Come and Visit Châteauneuf-sur-Isère
The holidays at Les Bastets campsite are most exciting. They offer the opportunity to make the most of the charms of the Drôme Provençale. One thing you can and definitely should do is pay a visit to Châteauneuf-sur-Isère. It will take you less than an hour to reach the remarkable site, and the visit truly deserves the detour.
The territory of Châteauneuf-sur-Isère is located at the intersection of three unique ecosystems. You will walk through a prairie stretching towards the banks of the Isère. It is fresh and humid here, you can see, among other things, the herons navigating the immense fields of reeds. The walk will then take you to the Vanelle dam, perfect for observing rare species of migratory birds.
A village steeped in history
As soon as you arrive, you will notice curious fireplaces on some of the houses in the center. This distinct houses are called Saracens. The coats of arms of the ancient lords of Châteauneuf might grace them, but their actual origins are so enigmatic that there is no telling what their history is.
Keep moving through the village, and you will see vestiges of an architectural complex that the locals call the castle as well as a spectacular 17th century portal.
The village church with a remarkable name Saint-Thomas à Saint-Hugues was erected at the end of the 12th century in honor of Saint-Thomas, the patron saint of architects and quarrymen – and indeed, a plethora of old quarries encircles the village. The name Saint-Hugues refers to a local clergyman who became the bishop of Grenoble in the 11th century.
As you walk, you will see the Saint-Hugues chapel consecrated in 1896, with the miraculous spring of Saint-Hugues at its steps. According to the legend, its waters cure blindness.
The local quarries are definitely worth seeing. Employed since antiquity and well into the 19th century, they tell the story of the region. The stones extracted here were used in the construction of some famous monuments across the region and beyond. Located on the territory of 17 hectares, some of them are open-air and, presumably, of Roman origin. Others are underground and have been successively transformed into mushroom farms and wine cellars for local vineyards.
Take the Chemin des Carriers game course for a fun and entertaining walk with your family – you will be required to solve riddles as you go (we offer different levels of complexity for different ages).
Then make sure to have a look at the famous local cave houses. They can be seen from the Butte du Châtelard, which overlooks the village and the river. Get closer to them by following the Botanical path – it will take you to the Bel Air hillside, where you will see ten cave houses, remnants of a small hamlet.