This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)
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Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is a capital of prehistoric and cultural tourism. This small village, peaceful in wintertime, sees its population expand ten-fold in summer. Its touristic importance largely comes from the fact that it is the departure point for the descent of the gorge of the Ardèche river (from Pont d'Arc to Saint-Martin-d'Ardeche).
Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is situated at the threshold of one of the most beautiful tourist sites of France: "les gorges de l'Ardèche" (the Ardèche canyon). The famous Pont d'Arc, a natural arch of more than 30 metres height, carved out by the Ardèche and classified as Great Site of France, gave it its name.
1.8 km (1.1 mi) southeast of the village, the river Ibie flows into the Ardèche, which forms all of the commune's south-western border.
The Chauvet Cave is not open to the public. An exposition site, copied from the cave, is open to the public so they can discover the oldest paleolithic paintings - 32.000 B.C. - and the lifestyle of the Cro-Magnon man
The village is very lively, especially in summer, with in its centre numerous shops and a market on Thursday and on Tuesday evening, which is known for its large success. Every summer, many events are organized: the lavender feast and the olive feast, prehistoric days with expositions, ateliers, conferences and presentations lasting for over a week after August 15.