Lovers of the great outdoors will be in heaven here; a spectacular mountainous green region of south-central France. It's best known for its rugged countryside and the beautiful Ardèche river, which flows for miles through spectacular limestone gorges. Hire a kayak and spend a day floating along, admiring natural rock arches; Pont d'Arc is the most famous, fringed by a golden river beach. Nearby, the Madeleine Cave is filled with soaring stalagmites and natural baths. Cévennes National Park is famed for walking, rock climbing and pre-historic art; the turquoise Lac d’Issarles is a glorious place for wild swimming. We love the picturesque ancient villages of Balazuc and Labeaume, and the fortified hilltop town of Aubenas is a must, with an imposing medieval castle and cobbled streets.