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“Very interesting walk”
Review of Bois de Paiolive

Bois de Paiolive
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 31 August 2015

We parked at parking "de Lestong" where we started the yellow 4KM walk, with 4 kids (age 10 through 15). It took us about 2 hours to do the walk, because the kids wanted to look at every little cave they saw and climb on most of the interesting rocks. We encountered 3 little caves, and one rather deep hole in the ground (it took 5 seconds for a stone to hit the bottom of the hole!). The scenery was great, and the yellow markings were easy to find so we never felt we were going the wrong way.

A word of caution: at some points you are walking meters away from a deep cliff, and that can be very dangerous. At the beginning of the walk we very clearly told our kids, especially the youngest one, that running was absolutely forbidden, and I am glad we told them; it is not hard to imagine excited kids running off the cliff.

It was fairly warm that day, and while trees provide a lot of shading so you're not walking in the sun all the time, it is still a bit exhausting. We each had a liter of water, which was all gone at the end of the walk. So bring something to drink; without the water it would not be so fun.

All in all, a great free afternoon spent.

3  Thank Kenneth v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2015

If you park your car at the second parking, you are at the starting point of the short (1,5 km) trail, depicted in green on the local map. This one is suitable for adventurous kids, if they have adventurous parents... The trail takes about 35-45 minutes with some mild climbing. Walking boots make it easier but are not necessary. If you rather take a longer trail, it is good to know that the 5 km blue trail starts at this second parking as well. In case of hot weather, bring water or so, as in the forest itself are no drinks available.

Thank Erik1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2015 via mobile

A visit to the Ardeche is never complete without a meal here. There's always such a genuine welcome from Melanie and her team of professional and discreet staff.

Delicious food featuring local specialities: goat cheese, charcuterie, trout, and sweet chestnuts included in a regularly changing menu. Freshly and elegantly prepared.

They have been open for just over two years and we hope that they will thrive and grow in this beautiful location on the edge of the Paiolive forest.

Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2015

The trails are very well indicated. You need some condition because now and then you have to climb up some stones (but not dangerous). We did the Corniche walk with great views down the river + the labyrinth walk. It is a peaceful place with strange rocks around you. Worth the detour!

1  Thank Jan63Wevelgem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 July 2013

We explored the Bois de Paiolive with children aged from 3-15. At first we were disappointed - we pulled into the first car park and went to look at the first two rock formations, called 'L'ours et le lion' I think. Nice enough piles of rocks, but we were wondering whether two piles of crumbling limestone in a woodland of scrubby trees was quite enough to justify the trip! We drove on to the next car park and tried the circular walk which was described as an 'easy ramble'. We had developed a healthy respect for the outdoorsiness of the French; their idea of an 'easy family ramble' would have the Health & Safety Brigade of Southern England breaking out in hives! The walk started ordinarily enough, again spotting interesting piles of rocks amongst the trees. Then the kids started to discover little caves and gaps in the rocks that they could squeeze into. Then they found that they could clamber over the rocks and nobody started to tut and tell them that the site wasn't insured for this! At one point, the signposts offered an optional detour from the route which appeared to involve a spot of pot-holing, squeezing through gaps between rocks. The kids loved it, and we adults were entranced. The landscape became increasingly surreal - trees festooned in moss and lichen, natural archways, a limestone pavement that you could scramble over and see sedums and other rock plants growing in like a prize Chelsea flower show exhibit.

The Bois de Paiolive is a wonderful educational opportunity to learn about geology - it would be a wonderful field trip for any geography student. You can see evidence of chemical and physical weathering all around.

You need to be reasonably mobile to do this walk; even on the 'gentle' circular walk that we took, there was some scrambling over rocks which were waist-height, and clambering through narrow gaps. In wet weather some of it would probably be quite slippery. However, you can take your time and there are plenty of rocks to sit on! The walk is marked by red paint on the rocks and some wooden posts, but they can be hard to spot. I was confused by some of these marks as it seems that an arrow something like this > is not actually an arrow at all, but is showing you that the path takes a turn. If the path goes straight on, there's just a line. Hard to explain, but just watch out when you go there!

Do take a good map - we found signposting to be poor on exiting the park and got lost.
We didn't find any refreshments in the park itself - it was a scorching day and we were glad that we had water with us, so do take some with you. Most of the walk that we covered was under the shade of trees.

In summary, a great walk if you are able-bodied and interested in unusual landscape features, and good fun for kids.

6  Thank 345Angela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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