Ales, France
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Ales Hotels

Known as the “capital” of the Cevennes, the sprawling town of Ales sits within France’s picturesque Gard department, on the banks of the rippling Gardon River. Offering a wealth of river-based activities from kayaking to fishing, the town also exists within easy reach of the mountain-studded Cevennes National Park - which offers endless opportunities for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers alike. Packed with top notch restaurants, quaint cafés, and shops, Ales has plenty to see and do après-adventure, too.

Things to see

Ales Cathedral is one of the town’s historical gems and one of the country’s national monuments. Originally constructed during the 1690’s, the weathered stone structure sits just a stone’s throw from the start of the ‘Regordane Way’, a medieval pilgrimage route. If you’re on a historical trail, Mine Temoin offers the chance to delve into Ales’ coal mining past. A one-hour subterranean tour takes visitors through the gloomy disused mines, detailing the life of miners from 1880 onwards. Perched on a lush hill just a few miles north of town, Chateau de Portes dates all the way back to the 11th century. Steeped in a captivating history, it’s well known for its architecturally unique ship bow-shaped spurs. A few minutes northeast of Ales, Grotte de la Cocaliere is a natural network of limestone caves. Formed over many millions of years, the otherworldly tunnels weave through enchantingly illuminated rock formations and past shimmering pools.

Hotels in Ales

There’s a modest handful of hotels in Ales, with something to appeal to every traveller. Best of all, many of them come affordably priced. You can take your pick from modern chain name accommodation offering a stylish stay, to more cosy and characterful locally-run digs. The majority of hotels in Ales feature on-site bar lounges, whilst some count restaurants, business facilities, and swimming pools among their amenities too. In-room you can expect all the standard creature comforts, including WiFi and flat-screen televisions equipped with cable channels. For those after a more serene base, the town’s idyllic rural surrounds offer more secluded options.

Where to stay

Overlooked by the rugged Cevennes Mountains, and peered down upon by a centuries old fort, Ales is a mix of the old and new, just minutes from a vast expanse of forests, valleys, and rivers. Whilst the town centre and its amenities are easily explored by foot, those wanting to explore the surrounding countryside and national park will need to hire a car. Fortunately, many of the hotels in Ales provide free parking. Having your own transport also gives you the option of sun, sea and sand - with the sun kissed Mediterranean coast situated around an hours’ drive away.

How to get to Ales

If you’re jetting into the region, then Nimes Airport will most likely be your point of entry. The town’s nearest international gateway, it provides year-round flights from London, as well as seasonal services from both Liverpool and Palma de Mallorca. Getting from the airport to the town is easily done by private or public transport, though many visitors choose to hire a car from one of several companies located on-site. Ales also has a well-connected railway station for those coming by train, whilst those driving to region can reach the town by taking the exit at Bollene from the A7, and Nimes-Ouest from the A9.

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