Daniel Start: If you mention the Ardèche many will think of the huge Pont d’Arc - its famous natural arch - and the gorges below. But head upstream away from the crowds and the landscape changes dramatically. High hexagonal rock columns, like those which form the Giant’s Causeway, rise like towering organ pipes, formed from crystallised magma from volcanic eruptions. They now create deep pools and excellent jumping platforms with terrifying names. At Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) near Thuyets a slender medieval bridge spans a narrow gorge above a large river pool with various ledges for jumps. The water below is jade green and beautifully clear. A via ferrata rope course above provides additional excitement. The Gouffre de l’Enfer (Hell’s Abyss) near Burzet is also a favourite, with a deep cauldron hidden in the woods. Pont du Diable is signed 1km E of Thueyts on N102 (Lat Long 44.6710, 4.2216).
EXTRACT FROM: © Wild Swimming France: discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of France, by Daniel Start (May 2012) available from http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/france.html