Balazuc, Rhone-Alpes: tourism & sightseeing
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Balazuc is in the Ardeche department of the Rhone-Alpes, and listed as both a 'most beautiful village of France' and an 'Ardeche village of character'.
Set above a bend in the river and a 19th century bridge, the village of Balazuc is a lovely little picture-postcard place, which proudly traces its origins back 50,000 years - the remains of an early hunter dating to that time have been found here, in the Barasses cave across the river.
Unusually among the 'villages of character' of the Ardeche, you descend to Balazuc rather than climb to a hilltop, since it is in an attractive valley. The cliffs and trees surround the village, while the river moves swiftly below.
France This Way comment: the combination of the medieval village streets and the lovely scenery along the river make Balazuc a particularly impressive village to visit.
Clinging to the rocky outcrop on which it sits, with a cliff rudely interrupting the village, Balazuc is a great place to visit and explore, with a myriad of narrow alleys, arches and narrow paths, frequently seemingly carved straight from the rock and great fun to explore.
The castle and church are particular highlights within the village. The castle ruins date from the 11th century and 13th century, while the fortified Church of Saint Madeleine (built at the same time as the castle) was being used for an art exhibition when we visited. The small courtyard in front of the church is also very pretty.
(The second church above Balazuc historic village is a 19th century addition.)
The village continues down the hill to the Ardeche river - you can cross the river on the bridge, for a great view back of the village, and also enjoy the cliffs and scenery along the river itself.
Note: you need to park outside the village and enter on foot, a walk of perhaps 500 metres. By good fortune or careful planning there was a horse in a field halfway along the path to the village at the time of our visit - so everywhere we went in the village we could hear children asking when they could see the horse again - an excellent idea, because the children were all eager to walk up the path again after having traipsed around the village!
Canoeing and hiking are popular in this part of the Ardeche, and Balazuc is also a popular centre with rock-climbers, many good climbing routes being close to hand.
Map of Balazuc and places to visit
Visit near Balazuc with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Ardeche
Balazuc is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Balazuc, Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Largentière, Ardeche, Rhone-Alpes, 07120, France || GPS: latitude 44.509, longitude 4.3733
Plan your visit to Balazuc, Rhone-Alpes
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Vogue: most beautiful village (6km)
- Gorges du Gardon: grand site of france (10km)
- Gorges de l'Ardeche: grand site of france (12km)
- Vals-les-Bains: recommended detour (18km)
- Bois de Païolive: site of natural beauty (19km)
- Réserve naturelle nationale des Gorges de l'Ardèche: site of natural beauty (20km)
- Aven d'Orgnac: grand site of france (22km)
- Grotte de Saint-Marcel: site of natural beauty (24km)
- Monts d'Ardeche: regional natural parc (24km)
- Viviers: secteur sauvegarde (25km)
The French version of this page is at Balazuc (Francais)