Aiguèze is in the Gard department, Rhône-Alpes region, in an area known as Provence-Occitanie. It’s a small, medieval village, surrounded by vineyards, and officially one of the prettiest in France. Its history goes back many centuries, long before it was fortified in the 11th century. Aiguèze is set around a castle – the ruins of which dominate the skyline of the village above its riverside location, just below the Gorges de l’Ardèche. The centre is pedestrianised with narrow cobbled streets, making it a lovely town to wander.
What to see in Aiguèze
You can’t miss the picturesque square in the centre of the village, Place de l’Eglise, in front of the church of Aiguèze, shaded by place trees. Place Jeu des Paumes is also lovely, lined with cafés, great for a break if you visit the Thursday morning market. On summer evenings there are concerts in the square, accompanied by the sound of the tinkling fountain of Saint Roche. The cobbled streets are paved with Ardèche pebbles and lined with ancient buildings and places of interest. Discover an old wash house, ancient tower, 15th century hospital, and city gates to the walled town, and more.
The Church of Saint-Pierre, open daily, dates in part to the 11th century. It was later expanded and its’ facades and portal are 16th century French Renaissance. The inside is decorated with brightly coloured frescoes and the bell tower was restored in the Gothic style.
Stroll the ancient vaulted passageway “Combe aux Oiseaux”. It is unique for its facade, decorated with animal sculptures and home to the famous “sculptor’s house.” Made from beautiful light stone, it’s typical of the architecture of this area. Discover numerous ancient houses, which appear unchanged for what seems like hundreds of years.
Views and vineyards
From the ruins of the castle, high on a rocky ledge there are fabulous views. You can look out for miles across the valley and over the vineyards.
Below Aiguèze on the Ardèche river there is a popular small river beach. Called Plage de Sauze, it’s great for swimming and kayaking.
Cross the Pont de Saint Martin d’Ardèche suspension bridge. It is an attraction in its own right and takes you from Aiguèze to the town of Saint-Martin d’Ardèche, the southern gateway to the Gorges de l’Ardèche.
Pop to the town’s tourist office in a former 17th century olive mill in Rue du Moulin to find out what’s on.
How to visit Aiguèze
There is no train station here, the nearest station is in Montélimar (27 miles), so it’s best reached by car.
What to see nearby
Avignon, capital of Provence, is around a one hour drive from Aiguèze: Top 10 things to do in Avignon
The famous Roman Aqueduct of Pont du Gard is around an hour away: Pont du Gard
The town of Orange with its astonishing Roman theatre and remains is a little over 30 minutes away: Visit to the Roman theatre of Orange
The lovely village of Vaison-la-Romaine is about a one hour drive