We know it's not always about being adrenaline junkies and sometimes we like to do normal things too. We're lucky enough to be able to explore every aspect of the beautiful Ardeche region and more. So we've decided to review some of the highlights and help you to make the most of your visit. Check out some of the places we've been and would highly recommend. If you would like any more information on anything, then please do get in touch.
LA CAVERNE DU PONT D'ARC - MUSEUM
Pretty amazing. The cave is remarkably lifelike and incredibly detailed. We booked onto a French tour, but were given English audio headsets and didn't feel like we were missing out on too much. However, we would definitely recommend booking the normal
Almost as impressive as the cave is the large grounds that it's built on. Beautiful buildings are surrounded by tree lined walk ways with information platforms and incredible views of the Gorge. To make the most of your visit, we recommend getting there early to explore the grounds before your tour begins.
If you are planning on visiting the cave please be aware that it can get booked up very quickly so we recommend booking your reservation well in advance.
For more information or to book a reservation please visit: archeologie.culture.fr/chauvet/en/
Thierry igon - Ice Cream Shop
Located in Vallon and Ruoms
We’ve voted Thierry’s our favourite ice cream shop in the Deche! Full of amazing and creative flavours, there’s plenty of toppings to choose from and all beautifully presented. He even has a slush puppy station, with just as many exotic and delicious flavours; perfectly refreshing for a hot summers day.
Paddy has been going to Thierry’s ever since he started working in the Ardeche; one time he bought an ice cream from there he couldn’t help but notice the unbelievable amount of lemons sitting behind the counter and Thierry in the corner squeezing them one by one. The very next day he went back and Thierry offered him a taste of his freshly made lemon sorbet…mind blowingly sharp, it’s still the best sorbet he’s ever had.
Thierry’s first shop in Ruoms has been there for over 10 years, and he has since opened a second in Vallon. He’s a genuinely nice guy who’s passionate about what he sells, and that’s why we’ve voted it the best. If you get the chance we strongly recommend swinging by for an ice cream, just beware, it might take you a while to decide what flavour to have!
Sampzon Tower - View Point
When driving into Vallon alongside the Ardeche river you can’t help but notice the satellite tower at the top of Sampzon. It’s actually possible to drive up to the church which is situated just below the tower and park for free.
A short walk uphill will take you to the bottom of the tower where you can experience some amazing views of the river and local area. Gaze into the mountainous distance, take some pictures and appreciate the beautiful Ardeche region.
If you have a car and some spare time we recommend checking this out. It’s not a popular tourist attraction so enjoy a peaceful or romantic stroll on a clear day, or sit and watch the sun go down.
Le Chelsea - Restaurant
Located in Vallon
We don’t often eat out in fancy restaurants, but when we do this is always our top choice. Stylish decor and incredible food, Le Chelsea offers a modern menu with a wide selection of cuisine and has a beautiful outside dining area. The prices are reasonable for an upmarket restaurant, with the option of a 2 course or 3 course meal; €22 and €31 respectively. They also offer a small kids menu.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated meal out then we highly recommend The Chelsea restaurant. For more information or to contact the restaurant visit: www.lechelsea.com.
Le Chastelas - Bar
Located in Valon
We tend to spend a lot of time here; located in the quieter part of Vallon town centre, next to a park which is a great place for playing pétanque! It has a stylish outside seating area and waiting service. The bar has an indoor pool table and foosball table and often plays sports games on the TV and projector. We recommend stopping by on a Saturday evening for some live music and local culture.