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Review: Lignon Valley

City/Town/Region/Island

Ardeche, France

An excellent drive down a steep sided gorge with a waterfall and old settlements

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2231 reviews

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  • Sep 2012
  • Husband

31 people found this review helpful

This is a very steep tree lined gorge, off the D122 Ste-Eulalie to Mézilhac road. The D215 drops down the valley to Burzet and eventually the N102.



There is a small signed parking area for a belvedere with view of RAY PIC WATERFALL. This is a double waterfall falling 50m down through hexagonal columns of lava. After a dry summer there was little water coming down. A bit further on is another small lay by with an orientation table with good views down the valley to the tiny hamlet of Le Chabron and Péreyres.



I had read on the web that there was off road parking and about 1km walk to the waterfall along a forest road to a lookout platform. Lower down is a huge car park but there is no track off it. Below, off the road, is a forest road which I assumed was the track giving close up views of Ray Pic. However a new cafe is being built at the start of the forest road and the area was fenced off. We didn’t investigate.



The road drops steeply down to a bridge before the tiny settlement of LE CHABRON. We stopped to take pictures of the gorge and a side valley. There is an old foot bridge across the river with a made stone trackway (similar to miners trackways) up the side of the main gorge. This looked as if it would be an interesting walk following the valley upstream.



We stopped in PÉREYRES and parked by the church in the space reserved for the Curé. This is a small hamlet of stone buildings with tiled roofs which climbs up the hillside above the church. There are steep steps and narrow paved paths between the houses. Newer houses at the top of the village are reached along a narrow steep road off D215 signed ‘no access’. It is a neat, well cared for place with a lot of flowers.



The small rectangular stone church was built 1845 and has a small bell cot at the west end. Steps lead up to the west door which has a portico over the door with a carved cross and crown. Unfortunately it was locked and there was no indication where we could get a key.



There were large signs saying the D215 was closed further down the valley so we retraced our steps back to the top.



This is a delightful valley in a steep gorge with attractive small settlements and well worth exploring.

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