20 most beautiful places in Ardèche – where to go and stay

The Ardèche is a French region located in Southern France. It is named after the river Ardèche and part of the Rhône-Alpes region. This region is gorgeous and has so much to offer; like the 20 most beautiful places in Ardèche that you must visit. To give you a small impression? Small lakes, rocky and pebble beaches, medieval villages, caves, forests and so much cool sports activities for the active ones among us. So are you interested in what to do, where to go and where to stay? Do you want to know where best to stay in Ardèche and where best to go with children? Then continue to read and discover their villages with outstanding character and take pleasure in their way of life.

  • 20 most beautiful places in Ardèche
  • Where to stay in Ardèche
  • Where best to go with children in Ardèche
  • What are the best things to do in Ardèche
most beautiful places in Ardèche - and where to stay
Narural arch in Vallon Pont D’arc in Ardèche canyon in France

20 most beautiful places in Ardèche

  1. Ailhon

Ailhon is a small town near Aubenas that has maintained its authentic houses and has a Romanesque church. Stroll through its various hamlets and see its beautiful houses. There are also several species of birds and other animals in the area. This is the reason why Ailhon is for sure on this list of most beautiful places in Ardèche.

2. Alba-la-Romaine

Former capital of the Helviens (gallic tribe) is nestled at the foot of the Massif du Coiron, the vineyards of the southern Ardèche. Today you can discover this beautiful Medieval village, clustered inside its 15th century walls. The entire village is clad in white and black. The basalt and limestone that are materials locally made and sourced to built the houses and are the foundation of the atmosphere of this town. So my advice, make sure to visit the vineyards and lavender fields in Alba-la-Romaine.

most beautiful places in Ardèche - and where to stay

3. Antraigues-sur-Volane

Antraigues is a village located in the heart of Ardeche’s volcanoes. It’s built on a promontory that overlooks the Mas and Volane valleys, and it features a view of the basaltic flows and secular trees. Its main square is also an attraction for people who love to play bowls.The name of the village (entre argues) means between the waters and this town lives up to its name.

♥ Be amazed by the 100 sculpted faces and shapes surging out of the walls

4. Balazuc

In this village you can be amazed by the square dungeon from the 12thC, a beautiful Romanesque church, the Ardèche museum, the edge of the River, limestone cliffs, all covered in the golden sunlight. Walk towards the remains of the town walls to the castle of the beautiful town of Balazuc. See the beautiful photo and see directly why Balazuc is on this list of most beautiful places in Ardèche.

most beautiful places in Ardèche
River Ardeche near the old village Balazuc which village is recognized as historical heritage and is considered as one of the charming places of most beautiful places in Ardèche

5. Banne

Nestled amongs vineyards and olive tree groves, sandstone and limestone, you can find this old and steep village on the hills of the Ceveness. This village is divided into two areas: the Fort and the Church separated by a valley. Enjoy a walk between the cute houses and feel the medieval atmosphere. Loving a panoramic view? Go to the top of the ruined castle and view from the roof.

most beautiful places in Ardèche - and where to stay
Banne, one of the most beautiful places in Ardèche

6. Beauchastel

This beautiful town has this magnificent view over the Rhône and the Eyrieux valley. Be amazed by narrow streets, house of the Lords of Beauchastel, a real dungeon, peach orchards and véloroutes and Dolce Via. The terrace of the Maison du Patrimoine offers a magnificent view over Saint-Laurent-du-Pape and the valley that you definitely have to check out if you’re there.

» Fête Médiévale | Opening hours: Du 09/07/2022 au 10/07/2022
» Visite guidée du village de Beauchastel | Opening hours: Du 13/07/2022 au 17/08/2022

7. Boucieu-le-Roi

This gem in the north of the Ardeche, is located between Tournon-sur-Rhone and Lamastre. This village labeled “Village of Character”, retains many vestiges of its past. It is an essential stopover for the curious traveler, it best reflects the quality of the nature and cultural heritage of the villages of the Doux. The respect for their rich and rural heritage of old stones and agricultural landscapes that are still well maintained.

♥ Visit the steam train and the Pierre Vigne museum

8. Chalencon

To present Chalencon without referring to its past would not allow us to understand what makes the specificity of our commune. Today’s Chalencon has retained all its assets: remarkable buildings, alleys, cobbled streets, stalls… witnesses of its past; a landscape heritage, belvedere on the Boutières, a protected area located within the perimeter of the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d’Ardèche. Visit one of the many visitor shops, restaurants, great accommodations and let not forget the many of events. Looking for a picturesque typical French restaurant in Chalencon? Visit Châtaignes et Champignons!

» Fête du livre (18ème édition sur le thème “Élargir le cercle”) | Opening hours: Le 31/07/2022
» Festival de musique classique “L’été musical de Chalencon” | Opening hours: Du 18/07/2022 au 15/08/2022
» Visite guidée de Chalencon | Opening hours: Du 12/07/2022 au 16/08/2022

9. Chassiers

Chassiers is surrounded by several authentic hamlets and has a rich heritage of remarkable monuments (church, castles, chapels, Renaissance-style houses and paved alleys). This charming village has around 1000 inhabitants and lies between the Ligne and Landes Rivers. It has a beautiful terraced landscape and if you would like to visit some beautiful churches, go to the Saint-Benoît Chapel, Saint-Hilaire Church or Mothe Castle.

10. Désaignes

Désaignes, classified as a “village of character” in 2007 by the General Council of the Ardèche, is located in the heart of the Doux valley, 7 km from Lamastre and 14 km from Saint Agrève. You can enter this beautiful village by three of the four entrance gates to the beautiful fortress. You can also find the Romanesque temple and church, Barbière fountain and of course its restored 14th century castle.

♥ This village becomes one of artists of painters, musicians and craftsmen

10 to 20 most beautiful places in Ardèche + where to go and stay

11. Jaujac

Does nestled between the youngest volcano in Ardèche count as character? I absolutely think so! Surrounded by beautiful landscape and very friendly people. The former volcano is about 11.000 years old and covered by a chestnut tree grove. Make sure to check out the basalt flows as well.

12. Labeaume

I think Labeaume is my personal favorite and I don’t know if that it’s the case because of the beautiful tortuous river, the beautiful views from the cliffs or the richness of the cultural heritage with 142 dolmens. The bridge is also a sight to be seen and you can get lost in the countless alleyways and tiny streets.

13. Meyras

Meyras is nestled in between the valley of the Ardèche and Fontaulière rivers. There are a lot of Roman influences to be found, including one of their personal favorites: the spa. Meyras offers wellness stays at its spa resort located at Neyrac-les-Bains. So if you’re a fan of spas just like me, you should defenitly combine culture and relaxation in Meyras.

14. Naves

Be amazed by the village that is surrounded by olive trees. This place is revitalizing, the gastronomy is amazing and you can enjoy daring outdoor sports. But above all this you have to visit the Roman church (rebuilt in the 17thC on the ruins of an earlier Romanesque church.

15. Rochemaure

Rochemaure is a commune in the French department of Ardèche and has 1,870 inhabitants. The castle of Rochemaure is located on a basalt rock near the town of the same name in the Ardèche. Rochemaure is known for the cycling Road from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean , the beautiful view on the Rhone valley an the many trails you can discover the stunning volcanoes.

16. Saint Montan

Ever heard of a town named after a lonely gentleman? Well, this town is named after Mr. Montan. Before 1970, this town was no more than a ruin in the south of the Ardeche. Today it is a beautiful town, perched high on a limestone plateau and listed on several historic lists for heritage and history protection. In July and August you can go on a tour through the village for €6 per person.

17. Saint Vincent de Barrès

Saint-Vincent-de-Barrès is an ideal region if you like hiking in the mountains. It is located at 1km from the river, in the forest. This town is recognized by nine imposing round towers, the remains of a mediaeval fortress. So if you would like to visit a medieval village that has kept the shape, you should definitely visit this one.

18. Thueyts

This village of character ‘Thueyts’ is located halfway between the Ardèche mountains and the gorges of Ardèche, in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d’Ardèche, this town offers you all the calm and relaxation, a true nature lover would appreciate. Enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing during your stay, discover the heritage like the waterfalls, enjoy sports activities and meet new people here.

19. Vinezac

This town is surrounded by vineyards and made of beautiful limestone constructions in shades from white to orangey ochre supported roofs in half round tiles. These are reason enough to visit this village, don’t you think? On top of this area the three castles and the beautiful Roman church.

20. Vogüé

Only the name of this town sounds like character if you ask me! It also is called on to the most beautiful villages of whole France and they are absolutely right. This town breathes the South of France. This town was built as an amphitheater on the cliff alongside the river of Ardèche. There is even a great beach along the river, the chateau is open for exhibitions and tours and the chapel is a sight to be seen.

most beautiful places in Ardèche + where to go and stay

Where to stay in Ardèche

Ofcourse there are plenty hotels to choose from in this beautiful region. Apart from the tips I gave earlier in this article I would also like to highlight the wide range of luxurious hotels, mid-range and also budget hotels from my list. Another good choice is to rent a vacation home or go to a camping with your kids.

Budget hotels: Domaine de l’Eau Vive is budget proof, has a great location and outdoor pool. It has such charm including a cute little courtyard with those cute white chairs and tables outside.

Mid-range hotels: Hotel Helvie is elegant and it offers a spa and even has it’s own mineral water.

Luxury, luxury, luxury: Did you know you can stay in Château Clément? Visit the castle and stay the night.


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