The Train des Gorges, an authentic stroll
The taste of authenticity, an out of time discovery, at the steam pace : welcome aboard the “Train de l'Ardèche” . It is also known as the “Petit Train du Vivarais” or “Mastrou” meaning “The small train from Lamastre” in the local dialect. This historical train was part of the Vivarais network and was operated by the departmental railway company. It used to be a true economic link between the Rhône Valley and the plateau ardéchois (north part of the county). The line was shut down in 1968 due to the development of the road network. One year later, the railroad became a tourist site.
Live a unique experience on this centenary steam train in the heart of gorges classified as a sensitive natural site. The Gorges Train if a half day trip, 1 hour 15 minutes round trip between the train station of Tournon-sur-Rhône/Saint-Jean-de-Muzols until Colombier-le-Vieux/Saint-Barthélémy-le-Plain. An 8 kilometer trip (16 kilometers round trip), in the most precious part of the gorges where you can admire stunning wild panoramas, the fauna and flora with Mediterranean influences, very similar to scub.
This train is a true heritage, a time travel, rich in tradition, a reminder of the charm of another era, a not to be missed experience in your terroir journey. Consult the days and times of the Train des Gorges and/or of the Mastrou , we strongly recommand to reserve it in advance during summer time.
A lunch, terroir style
Taste our terroir over lunch time, a simple gourmet picnic or the daily special at a restaurant. A few advice and addresses to share an authentic moment over a meal.
5 not to be missed picnic spots in Ardèche Hermitage
The pleasure of lunch on the grass, a check tablecloth, a few good local products, a little quiet place by the water, the pretty cliché of the ideal picnic ! Here is our top 5 spots for a picnic in Ardèche Hermitage.
- The Champos Lake in Saint Donat sur l’Herbasse : a 40 hectare park, a near-natural bathing lake. A leisure area opens in July/August, with water slides, ponds with fountains and the option to rent pedalos, stand up paddle, canoe… You can enjoy a picnic area in the shade of the trees, with picnic tables, a green space, steps away from the beach
- The Bassin des Musards, in la Roche de Glun : located along the ViaRhôna trail and biking road located along the Rhone river. The quiet of this place will seduce you, the only way you can go around the lake is by walk. You can find information signs about the fauna and flora around this pond, soon-to-be classified sensitive natural space. This artificial lake is also the playground of the La Roche de Glun Nautical Jousts team. Bathing is however prohibited. Our tip: the sailing club of Rochelain offers free initiations, every Sunday from May to September.
- The Chapel of Hermitage : have a picnic in the middle of the wineries with one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Rhone Valley as a bonus. Located at the top of the famous hillsides of Hermitage, you can access it by foot from the town center of Tain l’Hermitage. You can also access it by car until the Pierre Aiguille car park. The walk from the car park to the Chapel will be about one kilometer long, you can access it through a wide path, good shoes are recommended for the walk.
- The Pont du Roi, located above the Doux river, in the town of Boucieu le Roi : departure village of the Vélorail des Gorges du Doux. This space is not adapted but offers an access to the river. A real little piece of nature for your lunch time, enjoying the sound of the lapping of the water.
- Locality of Saint Sorny, on the trail of the Gorges de la Daronne, in Colombier le Vieux : it is a small shady hamlet, a haven of peace for nature lovers. A little romanesque chapel is open to the public. A few hundred meters away, you will cross a himalayan walkway, for the greatest delight of children, young and old. You can soak your feet in the banks of the Daronne and enjoy a fresh break.
Restaurants and “art de vivre”
Our chefs are also committed to share a terroir cuisine, fresh products, organic and seasonal. Around here, to be locavore* is almost a religion ! A not to be missed experience on a terroir day : discover these pleaces full of life where friendliness is key. You feel a little like at home there. Slow food café in Tournon sur Rhône is an atypical place : a barge moored at the foot of the Castle-museum of Tournon, with a stunning view on the footbridge Marc Seguin. The Auberge Monnet is located on the edge of the Bassin des Musards at La Roche de Glun, every day a seasonal menu, 100% local and homemade, all accompanied by a fine wine list. In the same spirit, the restaurant "les Cocottes" in Pont de l'Isère, delicacy and a lot of creativity on the plates, a daily french cuisine reinvented for your pleasure.
Locavore*: person who only eats local products
The taste of terroir by the discovery of products made in Ardèche Hermitage
Delicious local products, unique know-how, discover the destination Ardèche Hermitage .
Meet our producers
Discover our savoir-faire, fun tours with terroir aficionados who share their passion for our local products ! Cheeses, organic chestnut cream and even beers, our producers welcome you at home. Learn how to milk a cow, walk around an organic garden, break the mystery of brewing… These friendly and entertaining visits are followed by a tasting. There are several not to be missed events from April to October, for a terroir day full of curiosity and flavour. All year long, Nectardéchois, an artisan workshop, fruit juice producer, offers a fruit juice sale on site every 1st Saturday of the month. A discovery visit is offered upon request
A terroir day that combines taste and authenticity! Discover the values, traditions and cultural heritage… The Art of living with a capital Ah! Here, our professionals cultivate the taste of the region and love to share their passion. Come discover “the Terroir Spirit” in Ardèche Hermitage.