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Ardeche Mixed Activity Week
FH-EXD-118896
7 Nights
Price on Request
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At a glance
A mix of different activities in spectacular surroundings.
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
Joyeuse
End Destination
Joyeuse
What's included
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Continental breakfasts are included at the hotel, and all meals whilst on the gorge descent will be provided. These will consist of 2 packed lunches taken at the riverside, a feast of a barbecue in the evening and a breakfast of cereal, fruit, tea and coffee.

What's not included
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Itinerary
1
Day 1
Fly to Lyon; transfer to Joyeuse (approx 2 hrs 30 mins).
We start in Joyeuse, a mediaeval village in the heart of the Ardeche region. Legend has it that the village was named after the famous sword of Charlemagne, who ruled the Franks from 768 - 814. The town is a mix of old and new, with cafés, artisan shops, bistros and bars of modern day France combining with the cobbled streets, narrow alleys and ramparts of the old town, where some great restaurants are also to be found.
2
Day 2
Transfer to high ropes course for a day zipping through the treetops.
We transfer to the ropes course to get kitted up ready to try out the zip lines and routes just below the forest canopy. The various courses include monkey bridges, suspension bridges and jungle swings. You are free to choose your difficulty level to either just enjoy the views and experience or up your thrill level. Safety equipment, including harness and helmet are all provided, and instruction is given on how to navigate and negotiate the various sections.
3
Day 3
A day's cycling through the dramatic vistas and villages of the region.
The Ardeche is a hotbed of cycling, most notably in June when the famous Ardechoise Cyclosportive takes place. Around 12 thousand cycling enthusiasts test themselves over routes of varying distance, with hundreds more lining the routes to cheer them on. Not surprisingly therefore there are numerous routes we can visit to explore the region, through charming villages and across glorious countryside, giving a real taste of what this beautiful area has to offer. After picking up the bikes we set off for a day of what the French call 'cyclotourisme', with some well timed stops along the way for refreshments.
4
Day 4
Free day to visit the local market, with optional wine tour, cycling or walking.
Today is free to take at your own pace. Joyeuse offers a bustling market every week which is worth a visit, whilst there is also the opportunity to take a tour of a local vineyard. Alternatively a leisurely stroll followed by a long lunch is a great way to relax in such peaceful surroundings. For those looking for more adventure, our local partners are also climbing experts with experienced instructors, should this be of interest. The region is also packed full of beautiful walking routes of various lengths and difficulties. This evening before dinner, the river team will meet the whole group to discuss the two day descent, hand out dry bags and advise on what needs to be packed for the river trip.
5
Day 5
The first day of the spectacular kayak down the Ardeche River; overnight bivouac.
We begin the kayak descent, a two day adventure through the Ardeche Gorge. Starting by the legendary Pont D'Arc, a 60m wide and 54m high rock arch spanning the river, we set off after the initial briefing and instruction with time to get used to our maneouvreable kayaks. As well as negotiating the many rapids along the way, we have time to swim and have lunch on the river’s edge. The standard kayak takes two people, though it is possible to have one to yourself depending on group size. This can only be arranged locally at the time. Buoyancy aides and helmets will be provided and are obligatory. We’ll arrive at the bivouac site in the late afternoon, where we’ll prepare our sleeping area and light the BBQ. The site is fully equipped with a shower block and toilets. Tents and inflatable beds are provided for those who require them – though a night under a vast canopy of stars is recommended.
6
Day 6
We kayak the final section of the river, finishing at a riverside bar in St. Martin.
After sleeping out under the stars you’ll rise to the sounds of the outdoors. Breakfast will be prepared by the river team. Once dry sacks are loaded, and the camp is packed up we’ll set off for the final day of the descent, ready to face more rapids and stunning scenery. By early evening we’ll arrive at the bottom of the gorge to make our way, by road, back along the gorge. The ride back is also packed with new breathtaking views of the gorge unfolding with each turn of the road.
7
Day 7
Day trip to the prehistoric cave at Aven d'Orgnac; stops en route for great views over the Ardeche River and gorge a vineyard visit.
We set off for Aven d'Orgnac, stopping along the way to enjoy the fantastic views on offer. We then visit the mediaeval village of Vallon Pont d'Arc at the head of the Ardeche Gorge, where we stop for an authentic French lunch. As the lunch is not included it is of course possible to opt to have lunch elsewhere in the village, however the leader will make a reservation for the group at a good quality restaurant, offering a traditional meal for around €25. After lunch we transfer to the cave itself. This immense grotto is understandably a huge attraction in the Ardeche area. It was created over a period of 100 million years, with the famous 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' stalagmite starting its rise from the cave floor 400,000 years ago. Visitors are treated to the mesmerizing rock formations and eerie atmosphere of the 'Salle Rouge' , 121m below the surface. Remember to bring slightly warmer clothes, as the temperature inside is about 11 degrees. After our visit we transfer back to the hotel.
8
Day 8
Transfer to Lyon; fly to London.
Our trip ends in Joyeuse.
An amazing unforgettable week! 5/5

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? There were so many moments! From the personal challenges we achieved such as doing a cave abseil, to the sense of achievement at the end of the kayak descent after negotiating the Rapids…

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