blanc.
- Mammals: otter, beaver, genet
- Different species of bat
- Trees: The Juniper of Phoenicia
- Different species of plants (see the Botanical Society of the Ardèche)
- Reptiles and amphibians: the aspic viper, the coronelle girondine, the spotted salamander, the ocellated lizard, the webbed newt, the Montpellier snake.
THE MUNICIPALITY OF VALLON PONT D'ARC
Vallon Pont d'Arc, a municipality of the Ardèche, it has a population of about 2000 ‘Vallonais’ the whole year round in an area of approximately 30 km2. It is part of the intercommunity of the Gorges de l’Ardèche and is one of the gates to the Gorges de l’Ardèche, the other being Saint Martin d'Ardèche on the other side.
As one of the area's tourist hotspots, Vallon Pont d'Arc experiences one of the largest increase in population between winter and summer.
ARDÈCHE NATURAL BRIDGE “LE PONT D'ARC”
Among on of the most emblematic places in the Ardèche, the Pont d'Arc is very beautiful. This natural bridge, measuring about 60 meters long and with a height of 55 meters, passes over the Ardèche river. Located about 5 kilometers from the village of Vallon Pont d'Arc, it is accessible by car and it is visible from the road.
Often referred to as the "natural gate to the Gorges de l’Ardèche," it is considered the starting point for the gorges that end at Saint Martin d'Ardèche. A significant part of the tourism industry in the southern Ardèche is based on the Pont d'Arc, it being one of the emblems of this area.
The Pont d'Arc is also considered one of the witnesses and a solid representative of geological formations and their origins.
THE CAVE OF THE PONT D’ARC BRIDGE
Also known as the Combe d'Arc Cave (Name for which this place is known), the Cave of the Pont d'Arc is a Paleolithic cave estimated to be from more than 30,000 BC. One of the oldest known testimonies of life in this region to date, it includes numerous illustrations of animals in painted or sculpted forms.
The finesse of these paintings shows the great artistic sense of our ancestors, which calls into question the assumption that art has evolved gradually throughout prehistory.
For more information, visit the official website of the Cave of the Pont d'Arc.
AN EXCEPTIONAL GEOLOGICAL SITE
Summer tourism helps make this site exceptional:
- The limestone geological formations of the territory
- Watersports such as canoeing, kayaking, canyoning
- Speleology (Caving)
- The tourist tour of caves and avens
FIND OUT MORE...
If you would like to know more about the geological specificities of the Gorges de l’Ardèche and the Ruoms area at Vallon Pont d'Arc, you can visit the site of the Ardèche Geological Society.
THE DESCENT OF THE ARDÈCHE RIVER BY CANOE
One of the region's flagship activities is the descent on the Ardèche river by canoe and kayak. If you are a keen sports enthusiast and would like to enjoy a recreational activity with minimal risks, this descent is the ideal playground.
Small in size but big enough to allow the formation of rapids, the flow of the Gorges de l'Ardèche allows you to discover the joy of canoeing or recreational kayaking without any danger, ideal as a holiday activity as a couple, with family or friends.