Wheelchair Travel in the Ardeche – My Experience of the Route Des Gorges

June 10, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, France, Wheelchair Walks

Scenic Drive On Route Des Gorges, Ardeche, France (Wheelchair Access = Overall its very good)

 

Pont d’Arc by the river is a no go for wheelchair users – The path is very steep, then rocky and very steep, then sandy. All is not lost, there is a viewing layby on the road a bit further on. Go early if you want to stop there as its small and gets busy. There is a step up to the viewing area, I could still enjoy the view by looking through the railings athough the barrier wall doesn’t seem designed for wheelchair user viewing. Still worth a look though.

Ardeche Gorges, Pont D’Arc viewing layby
wheelchair access = 1 step

The rest of the Route Des Gorges has excellent wheelchair access lookouts or viewing areas, about 11 of them over an approx 30km stretch. With disabled parking bays, flat walkways, fantastic views of scenery and if lucky friendly goats.

Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – fantastic viewing areas
wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great

www.gorges-de-lardeche.com

Below are the attractions we visited on the Route Des Gorges.

Llama Park (Wheelchair Access = Dodgy, but we did it – Rock N Roll!! more Rocky than Roll actually)
They only charged me for one adult at 6 euros (carer goes free)  There are 2 steps at the entrance (these people need a ramp) and a bit of uphill rocky ground on the way to the enclosure which is also a quite a challenge. The good news is that its not very far to the enclosure and its well worth getting there. Loads of llamas and you’re right in there with them. The leaflet says petting guaranteed and it wasnt wrong.

Ardeche Gorges Llama Park
wheelchair access = dodgy but doable with help

Inside the enclosure the ground is very rocky so we didn’t move around much. The owner was very friendly and the llamas wonderful and so many of them. The wheelchair access is very dodgy but doable with a strong carer and some help at the steps.
www.ardeche-lamas.com

Lavender Museum (Wheelchair Access = Good, Disabled Parking =Good)

Ardeche Gorges Lavender Museum is wheelchair friendly

This place is very accessible, flat and easy. Most of it is indoors so it can be an interesting thing to do if its raining. There’s also a gift shop and they have their own lavender fields outside which must look wonderful in summer when in flower (end of june to august.)
www.ardechelavandes.com

Vallon Pont d’Arc  (Wheelchair Access = Ok, Disabled Parking = Good)
This is the small town near the start of the Route Des Gorges. There are plenty of disabled parking bays right in the centre of town giving close access to the main square and shopping streets. The pavements can be narrow but the main area is pedestrians only so its not too bad.

Wheelchair access = okay & disabled parking = good in
Ardeche Gorges town of Vallon Pont d’Arc tourist area

Camping

We camped off season for 16 euros a night for 2 adults, tent and car at Camping Beau Rivage, Les Mazes, Vallon Pont d’ArcThe campsite is 2km from Vallon Pont d’Arc. It’s by the river (lovely views from the tent) and away from the main road (very peaceful.) The paths around site are good, the reception, bar, shop, swimming pool are all accessible. The disabled toilet and shower are in the mens section of the toilet block (key at reception) but this didnt cause any problems, it was clean and available. The beach area by the river doesn’t have ideal wheelchair access but its doable with a strong carer. It’s probably not the most perfect site for accessibility but what I loved about this site were the natural surroundings, birdsong, relaxing under the trees with views of the river, feeding the onsite goats and the friendly and helpful owners. Will definately go back. www.beaurivage-camping.com
Ardeche Gorges Beau Rivage Camping, beautiful campsite
wheelchair friendly except for beach area

More campsites (that I havent visited) in the area with wheelchair accessible facilities include:
mondial-camping
campsite-arc-en-ciel
domaine-de-chadeyron
camping-nature-parc
campsite-des-gorges

For general tourist information check out www.ardeche-guide.com

I hope you found this wheelchair travel information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)