The area around St-Martin-d'Ardèche, exactly at the south-eastern entrance of the canyon of the Ardèche river, belongs to the Mediterranean area.
The tracks start from the main place in the small village at river level, cross the hanging bridge and run first through vineyards or olive trees to the neighbour, medieval village of Aiguèze.
From there, runners enter the local woods –the « garrigue » described as « discontinuous bushy associations of the Mediterranean calcareous plateaus, often composed of kermes oak, box, pine, plus lavender, thyme and white cistus ».
After some kilometers among the rocks or pebbles along the river, up and down again through the « garrigue » - and of course some supplies -, runners reach again St-Martin-d'Ardèche after either 10, 23 or 41 km.
Not everywhere so much discontinuous - paths or single-tracks climb up und down dry valleys, broken stone and rock screes, with some lovely points of view to the river Ardèche in the heart of its National Natural Reserve a few 300 meter lower, and finally reach down the river side and cross it.
Final metres before the finish line.
And it's done.
Main village square where the finish line was at.
Wouldn't it be obviously marvelous to come and see and run here ?
Few days later I went for a couple more runs - a shorter one, following the river:
Quite a lot of rock scrambling and even some crawling through rock tunnels was involved.
And then a longer one, following most of the 23 route (except south bank part, as there was no canoe bridge this time to cross the river). First part over the river once again charmed me with the views:
After leaving the river it was still pretty, not so breathtaking anymore though.