The Vélorail of the Gorges du Doux
Since 2011, some nice draisines ride into this sensitive and protected area of the Gorges du Doux. This kind of pedal car are on the railway line of the Vivarais, created at the end of the XIX° century. At this time, you could go by train from Le Puy en Velay to the Rhône Valley. It’s a metric railway, means it’s really narrow but perfectly adapted to the mountainous area.
These draisines are unique because specially designed for this railway line. They look like a Beetle car and create a “wow effect” ! It’s an original activity at the railway station of Boucieu le Roi, a classified village, at the heart of the Ardèche Verte. A ride of 12 km on the railway line of the famous Mastrou, the steam strain, where you only do the slope ! To come back, you board into a rail, a special diesel vehicle moving on the tracks.
At the beginning, the Vélorail of the Gorges du Doux only offered 1 ride on the lower part, until a place named “Troie”. In 2015, a second ride is created, always 12 km but on the upper part.
You always ride on the slope so you have to start by going up thanks to the rail.
In 2020, the Vélorail of the Gorges du Doux offers you 2 newly rides. The one of the “Chestnut tree”, 8 km, perfect for the beginners, with panoramic points of view and orchards. And the Great Adventure, a ride of 20 km for all sport persons and thrill lovers !
Ready to go ? We advise you to book your trip by calling the railway station or you can do it on ligne.A little piece of advice : take some time to visit the gorgeous village of Boucieu le Roi, classified as one of the most beautiful village of Ardèche.
Come on board with Margot and her family for the Great Adventure, the ride of the Vélorail of the Gorges de l’Ardèche.
It’s a dream comes true ! With my family, you are the luckiest people because we try before the opening the "Great Adventure" of the Vélorail of the Gorges du Doux ! It’s 20 km of happiness and laugh !
The meeting point is at the railway station of Boucieu le Roi. We already know this beautiful place, in the middle of the mountain, with its amazing architecture increases thanks to these granitic golden stones. At the bottom of the village, there is the railway station. Inaugurated in 1891 and rebuild in the XXI° century, the rail station keeps its charms and authenticity ! After few minutes, we board on the rail. It’s our chief conductor, Méléanne, who share with us all the historical details about the railway line, the train and all the activities around.
Along the way, we discover the amazing landscape of the Vallée du Doux and we arrive at the train station, named “Le Plat”.
After the security check, we sit on the draisine. It’s not new for my husband and me but for our sweet little girl, it’s a big discovery ! She listens carefully the security check by Méléanne and she sits on the back sit with the security belt. And it’s time to start our 20 km ride, at the heart of a wild nature. We know this landscape : we are used to ride with the Train of Ardèche. Our daughter Camille has done her first trip even before she was born ! But, riding thanks to the Vélorail all together is totally new ! Listen to her laugh is as sweet as this melodious sound of the river below us. Mother Nature gives us all the smells of the spring. After 8 km, we come back to Boucieu le Roi. It’s a perfect break for our daughter : she needs to stretch her legs ! After few minutes, we continue the slope. It’s the Etroit way.
It's a famous part of the railway line because of the marvellous landscape. No doubt : we will share this experience with friends ! It will bring happiness to our daughter, she can’t stop to use the new word she has learned : “Vélorail”.
The vertiginous slope makes our daughter so happy and she asks for more ! But, we already arrive to the railway station of “Troye”, the last stop of our Great Adventure. When all the participants arrive at the railway station, it’s time to come back thanks to the rail. It’s a relief because it’s too hard to pedal on the direction ! Camille doesn’t see this part of the ride because she falls asleep into my arms really fast !
To finish in the best way, we decide to visit one more time Boucieu le Roi and we go up, until the panoramic point of view, next to the Bailli House, classified as historical monument.
Ardèche Hermitage area gives a lot of playful activities, perfect for family. Horse-drawn ride, escape game, paper chase, tour guide… Do a lot of great discoveries and share unforgettable moment with your beloved ones during you stay !