Gorges de l'Ardeche

the perfect south of france road trip

the perfect south of france road trip

Exactly a year ago, we were in the middle of an 11-day road trip around the South of France.  It was an absolutely massive undertaking to plan, inspired by cheap flights from Madrid to Toulouse and Lonely Planet's France's Best Trips book.  I pieced together many of the different road trip itineraries in the book and added in some additional stops based on blogs and sites I'd read online.  The final plan was very ambitious and had us covering quite a bit of southern France, but the end result was...fabulous (if I do say so myself).  Now, when I think about going anywhere in Europe on vacation, a few places come to mind, and the South of France is without a doubt at the top of that list.

gorges de l'ardeche, france

gorges de l'ardeche, france

The second gorge we visited in France was the Gorges de l'Ardeche.  Out of the three gorges that we drove through, this one was my favorite for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I felt like it was the best marked with signs and markers along the way and had good viewpoints with plenty of parking and space to look around.  The Gorges de l'Ardeche begins at one end at the Pont d'Arc, a large natural stone arch over the Ardeche River.  The water was a bit chilly for me (after all, it was still early April), but Danny swam out to the middle of the river while we were at the Pont d'Arc, joining kayakers and canoers, as well as a few other brave swimmers (mostly kids and teenagers).  The water was peaceful and the beach was nice and sandy, so I imagine it only increases in popularity as the weather heats up.