La Roque-sur-Ceze, Languedoc-Roussillon: tourism & sightseeing
Visit La Roque-sur-Ceze (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
La Roque-sur-Ceze is a small medieval village classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'. It stands on a steep hill above the Ceze river north-west of Orange and to the north of the Gard department of Languedoc-Roussillon.
Although it seems very ancient, and indeed the castle and bridge date from the 12th century, many of the buildings such as the mairie, lavoir and church were actually built in the late 19th century and a large part of the village near the castle has been rebuilt from ruins in the last 50 years or so.
France This Way comment: a visit to La Roque-sur-Cèze is unmissable if you are in the region: not only can you enjoy exploring one of the loveliest villages in France but you can also see the Cascades de Sautadet, a very beautiful natural site.
Exploring La Roque-sur-Ceze
Even as you approach La Roque-sur-Ceze you get a lovely view of the village from below - the village is in a very picturesque setting running down the side of a rocky hill. As a result when you are in the village you can also enjoy extensive views across the surrounding vineyards and the waterfalls in the valley below from its raised position. There is very little recent development around the village which also helps explain its charm.
You will need to park in the car park below the village and explore the village on foot: it is pedestrianised. Parking is not free which I always find slightly annoying but I suppose these small villages need to make money to maintain themselves!
At the lowest part of the village a notable highlight in La-Roque-sur-Ceze is the narrow, ancient stone bridge with its 11 arches that crosses the fast-moving small river and is a classified historical monument. The bridge is narrow and a bit scary to drive across because it is hardly wider than a car! From the middle of the bridge you have lovely views in both directions along the Cèze valley.
From here it is a very short walk past a vineyard to reach the slopes of the village. As you stroll up through the cobbled streets of La Roque-sur-Cèze you slowly pass up the hill passing numerous small medieval houses and through the occasional vaulted stone passageway. Many of the houses in the village have now been carefully restored and the plants and flowers tumbling from many of the stone walls provide an attractive contrast to the stone.
Once you reach the cobbled streets beyond the church the village is especially lovely, and the stone houses with their overflowing gardens are almost indistinguishable from the rocks and plants between them!
Small highlights such as the traditional washhouse and the 19th century church will attract your attention, then at the top of the village are the remains of the chateau (built in the 12th century, but not open to the public) that dominates La Roque-sur-Ceze, and an associated chapel. You can also visit a small Local Heritage Museum in the village.
Cascades du Sautadet
Just below the village you should visit the the Sautadet waterfalls that you have already admired as part of the view from the top of the village. A few hundred metres downstream from the bridge the Ceze river cascades over the limestone that the river has spent 1000s of years eroding into dramatic shapes and is now a very scenic natural site.
It is a place to keep an eye on the children (it is potentially very dangerous, as the water swirls into deep holes in the rock) but very worth visiting - indeed, one of the main reason visitors come to La Roque-Sur-Ceze.
We found the village very quiet when we visited in late autumn, then came to the cascades and there were loads of people - they are the main attraction here with both casual visitors and keen photographers in large numbers.
It is useful to realise that you can reach the Cascades du Sautedet on either side of the river but you can at no point actually cross the river here. If you don't intend to visit both sides we recommend you choose the side according to the time of day, so that the sun will be behind you. That way you get better light on the rocks and also won't be taking photos into the sun...
If you enjoy exploring villages you will also want to visit Aigueze, a village on the Ardèche river to the north of La Roque-sur-Cèze. Other interesting villages close to La Roque-Sur-Céze include Cornillon and Goudargues and, a little further, Montclus.
Map of La Roque-sur-Ceze and places to visit
Visit near La Roque-sur-Ceze with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Gard
La Roque-sur-Ceze is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Roque-sur-Cèze, Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Nîmes, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, 30200, France || GPS: latitude 44.1944, longitude 4.52028
Plan your visit to La Roque-sur-Ceze, Languedoc-Roussillon
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Cascades du Sautadet: site of natural beauty
- Aigueze: most beautiful village (13km)
- Aven d'Orgnac: grand site of france (15km)
- Grotte de Saint-Marcel: site of natural beauty (15km)
- Réserve naturelle nationale des Gorges de l'Ardèche: site of natural beauty (17km)
- Uzes: town of art and history (22km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit et Fenestrelle Tower (Uzes): religious monument (22km)
- La Ferme aux crocodiles: zoo or wildlife park (23km)
- Orange Roman Theatre: heritage site (24km)
- Gorges de l'Ardeche: grand site of france (25km)
The French version of this page is at La Roque-sur-Ceze (Francais)