Vals-les-Bains and the surrounding area
Come to discover Vals-les-bains
Today, Vals-les-Bains thermal bath spa, in its unique and natural preserved setting, is open all year round.
Perfect for experiencing the locations history, culture, arts and leisure activities. Tourist sites (the Calvary, the intermittent geyser spring, the Casino Park, the neo-gothic church, …) cultural and leisure activities (theatre, casino, cinema, museum, galleries as well as many festivals and concerts …), sports activities (hiking, tennis, mountain biking, swimming pool …); the riches of the area and its gastronomy will make your visit to the thermal bath spa both exciting and relaxing.
With its peaceful atmosphere bathed in sunlight, you’re guaranteed a wonderful and unforgettable adventure.
4 good reasons to come to Vals-les-Bains:
A specialist diabetic thermal bath spa since 1845
Thermal waters renowned for their positive effects on health
Vals-les-Bains is in the heart of the southern Ardèche
Vals-les-Bains is a thermal bath spa which specialises in the treatment of diabetes as well as liver, stomach, intestinal and obesity problems. Over the past few years it has also become a popular destination for those interested in well-being and fitness. The district, with its 145 mineral water springs, is also crossed by the Voltour stream and the Volane river, and next to the Ardèche and Besorgues rivers, making Vals-les-Bains a true water town.
Vals is also an industrial town with its mills and mineral water bottling company.
The Vals waters were first discovered in 1602 by a fisherman called Pierre Brun, who, thanks to the absorption of the water coming from a new spring after a flood, was cured of bladder stones. It was then the turn of Claude Expilly (counsellor in the Grenoble Parliament), to be cured of this disease. He lived a long time and attributed his long life to the Vals waters.
Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the neo-Gothic church and its magnificent stained-glass windows. There are also beautiful organs made from walnut wood, and an original way of the cross enamelled in black and white. You can also admire the Calvary, built in 1732 by Doctor Malmazet, which dominates the city, and recently, the mosaic way of the cross made by Bernadette Soufflet, an artist from the northern Ardèche.
What to see and do in Vals-les-Bains
At Maison Champanhet, young and old will enjoy a fun and interactive journey back in time, discovering the know-how and traditions of the Cevennes peasants from yesteryear. Back to the present day, you can find out more about the different faces of Vals-les-Bains through three tours available at the tourist office: the history of the thermal waters, the history of the springs and the history of the arts.
You’ll end your walk in a beautiful green and shady park. Here, the intermittent source flows naturally every six hours. At the heart of the park you’ll also find the casino, theatre and cinema to liven up your evenings. Please ask for the latest programme of events! In Vals-Les-Bains, regional products are also showcased: chestnut-, blueberry- and nougat-flavoured beer from the Bourganel Brasserie and Vals water pastilles from the Pastillerie des Thermes. ‘Must-try’ tasty delights….
One of the most beautiful detours in France
Vals-les-Bains features amongst the “most beautiful detours in France”, a network of 104 pretty small French towns that are worth a visit.
Heritage, entertainment, gastronomy, crafts … these ‘most beautiful detours’ feature many interesting, welcoming and sometimes surprising destinations. While waiting to visit the other towns, make a detour via Vals-les-Bains.
A GEYSER SPRING IN THE TOWN CENTRE
If you go for a walk in Vals-les-Bains, you will have the chance to witness something very out-of-the-ordinary: a geyser spring that appears 4 times a day in the heart of the park! Unbelievable no? And yet … every 6 hours a natural spring rises up slowly from the ground and extends up to 15 metres high! Each time, 800 litres of water erupt from the earth. Crazy, no?
To make it simple to understand, a natural water and gas reservoir under the ground pressurises the water which erupts from the earth. This is what causes this rare, but entirely natural, phenomenon.
The intermittent source erupts naturally every 6 hours.
Winter hours: 4:30 AM – 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Summer hours: 5:30 AM –