One day in Ardèche

Aubenas, Balazuc, Rochecolombe and food specialities


What’s better than going on a getaway for a weekend ? I went to visit a good friend from Ardèche, with who I shared my Erasmus experience (article here!). I’m therefore taking you with me to show you a bit of this nice part of France.


On an autumn afternoon, I drove to Aubenas. You can take the motorway, or not : from Montpellier, the journey is more or less the same by taking normal roads, around 2h30. Once I arrived at Emmie’s, we spent the evening chatting, quite emotional of the nice year we spent in England, but also impatient to tell each other our future projects and trips !

A good day is awaiting tomorrow, so let’s go to bed !

Ahh, the alarms hurts a bit. It’s 8am, and we’re getting ready to go out. We’re lucky, the weather is really nice. This morning, we’re going in the city centre of Aubenas, where the market is taking place every Saturday. We’re walking in the streets. We decided to buy lamb’s lettuce and good goat cheese (I ate it all so quickly!).

Aubenas market

On the square, there’s also a castle : if you enter by the left-hand side, you will have a nice panorama.

castle and panorama

It’s not that hot : enough of walking, here we are in the L’Or Noir café, with an original decoration, and where the inhabitants gather around a hot drink. Here, you will find all sorts of coffees (small or large, from €1.20 to €3.80), teas (€2.40), hot chocolates (small or large, from €2 to €3.80), and even snacks… Makes you want to go there, right ?! I chose the « tisane de Noël » (Christmas tea), I had to ! We’re enjoying ourselves.

In this café, you can also buy lots of pretty little things : mugs, tea, all kinds of boxes… You can even buy the decoration ! By the way, thank you again Emmie for this great mug that I love !

Café L'Or Noir Aubenas

After an hour chatting, we’re leaving the café. We’re heading towards the bakery : let’s start tasting the local food specialities ! We’re buying two chestnut cakes.

It’s noon and we’re hungry : we’re going back to Emmie’s for lunch : lamb’s lettuce, onions, emmenthal “ravioles” goat cheese toasts, bacon… So good ! And for dessert, of course, the cakes… We’re eating well here !

food, lunch


After digesting, Emmie is taking me on a ride to discover the surroundings of Aubenas : we’re first heading towards Balazuc, one of the most beautiful villages of France. Après crossing a long bridge going over the river, we’re arriving at a car park : it’s better to continue on foot ; not because there’s a lot of people (because at this time of the year, there’s no one), but because it’s ascending and the roads are narrow once in the little village. We are there : the houses are made of stones. It’s really cute and thus very calm.


Again, although the sky is blue, it’s not really warm ! As the village is in the heights, the fog was bothering us a little, hiding the view over the river… It added something to the calm atmosphere.

Balazuc bridge

I’m still taking nice pictures, and we’re heading back towards the car : we’re now going to Rochecolombe.


It’s very calm here as well: we don’t see anyone. We park, and walk towards the waterfall. On the way, we’re laughing when we have to cross the water courses… Have to remain balanced on the rocks, we can’t fall !

Bridge and water courses

We’re getting to the waterfall, but the water is not as abundant as in high season, for example. It’s still a nice place, the water is clear, and we have a beautiful view.

Waterfall + view

Now, we’re starting the ascent towards a very nice point of view. It’s going up quite a bit : we’re not that cold anymore, all of a sudden !

The autumn colours are very pretty, and come out even more with this blue sky. Here we are at the top : it was worth it indeed, I let you see by yourself !

ascent Rochecolombe view

After a moment contemplating this beautiful panorama, we’re going back down to the car. The radiator is on, and we’re heading back to Emmie’s. We’re stopping on the way because the view is too nice not to !

view from the road

We’re therefore now going back to Emmie’s… Make a giant coconut and Nutella cookie… Yes, you read right ! Useless to say it was delicious. All this while watching a Christmas film… All we need !

giant cookie

For dinner, nothing better than a food speciality coming purely from Ardèche. « Are they still hungry ? », admit it, you must ask yourself that. On the menu : « caillettes » (pork and chard based), with a home-made ratatouille. As usual, it’s so good, and we’re enjoying it.

Between market, visits and tasting of all sorts, a good day is coming to an end : my eyes are full of stars… As well as my stomach ! Tomorrow, I’m going back to Montpellier. Thanks to Emmie, even in one day, I was able to realise that Ardèche is a really nice part of France. I’m hoping to come back in spring to see more !

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