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Camping Castanhada

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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Ardèche THE VANS
  • In the heart of the Monts d'Ardèche Regional Park
  • 500 meters from the Chassezac river
  • 40 minutes from the Chauvet 2 Cave

On the way to exploration

Widen your eyes and open your ears, you will then discover the marvelous treasures of this unique territory. On foot, by mountain bike, on horseback or on a pony… On rollerblades or by bike on the Via Ardèche or the Via Rhôna… By canoe or by swimming… Underground or in the air… The South-Ardèche and the Ardèche Cévennes constitute a amazing natural playground. You will experience thrills and unique moments of sharing. You will be able to paddle, climb, dream, jog, dive... Or browse, taste, trudge, explore, wander... A whole tailor-made program for young and old! Travel in prehistory or in the bowels of the earth, hunt for treasures and observe the fauna and flora. Enjoy swimming and fishing. Finally sleep under the stars... Are you ready for the vacation of your dreams?

The Chauvet Cave

It is in Ardèche that we find the oldest cave paintings in the world. They were painted by prehistoric men 36 years ago on the walls of a cave. Named the Chauvet cave, this cavity was discovered in 1994 near the Pont d'Arc. More than 350 animals are represented on the walls, including cave lions, mammoths, horses, rhinos, bears, deer... The Chauvet cave is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and cannot be visited. . But it is possible to discover its copy. The Grotte Chauvet 2 was created at Vallon Pont d'Arc.

The Ardèche along the water

Pleasures of rivers

While your children splash around in the fresh water of the rivers, a tiny world unfolds under their feet! Here more than elsewhere, water has shaped the landscapes, dug the caves, the canyons. Under the water or on the water, the activities are not lacking. Life is everywhere if we know how to observe it. the canoeing is the essential AC-TI-VI-TE leisure and pleasure when talking about the Ardèche, its river, its banks, its exceptional transparent water. You will have the choice of taking superb walks and hikes in the Gorges de l'Ardèche and the Gorges du Chassezac.

In close proximity to camping

The river is accessible on foot in just 5 minutes, passing through the vineyards with the sublime view of the Cévennes massif. You will have the opportunity to admire the sublime castle of Chambonas. 15 minutes from camping don't miss the Gorges du Chassezac, and discover cliffs whose beauty is breathtaking! By canoe, paddle or boat, you can slide down natural slides and hike along the water's edge. From accompanying persons graduates and nature enthusiasts, you will discover the extraordinary fauna of the river. Your little frogs will love it! 

Hiking ideas

  • The Les Vans / Brahic walk takes you to the foothills of the Serre de Barre. You will discover the villages of Naves and Brahic there. Over the 13 kilometres, you will notice three very different environments: white limestone, with olive trees, thyme and junipers, greenish and very crumbly marl and dark shale where pines and chestnut trees grow. It lasts about 3h30, for 10 kilometers. 
  • The loop of the hamlets of Chambonas crosses about ten hamlets of the commune of Chambonas mainly built in sandstone. The path runs along land still cultivated with vines or olive trees. Allow about 5 hours to cover 17 kilometers.
  • The Ressaladier (Les Salelles) offers you a route that first allows you to observe old sandstone farmhouses typical of Bas-Vivarais. But as you progress along the steep valley of the Ressaladier, you will observe several levades. These are stone dams to separate the parts to be cultivated.
  • Gravel pits / Les Eynès is another local walk which overlooks the Chassezac. It allows you to discover the river upstream from Les Vans. Descending from the Lozère mountains, this watercourse has carved out a deep valley with steep walls. Two submersible bridges span the river. But in case of strong floods the passage will be impossible. The path crosses multiple hamlets and sandstone farmhouses very typical of the lower Vivarais.

Heritage

Go through the path of the Cocalière cave and feel the immensity of the Cévennes park. Visit the picturesque villages of southern Ardèche, such as Naves, Labeaume, Balazuc, Thines or Chambonas.

Tourist documentation to download

Natura 2000 sites

Païolive wood and the Chassezac lower valley

A real natural labyrinth overlooking the Chassezac awaits you. This forest of petrified rock and white oaks form a set of labyrinths classified as a “Sensitive natural area”. You will be amazed by the surprising shapes and the chaos of the limestone rocks damaged by erosion. Païolive Wood has been inhabited by strange rock sculptures since the dawn of time. It is home to many animal species and rare plants. You can find the famous riverside beaver or birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon or Bonelli's eagle which nest in the cliffs. The old wood is the refuge of a multitude of beetles such as the Lucane Cerf Volant or the Cetonia Bleue, almost unique in France. As night falls, you may be lucky enough to observe bats emerging from the many cavities. There are more than 20 different species in the wood!

The Agusas marshes and the mountains of Serre and Uzège

The Agusas marsh is at the heart of a rich ecological network, including numerous inventory and regulatory protection perimeters, bordered by the Ardèche gorges to the north and east, the Chassezac to the northwest and the Cèze to the south . At the interface of these landscapes, on the foot of the slopes, there are many wet valleys escaping little by little towards the plain. The rivers in the perimeter have a rainfall-Mediterranean type hydrological regime, with a summer low water level tied to the hottest season.

The moors and forests of Bartres

To join the walk which extends along the moor from the village of Bartrès, you just have to leave the village and follow the path of Buala, before skirting the moor, in front of the forest. The moor hike extends over 7 to 8 kilometers, on flat ground. It offers a remarkable view of the mountain range. This site occupied since the Neolithic era retains traces of its past. Exploitation of the moors, military maneuvers and excavations have damaged these testimonies of a bygone era. Nevertheless, there are still large stones that sit enthroned along the path of the promenade which runs along the edge of the forest.

The Montselgues plateau

The Montselgues plateau is home to large areas of heathland. This circuit takes place largely on a granite plateau beaten by the winds, without trees, where a small village and a few hamlets cling. This plateau is famous for its many granitic chaos. 

Among these remarkable sites, 3 sensitive natural areas have been identified: The Montselgues plateau and the Thines valley, The Abeau wood, Bartrès wood and the Ganière valley, as well as the Païolive wood and the Chassezac gorges.

The Ardèche by bike

A territory to discover by bike

The Ardèche is a truly preserved territory, with rich and varied natural spaces. It lends itself completely to discovery by bike. Its territory is traversed by many soft paths allowing the practice of cycle tourism with the family. You will appreciate the mild Ardèche climate for getting around by bike. A traveling vacation? Simple walks or day trips? All the possibilities are available to you depending on whether you are very sporty, accompanied by young children or followers of slow life. The Ardèche relief is also a privileged adventure terrain for amateur or experienced mountain bikers!

Marked roads and trails

Several routes with different levels crisscross the Ardèche mountains, and connect the most emblematic sites on forest tracks and narrow paths. A land of wide open spaces, the Ardèche offers cyclists a preserved environment and wild landscapes constantly renewed, between forests and mountains, picturesque villages, relaxing lakes, garrigues and sublime gorges. More than 60 kilometers of marked routes through typical villages such as Saint-Montan, vineyards and crops, or along the Rhône to stroll and visit... At your own pace...

Itineraries to discover

  • The blue way is a path dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles which offers 12 kilometers of stroll along the Rhône between Guilherand-Granges and Châteaubourg.
  • La Payre takes you to discover this valley connecting Le Pouzin to Privas over 20 km from the ViaRhôna to Privas.
  • The Via Fluvia departs from Annonay, from the old Canson factories, to Saint-Marcel-lès-Annonay via the Vidalon district, and the Canson and Montgolfier paper mill museum in Davézieux.
  • The Via Ardèche offers remarkable panoramas over 50 km to explore Vinezac, Vogüé, Balazuc and Labeaume, labeled Villages de Caractère.
  • The Dolce Via guides you from one side of the river to the other. Gentle way of the Eyrieux Valley, it follows the route of the old departmental railway line abandoned since 1968. Today a 90km route connects St-Laurent-du-Pape to St-Agrève and Lamastre via Le Cheylard.
  • The Via Rhôna offers 815 km of cycle path to connect the lake Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea along the Rhône. Whether traveling or staying, you can discover the Ardèche along the 93 km of Viarhôna route spread over 4 sections (Viarhôna from Sarras to Glun, Viarhôna from Soyons to La Voulte-sur-Rhône, Viarhôna from Le Pouzin to Rochemaure, Viarhôna from Viviers to Bourg-St-Andéol).

The Great Crossing of the Ardèche by mountain bike

The Great Crossing of the Ardèche by mountain bike invites you to follow a route of 315 km mainly of long-distance hiking trails (GR4 and GR7) and immerses you in wide open spaces, panoramas as far as the eye can see, unspoiled and wild nature. 

If you want more information for your stay, do not hesitate to consult the pages Camping, Accommodation et Themes.

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