Viviers is a commune situated in the Ardèche region of southern France and which lies on the banks of the River Rhône, several kilometres south of Montelimar. The town has managed to retain its charming medieval ambience by expertly maintaining its historic buildings and architecture and contains a range of significant landmarks, including ancient ruins, magnificent palaces, stunning cathedrals and fascinating museums. The appeal of Viviers is not only limited to its rich culture and heritage, as the surrounding region is also home to a variety of fun and exciting activities, excellent shops and restaurants as well as a beautiful natural landscape. Visitors can easily immerse themselves in the culture and history of this serene and captivating French town, where many buildings are open to the public and which continue to delight.
With its glorious spires and intricate architecture, Saint Vincent’s Cathedral dominates Viviers’ skyline. Originally built on top of an 11th century structure and renovated during the 17th and 18th centuries, the cathedral still stands as proud today as it did when it was constructed, enjoying a commanding position overlooking the town. The Bishop’s Palace is another of the town’s superb historic structures and not surprising given its name, was historically the residence of the region’s bishop. Today however it houses the Town Hall as well as a helpful tourist information centre.
Other landmarks of historical importance located within the town include Saint Michel Tower Gate, Saint Martin’s Tower, Saint Ostain’s Chapel and the ruins of le Chateau fort de l’Ourse, which when translated, means the Castle of the Bear.
An exceptional variety of fun activities and exciting excursions are also available throughout the region. For the more intrepid explorer, there is the opportunity to take a tour of the local caves or try your hand at high rope courses in the surrounding forests. For an altogether more relaxing excursion, the town offers several fabulous walking trails, all of which boast fantastic views of the town and the picturesque surrounding scenery. Whatever type of traveller you are, Viviers offers excursions and activities to suit your needs.
You'll discover a number of stunning picturesque villages in the surrounding Ardeche region if you travel just outside of Viviers, including Saint-Montan and Alba-la-Romaine, each offering a taste of quaint French culture, as well as the beautiful Ardeche Gorges, which can be found nearby at Vallon Pont d'Arc.