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France | Why the Ardéche Gorge makes it into our ‘Top 10 European Instagram Worthy Views’

Just how you condense all of the amazing European sights we’ve seen into a simple ‘Top 10 European Views‘? It sounds like an impossible task…!! Especially when you consider that we’ve only just added the Ardéche to the list of areas visited.

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But as the Gorges de l’Ardèche is made up of a series of vertiginous gorges and is know locally as the “European Grand Canyon” perhaps it was always going to be worthy of consideration…. But more of that list of ‘Top European Moments’ later on as we thought we’d jump in the van, start the dash cam and give you a little taster of what you can find on your bike, in your van or even on a kayak!!
A region of incredible natural beauty, the Ardèche is found in the Rhône-Alpes region hence its  mountainous viewpoints… but dig a little deeper and you’ll find it’s equally famous for it’s valleys, gorges, woods and local produce (including lavender, chestnuts, mineral water, honey, cheeses and wines). Yet due to some of the most astounding geology in Europe, its also perfect for a wide range of activities from canoeing, kayaking, climbing and caving to mountain biking and trekking. So the perfect place to bring an adventurous family in their trusty motorhome!!!
If you’ve got limited time, then head straight for Vallon Pont d’Arc, a small town in the centre of the Ardeche region, which offers spectacular views of the river.  A river that lazily meanders its way through towering limestone cliffs on either side… until it catches its breath and plunges you down a series of rapids (just check out our kayaking video below)

check out our top 10 Instagram views

For those that may have enjoyed the roads near Castellane and the Gorge du Verdon, you’ll certainly notice the similarities in both geology and the tightness of the roads/tunnels… But for adventurous motorhome owners, it’s easily passable and well worth the drive to the viewpoint overlooking the gorge (from Vallon-Pont-D’Arc to the viewpoint (with easy parking) at GPS N44.3741, E4.4397)
If you visit the Ardéche in the summer, you’ll get a perfect ‘Instagram Moment’ with the streams of colourful canoes going under the Pont d’Arc in their descent of the river Ardéche. Perhaps best seen under the  impressive 60 m high, naturally formed arch which forms the entrance to this tourist honeypot. But arrive in late September, and you might not capture that perfect ‘Instagram Moment’ but you’ll find the river easier to navigate allowing you to find deep caves to kayak into or even manage a couple of turns at each rapid on the way down!!
But perhaps the best way to see it, is to drive along the impressive canyon with its vertiginous cliffs that reach an altitude of 300 metres. With over 32 kilometres of spectacular gorges in the heart of southern Ardèche, you’ll find plenty of viewpoints to grab your camera or smartphone…. But we reckon you’ll struggle to find a more spectacular viewpoint than the one that greets you below (N44.3741, E4.4397)
Fresh from the truly staggering panoramic view above, we sat discussing how lucky we’ve been to see some truly amazing things in Europe. So we all agreed that perhaps we ought to share some of the other highlights from our European Roadtrip…. so here’s a few thoughts below to offer a little ‘wanderlust’ inspiration…
As every one knows, it’s not just the view itself that matters, sometimes it’s just as much the people you can share the memory with... so here’s just a few of the smiling faces that’ll remember this iconic viewpoint over the Ardéche for many years to come!

 

 

So once you’ve had your fill of swimming and canoeing in the river, or seen your share of the panoramic views or even immersed yourself in history of this area. If you still feel eager for some more, there is still plenty to do. We’d suggest finding one of the local villages that cling on to steep slopes like the ‘Alpajurras’ villages in Andalusia.

 

Or find one of the impressive pebble beaches that are surrounded by the towering cliffs like Saint-Montan or simply cool off with an artisan ice-cream in one of the medieval streets of Labeaume.

But if you’re looking for something to round off a few days with the family in the Ardéche, then look no further than the Lavender Museum at Saint-Remeze .A chance to learn all about lavender from planting to distillation, how to recognise the different types of lavender, but most importantly enjoy losing yourself in all its wonderful colours and fragrances

 

 

ardeche

so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author

Richard

Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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