Wanting to take advantage of the mild weather earlier this week, we headed out northeast to discover a new region for us, the Ardèche gorge, where the river of the same name winds through an area of impressive cliffs. This short hike out of the medieval town of Aiguèze (one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France) has it all – quaint cobbled streets, canyon views, and craggy old vineyards. On a clear day the trail also affords views of Mt Ventoux and the Alps beyond. It’s become my new favorite in the region and I can’t wait to return in the spring when the vines have started to leaf out and the sun shines more directly on the village and canyon walls.
The 9 kilometer trail (total ascent of 300 meters) is a figure 8 loop. Although the book and map below show that you do the inland section of the trail (D-3 on the map) out of Aiguèze first, I suggest you do it last in order to have the views of the village and Mt Ventoux in front of you at the end of the trail rather than at your back at the beginning of the hike.
From Le Gard…a pied, #24 Le rocher de Castelviel. Starting point: south parking lot in Aiguèze, on D901, 10 kilometers northwest of Pont St Esprit. At the edge of the parking lot is large map of the area.
3 Grange du Marcello
4 Le Ranc du Forêt
5 Grange de Meyselle
6 Rochers de Castelviel