As a globally unique geological curiosity, the Pont d’Arc is the gateway to the Ardèche Gorges and their national nature reserve. Located close to Chauvet–Pont d’Arc Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014, this monumental arch stands 54 metres high! It rivals Mont Blanc as the 2nd most visited natural feature in the Rhône-Alpes region with almost 1.5 million visitors a year. As a natural landmark, this mineral colossus has been fascinating to man ever since prehistoric times and no doubt inspired the Chauvet Cave artists.
Leisure activities close to nature
Swimming under the impressive stone archway is an incredible sensation. With the two beaches, one upstream and one downstream, the Pont d’Arc site is a delightful place to bathe in spring and summer. It’s also a landmark spot passed by the tens of thousands of « adventure-seekers » setting off on their descent of the Ardèche Gorges. In autumn, at the start of the « Marathon International » which attracts some 2,000 canoe/kayak enthusiasts, the atmosphere is amazing. The various hiking trails that pass close by offer amazing panoramic viewpoints. Please note that there is limited parking, so it’s a good idea to use the shuttle buses that operate during the summer.