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Bois de Païolive

  • Author: TrailExplorer

Bois de Païolive

This walking route introduces you to the erratic forms of Bois de Païolive. The Païolive massif was formed in the Jurassic period and now 150 million years later this forest is one of the highlights of the Ardèche!

Distance: 6 km.

Time: 1h30.

Grade: Easy.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: 197 meters.

Trail: 98% unpaved.

Marking: GR4 and Blue - Yellow Line.

Hiking shoes recommended.


Gorges du Chassezac.

In the east of Les Vans the course of the Chassezac dug deep into the limestone plateau and bizarre rock formations were formed by erosion. The limestone was so hollowed out or formed by wind and rain that only strange rock formations remained. These rock formations consist of dolomite and have given the Bois de Païolive its whimsical shapes. In the area, olive trees were cultivated but they could not survive in this habitat due to different periods of frost. Then the typical undergrowth developed: holm oak, juniper and boxwood, but also herbs such as thyme and rosemary. This walk runs through this extraordinary landscape with viewpoints on the Gorges du Chassezac. The walk does not have a big difference in height, but the terrain is rough.

Bois de Païolive

Download PDF for route description.

Stay on the paths because in this maze you are quickly lost.

People with vertigo can take the alternative route!

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Hermitage Saint-Eugène.

This hermitage is located in a place called Chassagnes on the edge of the forest of Païolive and is built on the cliff overlooking the river Chassezac. Elements of the primitive chapel date from the Middle Ages. Although privately owned, it is sold as a national property under the Revolution and serves as a shed. The hermitage was restored in 1956 by a Dominican archaeologist, but it lasted until 1994 before being inhabited by a monk of Cîteaux. In the chapel of the hermitage there are some very beautiful reproductions of Byzantine frescoes. The Hermitage is private property, you can visit it by making an appointment.

Hermitage Saint-Eugène.