Labeaume is on the La Beaume river to the south of Largentiere, in south-eastern Ardeche. It is listed as one of the 'Ardeche villages of character'.
The origins of the village lie in the cliffs opposite, at one time home to troglodyte dwellings established by the first inhabitants of Labeaume.
A little different in nature from the other 'villages of character', Labeaume is based around an open square with a church and has a handful of old streets to explore as expected, with ancient houses lining narrow alleys clustered around the bottom of a cliff.
The 14th century Church of Saint-Pierre aux Liens itself is also rather unusual, with the belltower supported by two substantial stone columns.
After exploring the narrow streets of the medieval centre of Labeaume there are two particular features in the village to discover:
1) There is a track that winds up at the back of the village, past houses and through trees, until it reaches the ruins of a castle and a very impressive viewpoint across the village and the cliffs along the river that stand opposite the village, and
2) The main attraction - the river beach. Between the village and the river, with the cliffs opposite, the river has a good sized stretch of beach where children (and adults) can paddle and play in the river in a very picturesque location. An old bridge also crosses the river at this point.
Cafes and other facilities are also found in Labeaume, and the village is well organised with parking easy and close to hand.
There are lots of attractive villages to explore in the Ardeche, each with their own historical interest and characteristics. See those listed as Ardeche villages of character for some of the best examples to be found in the region around Labeaume.
Address: Labeaume, Joyeuse, Largentière, Ardeche, Rhone-Alpes, 07120, France || GPS: latitude 44.45, longitude 4.30722
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The French version of this page is at Labeaume (Francais)