Every sense is stimulated in this legendary region, where singer Jean Ferrat had the good taste to settle. Nature has pride of place, and any walker with a yearning for the great outdoors will be happy there. In the Monts d'Ardèche and Vercors Regional Nature Parks, a number of hiking paths are available to ramblers.
In the Ardèche Gorges, you cannot fail to wonder at nature's creativity as you stand before the canyon, whose steep sides are 300 metres tall. From the top of Mount Mézenc or the Le Pic belvedere, you can admire the scenery from a great height and relish the awesome spectacle of the surrounding mountain ranges. You can also explore Mount Gerbier de Jonc, a mountain of volcanic origin where the River Loire has its source.
The caves are also part of the region's exceptional heritage. The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc cave, in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, is considered a masterpiece of cave art, but the Aven d'Orgnac chasm does not suffer by comparison, with its majestic chambers and astounding concretions. If you are more drawn to built heritage than the underground world, you will enjoy Crussol Castle, a medieval fortress overlooking the Rhône Valley.
A wander round the streets of the towns and villages will also be part of your holiday fun. You will love Labeaume, a charming village of character tucked away in the gorges, and the Ardèche spa resort of Vals-les-Bains. The charm and authenticity of Mirmande, a listed village, are sure to please, as are the old buildings and incomparable AOP olive oil of Nyons.
The olive is not the only gastronomic treasure in this region, which has more than one string to its bow when it comes to holding visitors' interest. Dauphiné ravioles with cheese and parsley, Picodon or Bleu de Vercors-Sassenage cheese, lavender, Montélimar nougat and chestnuts are among the choice treats to savour at a good local restaurant.