Hewn over centuries by the River Ardèche, a 60m (197-ft.) high natural limestone arch is the emblem of the Ardèche gorges. France’s fastest-flowing river has carved a 30km (19-mile) path through limestone cliffs that ascend up to 300m (984 ft.) high. Visitors have been able to canoe down the gorges since 1932. Of the dozens of kayak rental companies, one of the best is Aventure Canoës, 1 pl. Allende Neruda (www.aventure-canoes.fr; tel. 04-75-37-18-14). The best time for kayaking is April to late November when the waters are green and sluggish and safer than during winter months. Alternatively, you can drive around the gorges on a well-marked route between Vallon-Pont-d’Arc and Pont St-Esprit. Watch out for careless drivers too busy taking snapshots to look where they are going. A good spot for a reliable snack in Vallon Pont d’Arc is Le Chelsea, 45 bd. Peschaire Alizon, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc (www.lechelsea.com; tel. 04-75-88-01-40), with its shaded terrace.