The Mézenc, highest point in the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire
The Mont Mézenc is THE major natural site, a must to visit during your stay. Its altitude of 1753 metres makes it the highest summit in the Ardèche and Haute-Loire, a summit which offers an outstanding 360° view over a large part of the South-east of France.
A 360° view which begins with the Monts d’Ardèche, the Velay and then further to the monts of cantal, the Mont Dore, the Puy de Dôme, the chain of the Alps and the massif of Mont-Blanc and Ventoux …
But the Mézenc is more than just a breath-taking panorama. You will certainly hear about the water dividing line : an expression which reveals that a small gap of a few centimetres at the start can become a distance of several hundreds of km at the end ! The ridge of the Mézenc forms a line separating the valleys of the Rhône and the Loire. If precipitations fall on one side, the water will follow the course of the watershed of the Rhône and flow into the Mediterranean sea. On the other side, the watershed of the Loire takes rain water to the Atlantic ocean.
The Mézenc is also a sort of concentration of what makes up the identity of our such appealing region. Around you, there is abundant colourful flora which never offers the same spectacle from spring to autumn. Under your feet, phonolyte , a rock which covers the roofs of many of the houses of surrounding villages ((article villages de caractère) and which is there to remind us that the Mézenc is above all a volcano. Milans, hawks and harrier eagles fly over your heads …
« It’s not Italy, it’s more beautiful. This is central France with all these extinct Vesuviuses and clad in splendid vegetation. There is no point on the ground which has not been raised, twisted or cracked by geological convulsions … I never imagined that in the heart of France there were such strange and imposing lands”