Ardeche is appelee, in occitan, Ardecha (or Ardecho). The inhabitants of Ardeche are call Ardechois. Ardeche corresponds roughly to the old province of Vivarais.


Ardeche remains a department rather little people (density of 56 hab/km ?, against 112 for France), with strong disparities (Valley of the Rhone/mountains). It is also rather rural: in 1999,51% of the inhabitants live in communes of less than 3 000 inhabitants (against 12,5% for France entiere). Certain communes develop thanks to their position geographical (Saint-P3eray wine, Guilherand-Barns and Are situees in suburbs of Valence for example, city-streets of the Tournon-on-Rhone while passing by Rochemaure, along N86 to Viviers face has Montelimar. Attraction of the zone of Tricastin in extreme south-east), or thanks to the tourist activity of the area of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc.


Ardeche belongs to the Rhone-Alps area. It is bordering on the departments of Drome, Vaucluse, Gard, of Lozere, of the Haute-Loire, the Loire and Isere.

The grounds, the climate and the vegetation of Ardeche are quite different between North and the South from the department, which is thus characterizes by its large variety of natural environments and landscapes, while the department extends on an escarpment of more than thousand bills of quantities of made uneven, separating the high plateau from the Massif Central and the valley of the Rhone to the right of Valence.

  • North (Haut-Vivarais) is rather crystalline, wet and green This country of high hills and medium mountainss belongs to the Massif Central. The basin of Eyrieux, until the accesses of juices and the Mezenc mount, forms Boutieres.
  • The South (Bas-Vivarais) is marly or calcareous, drier, with an already Mediterranean vegetation. The basin of Ardeche digs spectacular throats there. The subterranean water is many, characteristic of the karstic mediums: swallow-hole of Orgnac, cave of Saint-Marcel, swallow-hole of Christmas. The hills and plates of the Fats are attached geomorphologiquement to large Causses.
  • In the center of the department, basalts of the plate of Coiron and the marnes and limestones of the Means-Vivarais form a kind of space of transition, whose geological history is extremely complex.
  • The ardechoise part of the valley of the Rhone is rather narrow. It is the Shore, a plain of alluvia the old different ones, punctuates villages and small towns, in the center of fertile agricultural soils.

source: wikipedia.

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