Viviers is a 3768-inhabitant village located in the Ardeche department, in Rhône Alpes. This medieval town has been the capital of the Vivarais area since the 5th century. Given its historical heritage, it is the third ‘protected area’ of the Rhône Alpes region.
Viviers has a nice setting, great views over the Rhone Valley are enjoyable from the top of the plain on which the town is situated. Wooded hills surround the town in the west and limestone cliffs in the south. Viviers is located on the right bank of the Rhône River, at the confluence with the Escoutay river. The marina and a water-based recreation area attract many people. There you can practise sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, etc. The town also provides varied leisure equipments such as a marina, numerous hiking tracks, a swimming pool and so on.
The village has welcomed bishops since the 5th century. It was an important Episcopal town during the Middle Ages. Numerous religious monuments can testify the rich past of the village such as the Saint-Vincent cathedral.
Viviers has many assets: an outstanding architectural heritage, Mediterranean climate (hot summers, mild winters), wonderful landscapes, an unspoilt nature, etc. You can’t help loving the area and the quality of life.
Property prices in the Ardeche department are pretty affordable in comparison with other French departments and also the national average. The average price for a property to buy in Ardeche is €1,818 / square metre. The national average is €3,197 / sq m. Investing in a property in the Ardeche department is a good option for those who want to be close to the mountains, in a nice setting and pay a reasonable price. Depending on the area where you settle, you will easily have access to neighbouring lovely departments such as Isère or Gard, where property prices are much higher than in the area (respectively €2,688/sq m and €2,741/sq m). 12.6% of the properties in Viviers are vacant. 79.6% of the dwellings are houses and more than 40% are 5-room properties or more. Why not invest in this quiet village full of history and character and enjoy a typical French life?
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Historical heritage: inside the fortifications, the town is divided in two parts: the ‘upper town’ houses the religious monuments such as the Saint-Vincent cathedral (listed as an historical monument), but also the Saint-Michel tower. The ‘lower town’ is the area where all the shopkeepers and craftsmen live. You will find there numerous mansion houses from the 18th century (hôtel de Roqueplane, hôtel de Tourville, hôtel de Beaulieu), the knights’ house (maison Noël Albert – historical monument). Therefore Viviers is home to a wonderful bishop’s palace (actual town hall, listed as an historical monument), a Roman bridge, the Notre-Dame du Rhône chapel (historical monument) and many other jewels in terms of architecture.
Landscapes: located at the confluence of the Rhône and Escouray Rivers, Viviers forms the open-gate to the Bas-Vivarais (southern area of the department) and Cévennes mountains. The area boasts varied landscapes with a very rich vegetation: whether you are on the bank of the Rhone River or close to the Ardeche gorges, the sceneries are breathtaking.
Activities: you will not be bored in Viviers. The town offers indeed varied activities. As said before, the town houses a marina and a water-based recreation area where you can practise sailing, fishing and plenty of other activities. A cruise will let you discover the area: vineyards, castles, etc. In July, you can see jousts during the fêtes du Rhône (Rhone’s celebration). Numerous concerts are held in the cathedral all year round. A street market also takes place on Tuesday morning in the village centre. If you love walking, you will be satisfied as there are plenty of hiking paths which allow you to discover the beautiful surroundings. You can also practise mountain bike, tennis or swim and play bowls for instance.
Surroundings: there are numerous interesting places to visit around Viviers: Vallon Pont d'Arc (Ardeche river gorges, Pont d'Arc, etc.), Saint Thomé (village built on a rocky spur), Valvignères, Saint Montan (medieval villages), Alba-la-Romaine (ancient archaeological site) and so on.
Detached houses: these properties are built with local materials, in Viviers most of them are constructed with stone. Detached houses are usually located close to the town centre all amenities and come with a garden and/or terrace, sometimes a garage and/or a cellar. They are great properties for a first investment for families or young couples. Sometimes in need of renovation, they are full of charm and will look gorgeous once renovated.
Villas: in the upper part of the town, in the hills and mountains, many villas can be found. They have very large dimensions and come with a swimming-pool, a large piece of land, outbuildings, a garage, cellar, etc. Their walls are often painted in white or colour such as ochre, yellow, pink or orange, which gives to the house a Provencal style. Villas often offer outstanding views over the countryside or town and are situated in quiet areas, often residential ones.
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