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Flag of Ardèche
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Ardèche in France
Location of Ardèche in France
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Privas
Subprefectures Largentière
 • Total 5,528.6 km2 (2,134.6 sq mi)
 • Total 322,381
 • Density 58.3115/km2 (151.0261/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Ardéchois
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 07
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 17
Communes 339
French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Ardèche (Occitan: Ardecha) is a département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. It is named after the Ardèche river.


The department of Ardèche was created on 4 March 1790 with seven districts: Annonay, Aubenas, L'Argentière, Privas, Tournon, Vernoux and Villeneuve-de-Berg. The capital was Privas alternating with Annonay, Aubenas, Le Bourg(-Saint-Andéol) and Tournon. In August of that year, the number of districts was reduced to three: Mézenc, Aubenas and Tanargue. In September, Privas became the only capital of the department.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the three districts were changed into three arrondissements: Privas, L'Argentière and Tournon.

On 18 March 1988, Tournon changed its name to Tournon-sur-Rhône.


The Ardèche is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It has an area of 5,528.6 km2 (2,135 sq mi).

The department is surrounded by 7 departments in 3 regions:

The highest point in the department is Mont Mézenc (44°54′40″N 04°11′27″E / 44.91111°N 4.19083°E / 44.91111; 4.19083 (Mont Mézenc)). It is 1,753 m (5,751 ft) high.; it is in the northwest of the department, on the border with the Haute-Loire department. The lowest point, 40 m (131 ft) above sea level, is where the Ardèche river flows into the Rhône (in the south east of the department).

The main rivers in Ardèche are:

The Allier river forms the border of the Lozère department and the Ardèche for about 20 km (12 mi).


The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Privas is an "Oceanic climate" (also known as Maritime Temperate climate) and of the subtype Cfb. The southern part of the department has a Mediterranean climate of the subtype Csb.


Ardèche is managed by the Departmental Council of Ardèche in Privas. The department is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 339 communes (municipalities) in Ardèche.

Arrondissements of the Ardèche
Arrondissement Capital Population
071 Largentière Largentière 98,821 2,511.3 39.4 153
072 Privas Privas 87,774 1,159.4 75.7 66
073 Tournon-sur-Rhône Tournon-sur-Rhône 135,786 1,858.0 73.1 120

The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Ardèche department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Annonay-1 (0701)
  2. Annonay-2 (0702)
  3. Aubenas-1 (0703)
  4. Aubenas-2 (0704)
  5. Bourg-Saint-Andéol (0705)
  6. Le Cheylard (0706)
  7. Guilherand-Granges (0707)
  8. Lamastre (0708)
  9. Le Pouzin (0709)
  10. Privas (0710)
  11. Sarras (0711)
  12. Le Teil (0712)
  13. Thueyts (0713)
  14. Tournon-sur-Rhône (0714)
  15. Vallon-Pont-d'Arc (0715)
  16. Les Vans (0716)
  17. La Voulte-sur-Rhône (0717)


The inhabitants of Ardèche are known, in French, as Ardéchois (women: Ardéchoises).

Ardèche had a population, in 2014, of 322,381, for a population density of 58.3 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Tournon-sur-Rhône, with 135,786 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Allier

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The communes in the department with more than 7,000 inhabitants are:

City Population
Annonay 16,302 Tournon-sur-Rhône
Aubenas 11,917 Largentière
Guilherand-Granges 10,841 Tournon-sur-Rhône
Tournon-sur-Rhône 10,558 Tournon-sur-Rhône
Le Teil 8,376 Privas
Privas 8,313 Privas
Saint-Péray 7,494 Tournon-sur-Rhône
Bourg-Saint-Andéol 7,236 Tournon-sur-Rhône


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