Notre-Dame de Cousignac is surrounded by organic vineyards. Photo: Gillian Thornton

Our selection of the best accommodation and dining in the département

Related articles: Ardèche: A World of Picture-Perfect Wonders
12 Unmissable Spots in Ardèche
What to See and Do in Ardèche

LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Visit this “charming stays” website for 30 Séjours de Charme; find 20 local bistros serving as community hubs at bistrotdepays.com; and 10 chefs passionate about local produce at lestoquesdardeche.fr.

HOTELS

Hôtel du Couvent, Vagnas

This restored 19th-century convent retains many architectural features. It offers 29 bedrooms in former cells and dinner whipped up from local produce in the former vaulted refectory. www.couventvagnas.com

Château Clément, Vals-les-Bains

This beautiful 19th-century mansion set in a shady park boasts five luxury bedrooms, three apartments/gîtes and indoor and outdoor pools. www.auchateauclement.com

Auberge du Lac, Saint-Marcel-lès-Annonay

This charming house, with breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding countryside, is located less than an hour from Lyon, in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône vineyards. www.aubergedulac.fr

La Mère Biquette, Saint-Pons

Nestled between vineyards and chestnut trees hides a Cévenol-style mansion surrounded by flowers, scents and greenery, where time stands still. www.merebiquette.fr

The bedroom terrace at Quinte et Sens affords guests stunning views. Photo: Gillian Thornton

CHAMBRES D’HÔTES

Quinte et Sens, Barnas

Perched on wooded hills, this tranquil property features simple eco-friendly furnishings made by owner Patrick from local materials. www.chambrehotesardeche.com

Villa Aimée, Vals-les-Bains

Villa Aimée offers a selection of self-catering rooms and apartments with spa packages available to soothe your weary limbs after a hard day exploring. www.villaaimee.com

Cabanes de Labrousse, Saint-Julien-Labrousse

Nestled in a forest of Douglas pines and chestnut trees, these cabins perched in trees offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys and an unusual place to stay up close and personal with nature. cabanesardeche.com

Les Carriers, Vogüé

With five spacious rooms and a free breakfast, this is the perfect base from which to explore. Indulge in the free swimming pool and wellness area. www.lescarriers.fr

Fancy a dip in the swimming pool at Domaine du Fayet? Photo: Gillian Thornton

Domaine du Fayet, Sanilhac

The domaine offers gîtes and chambres d’hôtes in traditional stone buildings with all modern comforts in a quiet valley near Largentière. There is a shared pool and garden. www.fayetardeche.com

Notre-Dame de Cousignac, Bourg-Saint-Andéol

Slap bang in the heart of an organic vineyard, this 16th-century stone farmhouse boasts five bedrooms, a gîte and that all-important pool. Bistro meals are available in high season. https://www.domainedecousignac.fr

Le Silex, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc

Four bedrooms created from rock, river pebbles, wood and metal give a troglodyte twist to this boutique hotel. Canoeing and dining options available. www.pontdarc.com

RESTAURANTS

Ferme Auberge de La Besse, Usclades-et-Rieutord

Chef Matthieu Méjean serves mountain magic on a plate in this vaulted stone dining room a few minutes from Mont Gerbier de Jonc. www.aubergedelabesse.com

Le Vivarais, Vals-les-Bains

Stéphane Polly gained a Michelin star for dishes that add a contemporary twist to traditional favourites such as local Fin Gras AOP beef. www.hotel-helvie.com

A seasonal starter at the Auberge de la Tour de Brison. Photo: Gillian Thornton

Auberge de la Tour de Brison, Sanilhac

This popular hotel-restaurant offers far-reaching views over Sanilhac. Food and hotel facilities aside, the estate features five gîtes with pool access. www.belinbrison.com

Auberge de Montfleury, Saint-Germain

Ten minutes from Aubenas, Richard Rocle is the latest Ardèchois chef to be awarded a Michelin star. His wife Angèle has put together a fine wine list. www.auberge-de-montfleury.fr

TEAROOM

Les Thés du Square, Joyeuse

Treat yourself to chestnut tea, coffee and other goodies at this atmospheric tearoom, ice cream parlour and crêperie on Square François André, opposite Castanea chestnut museum. www.lesthesdusquare.com

ARDÈCHE ESSENTIALS

GETTING THERE

BY CAR
Gillian travelled on Brittany Ferries’ overnight cruise ferry from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo, driving down via the Centre and Auvergne.

BY TRAIN
Take the Eurostar/TGV to Valence or Avignon

BY AIR
Fly to Lyon-Saint-Exupéry, Nîmes, or Avignon airports.

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