A Guide to: Gorges de l’Ardèche

Holiday Adventure in the Gorges de l’Ardèche

If you are visiting Avignon, or the Vaucluse this year and you are looking for adventure, head down to the Ardèche river at Vallons Pont D’Arc for a journey you will never forget. Impossible by foot, you can discover the wild beauty of this protected nature reserve by canoe or kayak thanks to the specialist canoe companies in Gorges de l’Ardèche.

You will need to rent kayaks and hire a guide from any of the recommended canoe rental companies: Natu’Rando in Remoulins, Aventure Canoë in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, Kayak Vert in Collias, Ardèche Loisirs Location in St Martin d’Ardèche. Bring a change of clothes, swimming things, a towel, plenty of drinking water and sun cream.

There are several routes to chose from including the 8 km day-trip or the 2-day Ardèche River Adventure. Not for the faint-hearted this descent over 2 days (32 km) includes a night-out camping in the wild Gorges where you and your friends might come up against wild boar and the Botelli Eagle.

The 32 km journey is split by a night camping in the Gorges inclusive of BBQ; tents, food and drink is provided. The 2-day price from www.canoe-ardeche.com is 480€ for up to 15 persons plus 40€/person. That includes the two or three-seater Canoe or the one-person Kayak and an experienced guide. They have the latest polyethylene Canoes and you will be supplied with accessories and equipment.

On the journey you have a good chance to meet an indigenous population of beavers, wild boar, badgers, eagles, and wild goats. You will kayak beneath the breath-taking 60 metre natural arch of Pont d’Arc. If you dare, you can slide from the rocks and plunge into the river while others watch. You will also see the Cirque d’ Estre discovered in 1994 and the Cave of Chauvet with original paintings and engravings from 32,000 years ago. There are several rapids to overcome on the 1st day before you get to the Cathedral, a huge mass of rock overhanging the river.

About 25 km from the town of Avignon you’ll find the Pont du Gard – an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge of jaw-dropping beauty, that traverses the Gardon River. It is a stage of the 50 km Roman Aqueduct that carried water to Nimes. On the 2nd day more rapids, some nice meanders include the Le Cirque de la Madeleine before arriving at the landing of the Sauze.

Along the way you and your friends will find yourselves alone in silence just you and the forests climbing up the walls of the gorges. Then you will encounter fellow adventurers to break the silence for some good-hearted river banter. The river twists and turns with huge limestone walls and you might hear the echoes of the eagles above your head. It is an unforgettable journey or adventure accessible to all the family. Stopping for lunch on the natural beaches you can delve into your picnic basket, sunbathe on large flat rocks, and find jumping spots to jump into the clear waters.

Affinity offers guests a selection of the best holiday rentals in the Vaucluse area with access to the Pont D’Arc, and Avignon and this wonderful adventure. Please have a look at our collection of villas houses to rent in the area with swimming pools, BBQs and everything you need to relax after a day or two in the Gorges de l’Ardèche.