Alès the capital of the Cévennes
Seen as a wellness area on the edge of the Cévennes, Alès is a town that will surprise you given its many things to do. If you really want to get a feel for it, you need to try local produce, stroll on the beach, visit the shops and do some sport… Tourist Information provides a treasure hunt so you can find out about the town's heritage. A fun way to learn about the local history. That means you can visit the citadel in Alès called Fort Vauban and the surrounding grounds hosting shows in summer. A footpath leads you to L’Ermitage, a top Alès heritage site. This trip introduces you to the relics of a Gallo-Roman oppidum as well as a 290m high vista overlooking the entire town. Last but not least, Alès has holidaymakers covered as you can swim in the Gardon River between June and late August. Sports fans can hop into a canoe, pedalo or paddle
Anduze, a picture-perfect little town
Lying 15km south-west of Alès, Anduze was built on the side of the Rocher Saint-Julien and remnants from the Neolithic period prove the site has existed since time immemorial. Whilst here, don't miss the Clock Tower whose building began in 1320, or the Pagode Fountain on Place du Marché with its glazed ceramic tiles or Rue Droite, a winding street (despite "droite" meaning "straight") where you'll find artisans, shops and the town's soul. As well as being home to 7 campsites, Anduze is also popular for swimming in Gardon Lake, night markets, multi-coloured terraces and cheery ice cream makers who won't let you forget that you're here on holiday.
Vézénobres, architectural gem
Vézénobres is a medieval hilltop village 10km south of Alès at the foot of the Cévennes mountain range. It has been named a Village with Personality and brings you a maze of lanes and steps with breath-taking panoramic views. History buffs will love its thousand years of architecture and incredible heritage. As you stroll along the lanes you'll see the village's biggest landmarks such as the Château de Montanègre ruins, Renaissance Hôtel de Montfaucon, the church adorned with a superb 18th century fresco that's recently been restored, Château de Thoiras (which is now the town hall) and more.
Saint-Jean-du-Gard, an unspoilt natural setting
Nestled south-east of Cévennes National Park, Saint-Jean-du-Gard is an unforgettable unspoilt natural haven where you can live the good life no matter if it's for a few days or just a few hours. Use your time here to visit the Château de Saint Jean linked to the wars of religion that left their mark on the Cévennes, Pont Vieux bridge that has been washed away and rebuilt several times plus the Clock Tower, the last remnant of the romanesque church. 6 campsites in Saint-Jean-du-Gard itself
Wild swimming in the Cévennes
If you're wondering where to go swimming, we recommend Mas du Pont in Générargues. The beach is 7km from St Jean du Gard and you can cool off in excellent quality water. Le Castel Rose and Pont d’Anduze in Anduze are two beaches that come recommended in Anduze for the quality of their bathing water. Last but not least, two beaches that are 12km from St-Jean-du-Gard (La Madeleine in Tornac and Pont des Camisards in Soustelle) both have high standard water for swimming.
The beaches make it easy to get into these rivers so you can go swimming with all the family whether there are little ones under their parents' watchful gaze or older kids.
The Cévennes Steam Train Association relaunched the route between Anduze and Saint Jean du Gard in 1982 It was inaugurated in 1909 and stopped transporting tourists in 1940 (replaced by coaches) but continued transporting freight until 1960. It now provides tourist outings so you can go on a wonderful adventure through the Cévennes on board a magnificent steam train! An original trip that kids and adults love.
Last but not least, you can really soak up the Cévennes with the wide range of campsites available. From Alès to the edge of the Cévennes in Saint-Jean-du-Gard down to Anduze in the south. The Cévennes are home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as amazing wine (Uzès, Pic-St-Loup, Châteauneuf-du-Pape), fabulous caves, the only bamboo garden in Europe at the Bambouseraie des Cévennes and millions of hiking trails. A real archipelago whose magic will stay with you.