villages to visit
The following villages are all within easy reach of Mas de la Giralde. Visits should be combined with other activities like wine tastings, cave visits or wild swimming in one of the rivers.
Balazuc is a small medieval village among an elite group classified "The Most Beautiful Villages of France" and labelled "Ardeche Village of Character". The village of Balazuc clings to the rocks above the Ardèche river, while the heart of the village captivates with its rich restored heritage, its maze of winding alleys, stairs, stone ramps and arches, which are full of discoveries all contributing to the charm of the village. More information.
Banne is one of the Ardeche Villages de Caractere. The village is divided between the church and the 12th century castle, of which only the ruins remain and now serves as an entertainment venue. A stroll through Banne allows you to discover pretty, steep alleys, old sandstone and limestone houses and stairs. Afterwards you can relax in the shade of the village square. More information
The medieval village of Joyeuse is located between two rivers, the Baume and the Drobie. It was an old silk capital, with silkworms, grindings and old stalls which revive each year in October during its traditional gourmet fair. Joyeuse is a town of history and culture. Known as the city of Charlemagne, who fought there, Joyeuse owes its name, if one believes the legend, to its famous sword. During the summer there are plenty of organised tours through the old town that bring some of the history and legend to life. More information
The name of the town of Lablachère comes from the word "blache" which means "white oak". Before the revolution, the town was surrounded by immense oak forests. Lablachère is now a thriving village community with its own market each Sunday morning. While in Lablachère you can follow the Winegrowers’ Trail, visit two historic churches, a megalithic bridge, a chateau or why not unwind at La Perle d’Eau, the local swimming pool with sauna, hammam and spa? More information
Les Vans sits between the Monts de l’Ardèche natural park and the Cévennes national park. Les Vans has magnificent buildings and remarkable architecture showing remains of the splendour of the village in the seventeenth century. The weekly Les Vans market is renowned in the region for its conviviality and the quality of its local produce, in particular seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and wines from the Ardèche. This is a village not to miss. More information
Lying in the south of the Ardèche department, two kilometres from Les Vans, a town to which it became annexed in 1972, Naves is a small medieval hamlet, in the foothills of the Cévennes National Park, as well as part of the Monts d'Ardèche Regional Natural Park. Naves is one of the Ardeche “villages de caractère” which undoubtedly deserves to be visited. Cars are not allowed to enter the village of Naves, it is a pedestrian village, but parking is permitted along the road below the entrance. More information
Payzac is a small rural commune in the southern Ardèche in the foothills of the Parc des Monts d’Ardèche and at the entrance to the parc national des Cévennes. From different parts of the commune there are views southwest to the Serre de Barre, west to Mont Lozere both in the Cevennes, Mont Ventoux to the southwest, the Ecrins and the Alps to the east.