The 18 most beautiful villages in Ardèche

villages en ardèche

Want to discover or rediscover the Ardèche? Head for the most beautiful villages in the Ardèche for a typical stay!

Both a nature reserve and a center of historical interest, the Ardèche attracts many visitors in search of a peaceful place to relax and reconnect with nature. Discreet, perched and hidden, many picturesque villages dot this territory. From traditional customs to breathtaking landscapes, the villages of the Ardèche welcome you for an authentic and traditional stay.

1. Vallon Pont d’Arc

Villages en Ardèche : Vallon Pont d'Arc

Photo credit: Shutterstock – AJancso

Vallon Pont d’Arc is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in the Ardèche! It’s a veritable Mecca of prehistory. Indeed, numerous caves have been discovered nearby. That’s where its fame comes from.

But the site is also famous for its Pont d’Arc arch. Carved out of limestone by the River Ardèche, the Vallon Pont d’Arc canyon is also a runaway success. And with good reason: it’s a breathtaking sight! The perfect opportunity to discover it during a canoeing session in the Gorges de l’Ardèche.

2. Vogüé

Vogüé

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Listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, Vogüé forms an amphitheatre on the edge of the Gorges. It also appears to be an extension of the mountain. Renowned for its exceptional panoramas, this small village is full of charm.

On the banks of the river, its 12th-century château offers a memorable historical experience well worth the detour. In perfect harmony with its surroundings, Vogüé invites you to relax, out of time.

3. Balazuc

Villages en Ardèche : Balazuc

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Balazuc is a perched, vertiginous Ardèche village. Indeed, it is built into the side of a rock, overlooking the river. When you arrive to visit this village in the Ardèche, you’ll have to cross a bridge offering a bird’s-eye view of the village beach.

Dating back to prehistoric times, the village has retained its charm over the centuries. You’ll find winding lanes interspersed with vaulted passageways, arcades and staircases. Take a stroll through this village on foot.

4. Labeaume

Labeaume

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Thomas Klee

Admire Labeaume’s rustic cobblestone houses, adorned with wisteria and Virginia creeper. Then cross the small stone bridge over the Beaume River at the foot of this pretty village in the Ardèche.

Labeaume boasts numerous caves, typical Ardèche stone houses and a beautiful church. Every summer, the enchanting setting and architecture of the village of Labeaume are enhanced by the classical music festival.

5. Saint-Montan

Villages en Ardèche : Saint-Montan

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Nestled between two rivers, Saint-Montan lies on the border with the Drôme. Among the villages of the Ardèche, Saint-Montan oscillates between charm and character.

Take a stroll along its cobbled streets and discover the beautiful stone houses typical of the Middle Ages. Renowned as a medieval town, Saint-Montan is also famous for its imposing fortified castle perched on a rocky outcrop. Overlooking the village, its remains look out over the valley, offering a superb panorama of the verdant surroundings.

6. Saint-Laurent-Sous-Coiron

Saint-Laurent-Sous-Coiron

Photo Credit: Flickr – Max Audouard

This village in the Ardèche is the highest perched in the region. Once surrounded by ramparts, Saint-Laurent-Sous-Coiron is a village that has to be earned: understand that you’ll have to climb to get there!

The reason for this is the ruins of its castle, which promise a breathtaking view! If you still have some energy left, climb up to Place de l’Eglise. Here, too, you can expect an exceptional panorama…

7. Ailhon

Ailhon

Photo Credit: Flickr – pp_carvalho

Ailhon is one of the most beautiful villages in the Ardèche. The commune is made up of 12 hamlets, each offering atypical excursions in this unique setting. The village will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of the Ardèche!

Ailhon’s finest jewel is its church, the oldest parts of which date back to the 12th century. But don’t forget to take the time to wander around the village and the hamlets nestling in the maritime pine forest.

8. Boucieu-le-Roi

Boucieu le Roi, village Ardèche

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Toutaitanous 2

Here’s another village in the Ardèche with the « village de caractère » label! Overlooking a wide meander of the Doux river, Boucieu-le-Roi is undoubtedly one of the valley’s jewels. A must-see for the curious traveler!

Boucieu-le-Roi retains many vestiges of its past. It will take you back in time, from the 16th century to the present day. Its Pont du Roi (King’s Bridge), its Way of the Cross and its typical Vivarais houses will help you discover the local history. In the heart of a verdant valley, Boucieu invites you to take a stroll.

9. Banner

Banne

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Nestled at the foot of the Cévennes mountains, Banne faces the limestone plains of the Ardèche. The medieval castle, perched on its hilltop, and the parish church set the tone for a visit rich in heritage. Continue your discovery by strolling through the village’s two villages, before stopping off at one of the valley’s cultivated terraces.

It also boasts 27 dolmens. With evidence of a thousand years of local history, Banne is a typical village in the Ardèche, full of character. It also hides architectural gems such as the remains of its medieval castle and the church of Saint-Pierre de Banne.

10. Ruoms

Villages en Ardèche : Ruoms

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Thomas Klee

A medieval village of character, Ruoms is famous for its 14th-century ramparts built around the Notre-Dame-des-Pommiers chapel. A real invitation to stroll, its shady little streets lined with flower-filled balconies bear witness to a rich historical past. In summer, the village comes alive with summer markets and night-time entertainment.

Nestled in a magnificent green setting, Ruoms is an invitation to discover. Set off on an adventure and explore the route des Défilés de Ruoms. Along the way, admire the gigantic limestone cliffs, impressive vaults and surprising tunnels carved out of the rock. The panorama on the horizon is nothing short of magical!

11. Beaulieu

Beaulieu

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Situated in the south of the département, Beaulieu is ideally located in the heart of nature. Between vineyards, garrigues, woods and mountains, this Ardèche village offers a warm welcome.

There’s nothing like a typical setting like Beaulieu for a relaxing vacation with a change of scenery. To discover the natural surroundings, go hiking or take a refreshing dip in one of the many swimming spots. In terms of heritage, Beaulieu boasts a number of treasures, such as its chapel and former monastery. Stroll through the narrow streets of this unique place and meet its inhabitants, who are also witnesses to its warm soul.

12. Rochecolombe

Rochecolombe

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An old medieval village clinging to its hillside, Rochecolombe is balanced on the cliff. The pretty St Barthélémy chapel and the tower of the ancient castle seem to be frozen in time. Remains of the past emerge from every nook and cranny of this Ardèche village. In harmony with the rock, they blend gracefully into the landscape.

Rochecolombe isn’t the only jewel in the crown, so take a few steps and stop off in the hamlet of Sauveplantade. In the heart of the village, discover the smallest church in Christendom, the Romanesque church of St Pierre de Sauveplantade.

13. Alba-la-Romaine

Alba

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With over 2,000 years of history, Alba-la-Romaine lies at the foot of the Coiron massif. Renowned for its unique architecture, visitors come here for its checkerboard facades of basalt and limestone, which alone paint an authentic picture of the village.

After passing the village fortifications, wander through the labyrinth of narrow cobbled and vaulted streets, two-tone and bright. Here, inscriptions, decorated door lintels and biblical reliefs whisper their own stories to the attentive stroller.

14. Montreal

Montréal, Ardèche

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Once fortified, the magnificent medieval village of Montréal dominates the Ligne valley. Set in the southern foothills of the Tanargue massif, it offers breathtaking panoramic views.

In addition to the beauty of its surroundings, the village boasts a rich heritage. The castle’s keep and the church with its bell tower are Montreal’s main architectural features.

15. Naves

Naves

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Welcome to Naves, a place full of character! Typical of the South of France, this village in the Ardèche is located in the famous Parc National des Cévennes and Parc Régional des Monts d’Ardèche. In other words: in the heart of greenery.

In Navres, the narrow streets intertwine and each house does its part to create a magical setting. In this extraordinary garden, you’re invited to take a journey through a small village! On the program: historical discoveries and wonder!

16. Thines

Thines

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Nestled in the heart of a wild valley, where centuries-old chestnut groves mingle with crystal-clear rivers, the picturesque hamlet of Thines comes into view.

This village in the Ardèche may be very small, but it’s well worth the detour! Let yourself be charmed by its maze of narrow streets, its lauze roofs and its Romanesque church.

17. Chalencon

Chalencon

Photo credit: Wikipedia – FredSeiller

Chalencon is located in the Monts d’Ardèche Regional Nature Park, perched 700 m above sea level. This charming medieval village takes us back in time, thanks to its heritage and narrow streets.

The village, which has been awarded the « Village de Caractère » and « Petite Cité de Caractère en France » labels, offers exceptional panoramic views of the Alps, Vercors, Mont Mezenc and Gerbier de Jonc.

18. Beauchastel

Beauchastel

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Sequajectrof

To conclude our selection of the most beautiful villages in the Ardèche, let’s head for the banks of the Rhône. Beauchastel lies high up in the mountains and enjoys a Mediterranean climate. What’s more, the village is sheltered from the Mistral wind.

During your visit, admire the local and medieval heritage, in particular the houses made of schist and pebbles. This architecture makes it one of the prettiest villages in the Ardèche. Last but not least, cycling enthusiasts can take to the road on two of the most famous cycle paths: the Dolce Via and the ViaRhôna.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Ardèche, France