Vallon Pont d'Arc travel guide

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Visit Vallon Pont d'Arc (Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, France)

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The town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is in the Ardeche department of the Rhone-Alpes, at the western end of the Gorges de l'Ardeche.

A quiet tranquil place in winter, the town  leaps to life in summer when hordes of visitors wishing to explore the Gorges de l'Ardeche descend on the town.

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France This Way review: athough the town is unlikely to the principal reason that you visit this area, Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is a pleasant place to explore, with streets lined with old buildings, cafes...and tourist type shops.

The Chastelas part of the town - the old town - is the most interesting from a historical point of view.

cafe life in Vallon Pont d'Arc

One monument of interest in the town is the Town Hall, a castle built in the 17th century and inside which you can see several Aubusson tapestries. See also the small belvedere behind the church of Saint-Saturnin.

But in truth it is as a resort town rather than a historic centre that Vallon-Pont-d'Arc receives the most attention - the streets are bustling with cafes, bars and people, and it has a happy, 'people on holiday and out to enjoy themselves', atmosphere. It almost feels like a seaside resort, except the sea is nowhere to be found!


I found myself in the town by accident, having mixed up a hotel booking elsewhere and having nowhere else to stay. I'm glad I did, and if you are in the region and looking for a lively town with a wide choice of restaurants where you can eat outside, I am happy to recommend Vallon Pont d'Arc.

During the summer Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is always lively but even more so if you can visit during the weekly markets. The normal weekly market takes place each Thursday morning and a very popular night market takes place in the town centre each Tuesday evening (summers only).

town centre in Vallon Pont d'Arc

To visit close to Vallon-Pont-d'Arc

Of course, the main attractions in the vicinity - and the main reason why visitors stay in the town - are the Gorges de l'Ardeche and the Pont d'Arc itself.

If you can tear yourself away from the gorges for a while, it was near Vallon Pont d'Arc that one of the very oldest painted caves in the world was discovered. It was 32,000 years ago that the Grotte Chauvet was inhabited and decorated with fantastic cave paintings.

The caves were discovered in 1994. Unfortunately they can not be opened to the public (to avoid the same damage that took place to the Lascaux caves) but a copy and a museum dedicated to the caves can be visited and are an exceptional experience.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Ardeche guide and the Rhone-Alpes guide.

See also: 

Photos of Vallon Pont d'Arc

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Map of Vallon Pont d'Arc and places nearby


Visit near Vallon Pont d'Arc with France This Way reviews

Pont d'Arc

Pont d'Arc

The small beach and beautiful setting make Pont d'Arc a very beautiful and popular site

Pont d'Arc guide


Both the medieval village and the river beach combine to make Labeaume very rewarding to visit

Labeaume guide
Gorges de l'Ardeche

Gorges de l'Ardeche

The Gorges de l'Ardeche are one of the most scenic highlights in France, whether following the road along the rim or canoeing along the river

Gorges de l'Ardeche guide


After exploring ancient Balazuc you descend further to reach the Ardeche river

Balazuc guide


Barjac is a historic market town in the lovely countryside of he northern Gard department

Barjac guide


Explore the castle and medieval centre of Joyeuse - then head to the river beach to cool down!

Joyeuse guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Ardeche

Address: Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Largentière, Rhone-Alpes, 7150, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.4078, longitude 4.39444

Plan your visit to Vallon Pont d'Arc, Ardeche

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Gorges de l'Ardeche: grand site of france
  • Réserve naturelle nationale des Gorges de l'Ardèche: site of natural beauty (9 km)
  • Aven d'Orgnac: grand site of france (11 km)
  • Balazuc: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Grotte de Saint-Marcel: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Bois de Païolive: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Vogue: most beautiful village (16 km)
  • Aigueze: most beautiful village (17 km)
  • Gorges du Gardon: grand site of france (18 km)
  • Grotte de la Cocaliere: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Viviers: secteur sauvegarde (25 km)
  • La Ferme aux crocodiles: zoo or wildlife park (25 km)

Market days in Vallon Pont d'Arc, France

Regular market(s) are held in Vallon Pont d'Arc each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Vallon Pont d'Arc (Francais)