The Ardeche is a region of southern France where many of the country’s finest qualities battle for dominance over its unruly charms. Here, the high granite mountains of the Massif Central meet the fertile plains of the Rhone Valley, temperate air from Central France meets the warmth of the Mediterranean and ancient forests give way to endless vineyards.

When Robert Louis Stevenson took his broken heart on a trek through the region, his experience moved him to write a book that is still selling today. When we arrived over a hundred years after him, we found this little-known gem of Southern France to be just as he had recorded it – rugged, peaceful and deeply inspiring.

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