Dolmens in the Ardèche
History of the Ardèche dolmens
First erected in prehistoric times in the year 6,000 BC, dolmens are funerary monuments made of stones. The Australopithecines of that time came from Africa and were nomadic. They began to migrate towards the European continent 5,800 BC. It was during the Neolithic period that people stabilised and stopped travelling by introducing agricultural practices such as wheat growing and animal husbandry. In Labeaume, a small village in the heart of the Ardèche with 626 inhabitants, there are no less than 138 dolmens listed. This type of burial site, the dolmens, disappeared between the ancient period and the medieval age, around the year zero. The sites in the Ardèche that include dolmens are now the subject of numerous restoration efforts with the aim of preserving them.
The dolmens of the Ardèche, a rich heritage to discover
With around 900 structures, this heritage makes the Ardèche one of the country’s most important areas for dolmens. This department has even more than Brittany. ! Both impressive and elusive, the dolmens are sure to give you a new perspective on the Ardèche. To discover this unparalleled wealth of prehistoric sites on foot or by car, you can go to a lookout point and take the dolmen route and five themed paths, which have been specially set up in the Southern Ardèche to visit these monuments. Whether you are a history buff or simply curious, you are sure to find the route that suits you best.
Five tours to visit the dolmens in Ardèche
- First circuit in Labeaume, from Ruoms to the Ranc de Figère. An easy 4 km route, lasting 2 hours, with five dolmens d’Ardèche to discover that are among the most spectacular in the department.
- Second circuit in Saint-Alban-Auriolles, chemin des Combettes. A 6 km itinerary, i.e. a 2 hour walk, suitable for children aged 4 and over. You will discover two dolmens, a dry stone hut (a capitelle) and a watering place in the centre of the village.
- Third circuit from Chandolas to Grospierres, chemin du Ranc d’Avène. Two easy 5 or 9 km circuits accessible to children, with four dolmens to see as well as a goat farm, a garden and a workshop dedicated to the arts. 2.5 hours for the 5 km; allow 1 hour more for the 9 km route.
- Fourth circuit at Grospierres, the path of the Serre mountain. 6 km of walking, i.e. 3 hours, and a difference in altitude of 375 metres, a route reserved for good walkers from 8 years old. Two monuments to appreciate and passage near an oppidum.
- Fifth circuit at Beaulieu, chemin des Divols. Two walks of 5 or 9 km, respectively 1 h 30 and 3 h 30, with a positive difference in altitude of 224 and 481 metres. These routes are suitable for experienced walkers, from 8 years old.
Your stay at the camping Mazet Plage in Ardèche is the ideal opportunity to visit the dolmens of Ardèche. When are you going?