Chestnut basin of France - Ardèche

Chestnut basin of France - Ardèche – main image

Ardèche is a French department famous for the oldest vineyard in the country and works of cave art. It is situated in the south-eastern part of the country. Chauvet's Grotto, discovered at the end of the last century, is not open to tourists - the wall drawings can only be admired by scientists - but this does not change the fact that the region is a tasty treat for thrill-seekers.

Wine and chestnut region

The term "tasty morsel" in the case of Ardèche is absolutely appropriate. The department, located in the Rhône-Alpes region, is famous not only for the attractions you can see, but also for its delicious cuisine and excellent wine. Nowadays, the products of local wineries are known as part of the second wine region of France after Bordeaux - Côtes du Rhône. The vineyards that enter it stretch on both banks of the Rhône in a 250 km long strip. Ardèche, as one of the six departments of the region, is the heart of the area. What can we taste after arriving in this wine paradise? It is definitely worth getting acquainted with chateauneuf du pape with its root and spice dominance, as well as saint-joseph with the tart taste of forest fruits (red), fragrant with iris and rose (white). Red cornas is also worth attention, rich but wild, definitely not for everyone, and certainly not for lovers of delicate flavors. They should reach for the light, sparkling white Saint-Péray. Ardèche cuisine is aromatic, colorful and rich. It tastes of chestnuts - the region's dishes include a strongly herbal caillete with chestnut purée, pork stewed with chestnuts, duck breasts with chestnut porridge and figs, and also candied chestnuts. While traveling through the villages of the Côtes du Vivarais (southern part of the Rhône), it is worth trying aromatic scrambled eggs with truffles.

European Grand Canyon

The Ardèche owes its name to the right tributary of the Rhône, a river winding through three departments for over 125 km. Near the town of Vallon, it flows under the Pont d'Arc, a natural rock bridge. The Ardèche Gorge, called the European Grand Canyon, is visited by over a million tourists every year and attracts rafting, kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts from various parts of the continent. The 30 km long canyon is one of the greatest attractions of the Rhône-Alpes region. Most of its area is protected under the Réserve Naturelle Gorges de l'Ardèche . Wild camping is prohibited - except for two designated sites. The turquoise waters of the Ardèche contrast beautifully with the white chalk rocks. The landscapes of the reserve delight nature lovers (the extremely rare Bonelli's eagle has its habitat on the cliffs), the area is a paradise for campers, and numerous caves tempt keen adventure seekers. The interiors of many of them are covered with paintings created by people who lived in these areas thousands of years ago.

Camping in the Ardèche

Someone who is so fascinated by the Ardèche that they would like to spend more time getting to know it will probably look for accommodation as close as possible to the attractions of the Central Region . You don't have to look for long - in Saint-Remèze there is a campsite offering hospitality on shaded pitches. It has a large swimming pool, a playground with swings and a slide, there is a restaurant and a bar on its premises, and tourists staying there can also use the laundry. This is the "La Residence d'été" campsite , where both families with children and young people who want to spend their time very actively will feel good.

You can explore the Ardèche in several ways - on foot, by kayak or on horseback. You can look at the landscape from a different perspective (climbing) or discover the beauty of the caves. Let's not forget about contacts with residents, especially local producers. The opportunity to buy honey, try goat cheese or - attractions for tourists interested in new flavors - snails from local breeders may not happen again soon.

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A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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