Gard is one of my favorite departments of France, because it has a little bit of everything. You can visit for example historic sites as the Pont du Gard and the city of Nîmes, take a dive in the refreshing rivers or spot the beautiful flamingo’s in the salt lakes at Aiges-Mortes. And of course not to forget the mediteranean sea which is not far away. Yep, this is truly an ideal holiday destination.
You really can’t skip this city when on vacation in the Gard. Nîmes has a very rich history of which the showpiece is the old amphitheater. There is also a well-preserved Roman temple, an old city park with Roman remains and a cool tower with a view over the city. After a long city walk you just plop down on one of the many terraces.
Sûr le Pont d’Avignon, on y danse .. Although the city of Avignon isn’t officially situated in the Gard department, it still fits within the list as it’s just at it’s border. Everyone probably knows this city from the famous song. The bridge from the song is today a ruin, destroyed after a victory over the city and partly by the floods of the river. In addition to the bridge you will also find beautiful old city walls and the Palais des Papes: the largest Gothic building in Europe.
Once a small Roman village where an aqueduct was built to provide the city of Nîmes with water. This aqueduct was later converted into a bridge and is now called the Pont du Gard. The town itself has been expanded to a place with beautiful historical sights such as the castle of Uzès and the cathedral of St. Theodore. It is a nice town and on Saturdays there is a nice market.
Cevennes is a landscape of mountains with deep valleys. Different rivers flow through these valleys. Partly for this reason the area is green and it is incredibly beautiful to walk there. The national park is therefore crossed with long walking routes.
La Bambouseraie en Cévennes
At the foot of Cevennes is this beautiful botanical garden, where mainly bamboo grows. Besides bamboo you’ll also find special Japanese trees, tulip trees and other tropical plants. For children there is a nice bamboo maze. If you visit during fall be sure to go because the colors of the trees and plants are extra beautiful.
Grotte de la Salamandre
This cave has only been open to the public since 2013 and is highly recommended. The cave is one of the most beautiful of Europe and it is beautifully lit with different colors. It is even possible to explore the cave from top to bottom! By abseiling downwards from a height of 50 meters, you will discover the cave in a spectacular way. You can also get a ‘normal’ guided tour of course. The paths have been created especially for people in a wheelchair.
Cascades du Sautadet
Do you want to cool off, then go for a day to the cascades of Sautadet, near the town of La Roque-sur-Cèze. Here you will find rocks that have been carved by the river. Several small waterfalls thunder down from the rocks. Watch out because in some places it is very shallow. Don’t just jump off the rocks into the water, even though others might do this!
Gold panning in de Gardon river
Ever known that gold panning is possible in France? This is possible in various rivers in France, including the Gardon River! Gold originally comes from the mountains and flows down with the river. What you then do is find this gold with a special pan. Looking for gold in France is called Chercher de l’or. There are also campsites that are named after the gold search and offer this in the form of excursions.
Kayaking is a great activity! Sailing under the Pont du Gard in particular is popular among tourists. There are therefore plenty of companies that offer this. It is a fun and active way to see more of the area and to discover the best spot to swim.
La Cascade de la Vis
This waterfall is can entertain you for a full day. Swim in the super clear water and jump off the rocks into the water.
Pont du Gard
The Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct which was later extended to a bridge. The aqueduct was made to provide the city of Nîmes with water. With a height of 49 meters, the structure is very impressive and can still be visited today.
Would you like to know where the famous Fleur de Sel comes from? Then you should go to the salt extraction of Aigues-Mortes. You can do a tour by train, by foot or by mountain bike. During the tour you’ll pass the special salt lakes, which are pink due to the algae that produce beta-carrotene to protect themselves against the sun. If you’re lucky you can even come across flamingos.
A huge fort built in the 14th century on the top of a hill. From the walls of the castle you really have a super nice view over the city of Avignon.
Chartreuse de Villeneuve
This monastery can be combined with the Fort of Saint-Andre. A well-kept monastery that is still in use, but no longer for what it originally intended to be used for. Explanations are given in the various rooms and you get an impression of how the monks must have lived there. It is not that touristy, so it’ll be calm and relaxing to walk around.
This medieval village will give you the feeling of going back in time. The village is completely surrounded by an old city wall with city gates. The village itself is small with nice streets and restaurants. But the best thing is that you can walk across the city walls and walk all the way around the village.