What to see and do in Alès

The capital of the Cévennes is located 20 kilometers from our 4-star campsite along the river. Alès is the second town in Gard after Nîmes, a former mining town specializing in the extraction of coal in the 19th century. It has suffered somewhat from this image but is nevertheless endowed with a cultural, religious and historical heritage of great value. Are you planning to stay in an Alès campsite for your next vacation and would like to know what things to do in Alès? Quickly discover the top 5 things to see and do in Alès!

Fort Vauban

Among the first sites to see in Alès, Fort Vauban was built after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes on the site of the medieval castles of the lords of Alès. Located on the heights of the city, the citadel of Alès housed a garrison intended to monitor the Protestant populations and a prison intended to incarcerate those recalcitrant to the ban on worship. In the 20th century, prisoners of war were also detained and tortured there during the two world wars. Guided tours of Fort d’Alès, lasting 1h30, are organized by the Cévennes tourist office, at the price of 4 euros full price and 1 euro for young people aged 12 to 18.

Tour Municipal Leisure Park

Formerly a private garden, the Tour municipal leisure park is now an unmissable place in the city, not to be missed if you come to visit Alès. Open all year round, it is a haven of coolness in summer with its large pool and its collections of centuries-old trees. An ideal family destination, for a picnic or a relaxing afternoon, it has children’s play areas as well as a mini-golf course, open from 2 p.m. Entrance to the park is free. The mini-golf course costs 3 euros full rate and 1.50 euros reduced rate.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral

The jewel of the city, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral is one of the treasures to see and visit in Alès. Built from the 17th century to the 18th century in a desire to combat the Reformed religion, it is today emblematic of the city with its massive architecture, topped by a fine campanile. The Cévennes tourist office organizes guided conferences on the cathedral which allow you to learn more about the context of its construction and its architectural specificities. Visits are priced at 5 euros.

The Witness Mine

Created in 1945, the mining school in the Rochebelle district is an unusual site whose visit should be included in your Alès discovery program. With 700 meters of galleries, this witness mine constitutes the largest visitable underground network in France. Inseparable from the coal mining history of Alès, the mining school was intended to train the miners of yesteryear. His visit is an opportunity to look back on mining history from the end of the 19th century to the present day. In summer, night visits with screenings and performances by actors are offered on Wednesdays. During the day, tours are guided from start to finish, at a price of 10 euros full rate and 5.50 euros reduced rate.

The Férias d’Alès

The city’s most popular event, the feria is an opportunity to discover Alès differently, in a festive light that highlights Gard traditions. For 5 days around the ascent, the Alès ferias attract several hundred thousand visitors each year, who vibrate to the rhythm of the bodegas, bullfights and Camargue races. There is plenty of entertainment, with equestrian demonstrations, traditional Sevillian masses, banda competitions and bodegas villages. Between Andalusian culture and Camargue traditions, the annual feria of the capital of the Cévennes offers visitors of all ages to see, move, eat and dance.

Other must-see places near Alès: Pont du Gard, Mialet, Saint-Jean-du-Gard, Anduze, Uzès, Nimes, Grau du Roi, Aigues-Mortes, Gorges du Gardon