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La Roque-sur-Cèze, Provence, France

La Roque-sur-Cèze is a small but very pleasant medieval village mentioned on the official list of the most beautiful villages in France. It is located at the top of a hill about 12 km west of Bagnols-sur-Cèze and lies below the Ardèche Canyon. Next to the village you will also find beautiful cascades and waterfalls on the river Cèze (Cascades du Sautadet). We decided to first explore this small town and then go to the waterfalls.


Access and parking

The town has quite a large parking lot where you can leave your car (GPS: 44.194406, 4.521562). There are many trees in the parking lot that create nice shadows, so your car will not get too hot in a sunny weather. We did not pay anything for parking, but reportedly in July and August - that is during the tourist season, you have to pay 4€.

If you come from the north - for example, after visiting the Ardèche Canyon (as we did), you will have to cross very narrow 12th century medieval bridge (Pont Charles Martel), whose width allows only one car to drive (A; GPS: 44.193418, 4.523646). But don't worry - the traffic lights are there, so it's no way to meet a car driving from the opposite side in the middle of this bridge.


Strolling Roque-sur-Cèze

From the parking lot you have to walk about 100 meters local road to find yourselves within the town limits. From this distance, its outline is clearly visible. Right after entering Grand Rue, we pass the parish church (B; GPS: 44.194000, 4.520204) on the right side, which however does not come from medieval times, but was built in 19th century. We will visit it on the way back but meanwhile we climb narrow streets that are surrounded by beautifully maintained stone houses. Every now and then we pass small squares, where crosses are often visible. Everything is rocky here: paths, walls, and even the fence of a small parking place. The town looks uninhabited, because except other tourists we do not meet anyone else. Perhaps this impression is due to the fact that the number of the residents does not exceed two hundred persons. There is neither a market nor anything that could be considered a town's center. After climbing up to the top we can see the walls of the castle (C; GPS: 44.194351, 4.519417) and the chapel from twelfth century, but this is certainly not the center. Do not count on having exceptional lunch here, too - in the town we only saw the "Chez Babeth" crêperie. Regardless of this the village is really interesting, and walking stone streets provides a lot of aesthetic impressions.

Cascades du Sautadet

After visiting the town you should walk to the river Cèze to see beautiful cascades and waterfalls. We walk about 700 meters the Chemin des Cascades according to the information on the road. Then we pass through a small grove and we are already at the cascades (D; GPS: 44.189651, 4.526659). This is a rocky area with uneven surface, often broken up with crevices, so watch your steps! The place is quite dangerous, especially during rainfall when the rocks are very slippery. Anyway, it makes quite a big impression - the water "boils down" in various cracks and mini-waterfalls. Of course, in the Cascades du Sautadet area the swimming is prohibited - do not try to do it.


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