8 must-see things to do in Aiguèze

Aiguèze

What are the best things to visit in Aiguèze, one of the most beautiful villages in France?

Located in the Gard region, just 30 km from Orange and 40 km from Montélimar, come and visit the charming little village of Aiguèze. Overlooking the Ardèche gorges, it was the first village in the Gard to be included in the famous list of France’s most beautiful villages in 2005.

This medieval village, perched on a magnificent cliff, offers breathtaking panoramic views of both the Ardèche Gorges and the Côtes du Rhône vineyards. A veritable open-air museum, witness to an eventful past, Aiguèze can be discovered and visited without moderation.

You’re sure to fall under the spell of the simplicity and atmosphere of this small village, which has a year-round population of 200. But there are also some lovely treasures to discover… Would you like to know what they are? Wondering what to do in Aiguèze? We’ll tell you all about it here.

1. The remains of the fortress

Forteresse Aiguèze

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Fly_and_Dive

When visiting Aiguèze, you won’t want to miss the imposing remains of the village’s ancient fortress. The Saracen tower and square keep are the only remnants of the ancient fortified castle that once stood here.

Back in the day, this fortified castle was linked to the parapet walk by a staircase, which can be faintly glimpsed by the few remaining steps carved into the rock.

2. Saint-Pierre church

Eglise Aiguèze

Photo credit: Shutterstock – MeloDPhoto

Don’t miss another symbol of the village if you visit Aiguèze: the parish church.

Listed as a Monument Historique, this 11th-century Romanesque building is open to visitors, much to our delight.

You’ll be able to admire its magnificent Renaissance portal, and its restored Gothic bell tower. The interior is just as interesting, featuring sublime neo-Gothic frescoes. Bright colors cover most of the walls and ceilings, making it extremely luminous.

3. The « Castelas »: the parapet walk and its panorama

Le Castelas

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Philippe PATERNOLLI

The old fortified castle walkway is a real must-see in Aiguèze… in fact, it’s the village’s « pièce phare »!

Nicknamed the « Castelas », it lies at the foot of the fortress rock. To reach it, you’ll have to take a tunnel dug into the rock. The most impressive thing about this walkway is the incredible panorama it affords of the Ardèche, Mont Ventoux and the Côtes du Rhône vineyards.

4. Saint Roch fountain

Fontaine Aiguèze

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Wayne77

If you visit Aiguèze, you’re bound to take a refreshing break in the shade of the plane trees on the Place du Jeu de Paume. This is where you’ll find the beautiful Saint Roch fountain, a reminder of the village’s patron saint.

5. The old mill

Rue du Moulin Aiguèze

Street leading to the old mills – Photo credit: Shutterstock – gumbao

The old mill is a must-see in Aiguèze. You’ll find it, not surprisingly, in the Rue du Moulin. This former olive oil mill, dating from the 16th or 17th century, now houses the tourist office.

6. Cobbled houses and alleyways

Village Aiguèze

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Danute Gudauskiene

Visiting Aiguèze also means strolling through its magnificent streets paved with Ardèche pebbles, typical of the South of France. As you stroll along, you’ll notice a distinctive feature in the historic heart of the village… And what’s that? Well, the medieval-style first floors of the houses are all topped by a Renaissance second floor with mullioned windows.

And don’t miss the « sculptor’s house », with its facade decorated with sculptures of Charlemagne, a woman, an owl and a cat…

7. The Ardèche gorges

Gorge de l'Ardèche

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pascale Gueret

If you’re going to visit Aiguèze, you’ll find that it’s also the ideal starting point for enjoying the Gorges de l’Ardèche and the activities they have to offer. Just a few kilometers away, in Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche, you can rent a canoe and take to the river!

From the village, a small river beach is accessible and popular. Ideal for a refreshing moment during your day of sightseeing.

8. In the vicinity

Grotte de Saint-MArcel avec plusieurs bassins

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Julia700702

The Grotto of Saint-Marcel

If you’re visiting Aiguèze, take the opportunity to visit the Grotte de Saint-Marcel, just 8 kilometers from the village. Here, you’ll be able to observe the sublime galleries, enhanced by a sublime sound and light show.

But also, and above all, the incredible cascade of calcite basins, also known as « gours », unique in Europe! So if you’re looking for something to do in Aiguèze, don’t hesitate to hop in your car and discover this magical place.

Hiking

Hiking enthusiasts are in for a treat when they visit Aiguèze. The area abounds in signposted footpaths winding through the garrigue of the Gard. Magical views guaranteed! But the best-known trail is the GR4, which passes right by the village.

A number of paths will lead you there, and you can take small sections of the route to Vallon-Pont-D’Arc, for example.

How do I get to Aiguèze?

By car

The easiest way to visit Aiguèze and to easily explore the surrounding area is by car.

  • From Orange (40 minutes): follow the N7 towards Mondragon, Pont Saint Esprit then the D901 to Aiguèze ;
  • From Montélimar (50 minutes): take the D86 to Saint-Just-d’Ardèche, then turn onto the D290 to reach Aiguèze ;
  • From Alès (1h): take the D16, D979 and D901 towards the D180 at Aiguèze ;
  • From Montpellier (1h30): take the A9 freeway through Nîmes, then join theA7 to take exit 20 for Pont St Esprit/Mondragon/Piolenc. Continue on the N7 and take the D44 towards Barjac. Follow the D901 to Aiguèze;
  • From Marseille (1h40): take the A7 freeway towards Lyon/Avignon/Aix-en-Provence to exit 20, then the same directions as from Montpellier.

By train

If you decide to visit Aiguèze by train, the nearest TGV stations are Valence and Nîmes, both around 1h10 away. However, there are no buses to take you directly to Aiguèze. Renting a car at the station is one of the best solutions!

By plane

If you’re traveling by plane, the nearest airports are Montpellier and Marseille, both 1h30 away by car. Don’t hesitate to use a flight comparator like Skyscanner to help you find the best prices.

The next best thing is to rent a car locally, so you can easily get around the region.

Where to stay in Aiguèze?

If you choose to visit Aiguèze, there are plenty of B&Bs, Airbnb and hotels to choose from. To find the solution that suits you best, don’t hesitate to use a hotel comparator. And don’t forget to book well in advance, otherwise you’ll have to postpone your getaway.

Now you’re ready to discover all that this wonderful village has to offer!

Map of hotels and accommodation – Aiguèze