Travelling in Ardèche: Vogüé
Vogüé, which sits next to the Ardèche river, is officially one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”, or “Beautiful Village of France” and I found out why. If you love hidden passageways, charming little shops, castles perched atop hills and beautiful stonework buildings, then this is the place for you. Even the terrain is incredible, with its high cliffs, like undulating columns set behind the stone village.
It was going to be a hot day, and the morning was already warm. We headed out of Sanilhac toward Vogüé. We crossed the bridge over the Ardèche river and parked under those amazing cliffs.
People were hanging out by the river, with its big slabs of flat stone making wonderful spots to lay a towel in the sun. It reminded me of going to the Yuba River in California with my family, and spending the day swimming. We made our way to the village and walked along the small street.
We found a little shop selling various cooking oils, soaps, baskets, and even chestnut flour, which I bought for making crepes.
We even found an old, closed down shop with our name above the door! Perrier.
We walked through an old stone tunnel, which was a welcome, if not short, break from the summer sun. The tunnel was actually darker, but the flash on my camera lightened the space.
Vogüé is small and charming, with paths that wind up the hill toward the castle.
We saw this cute little fellow on our ascent up the hilly streets. Isn’t he adorable?
It’s easy to be enchanted by this village, with its buildings of weathered stone and thick walls, little stairways and arched doorways…
A glimpse of the Château de Vogüé!
The chateau was a medieval fort which was reconstructed in the 17th century. Visitors are able to go inside, where they sometimes have art exhibits.
I thought this old weathered door was beautiful, with that faded blue, and it fits right in with the rustic stonework.
More rustic stone houses – I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live in a village like this, with so many summer visitors, clicking away by your doorstep. I imagine they must make sure to go somewhere else during this time!
I thought that these cottages were intriguing, with their organic mish-mash of shapes.
I admire the time it took for someone to make something so beautiful out of simple materials. A friend of mine in France told me, “les cailloux disposées au sol en formes géométriques s’appellent des calades. C’est un mot occitan qui est devenu un mot français après 1791.” Translation: “The pebbles laid out on the ground in geometric shapes are called calades. It is an Occitan word that became a French word after 1791.”
At the end of a hot day of walking, delicious, cold ice cream was in order!