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From the Ardèche to the Tarn to discover by motorhome:itinerary, advice and organization

You are the proud owner of a motorhome or have rented one and want to go to France This year. No worries, you have the two main ingredients to spend a wonderful holiday and discover sensational landscapes. Only, where to go? Which destination to choose and how to organize it? We will suggest a very beautiful route that will amaze you at every turn or village nestled on the hillside. We invite you to discover the Ardèche and the Tarn gorges both of which are remarkable sites with breathtaking views.

The Ardèche by motorhome

Enclosed between Gard, Lozère, Drôme and Vaucluse, the Ardèche is a beautiful and very sparsely populated department. If you only have three to four days of vacation, don't hesitate and start in the south of the department with its gorges starting from the magnificent village of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in Pont-Saint-Esprit . We advise you to equip yourself with very comfortable hiking or tennis shoes, because you will stop very often to admire extraordinary and unique places that you can reach by walking a little. Provided with a map, locate:

  • The eleven belvederes including the Balcony of the Templars
  • The Ray-Pic waterfall
  • The Tarnague massif
  • Mount Gerbier de Jonc

At Roums , visit the medieval historic center then take the tourist route of the parades carved into the rock from which you can see a magnificent panorama.

Under no circumstances should you miss the emblematic natural arch of the Pont de l'Arc .

Balazuc is one of the most beautiful villages in France. This sumptuous medieval city overlooks the Ardèche.

These places are must-sees on the road trip. You can practice them at your own pace and why not add a little canoe descent if you are a little sporty. In summer, the Ardèche gorges are almost impassable because there are so many people. The best times to visit them are April and May until mid-June as well as September and October.

Where and how to sleep in your motorhome in the Ardèche gorges?

If you do not see a ban on parking for motorhomes, you can stop for the night, but do not stop on the public road, as this is considered wild camping strictly prohibited. There are many equipped motorhome areas as well as several campgrounds . You will still find spots very interesting to stop and sleep in peace. Download the Park4night app which will show you all the places allowed near where you are. Among the places we preferred to stop to sleep, we can mention:

  • The Vallon Pont motorhome area
  • The Pavilion campsite
  • The Park motorhome area
  • The Ardèche in a week
  • The Midi campsite

If you have a week to visit the Ardèche, we of course advise you to visit the gorges to which you can add:

  • Devesset Lake
  • Annonay
  • The Aven d’Orgnac
  • The Eyzieux Valley and its typical villages

A large number of roads in the Ardèche are winding. Thus, in a motorhome, it is important to drive quietly and respect speed limits . Also pay attention to the height of your motorhome when you want to park, because many parking lots are limited to two meters only. Some roads are also very narrow and sometimes rocks partially cover them. The height being quite low, it may happen that you have to deport yourself a bit to pass. Feel free to honk if you do not have enough visibility to signal your presence. At night, outside the rest areas and campsites, you can park in village squares if there is no ban. On the other hand, do not leave a seat or a table outside, because you are parking and not camping.

The Gorges du Tarn

From Ardèche to the Gorges du Tarn , there are only a few cables and the places to discover are also magnificent. The Tarn gorges have been dug by the river over the millennia between the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre . They are located between Aveyron and Lozère . From the Ardèche, you can easily reach them in a few hours. The Tarn crosses these gorges between Quézac and Le Rozier over 53 km . You can therefore visit them by motorhome in a few days. You will still find breathtaking panoramas, they are so superb and visit very pretty villages such as:

  • La Malene
  • Sainte-Enimie
  • Ispagnac
  • Saint-Chely du Tarn

These villages are only given as an indication, because there are many other equally charming ones. Always with your hiking shoes , you can take a few walks and go to:

  • The Cirque des Baumes with its characteristic rock formations
  • The Dargilan cave and Aven Armand, underground sites
  • The Sublime Point offering the most beautiful panorama over the gorges
  • The Causse Méjean ledge and its overhanging rocks
  • The Château de Peyrelade, a 12th century fortress

Where to stop to sleep in the Gorges du Tarn?

You are not allowed to stop to sleep aboard your motorhome in the Gorges du Tarn, but have no fear, there are motorhome areas and campsites specially designed to welcome you. At La Malene , you will find a motorhome area as well as two others at Ispagnac and Florac . There are also 8 campsites in the municipalities of:

  • Sainte-Énimie and its medieval architecture with half-timbered houses and its troglodyte chapel
  • The Domaine des Boissets, a hamlet with picturesque charm
  • La Malene
  • Le Rozier
  • The Vines
  • Florac
  • Blajoux
  • Nant
  • Meyrueis

You can still consult Park4night , see the farm campsites or at individuals near. In any case, stop in authorized places, because you will quickly be verbalized. In addition, it is not possible to park by the river.

When to visit the Gorges du Tarn?

Just like for the Ardèche gorges , we advise you to avoid the Gorges du Tarn in July and August. Prefer the spring and autumn months when the season is still beautiful and above all calmer. Be careful, all the same, because the department of Lozère is Mediterranean, but also oceanic. Some points culminate at 1,000 m altitude and it can quickly get cold at night , even if the days are sunny and hot. In September and October, the Gorges du Tarn often experience Cévennes episodes with violent thunderstorms and heavy rain . If you are going during these periods, remember to bring a good raincoat and a few warm sweaters.

Possible activities in the Ardèche and in the Gorges du Tarn

In these high tourist places, in addition to visits to remarkable places, natural sites or authentic villages, you can indulge in several activities. So, hike as a family , because there are many marked paths making you discover very pretty places. You can canoe or the ferrata for beginners and varappe for the more seasoned as well as canyoning . You can still learn about caving or take a great trip on the water in a rental boat .

From June to the end of September, when the weather is warm, you can swim as much in Ardèche as in Tarn . Both of these rivers are very clean and the water is clear and crystal clear. Lovers of fishing will also be served, because it is possible to go fishing, but be careful, be in good standing once again and have your fishing card with you. If you still have time ahead of you, continue your journey and discover other lesser-known but equally magical places in the Cévennes National Park .