“Village de Caractère”

The Ardèche has many picturesque villages of great interest, whether for their heritage, their architecture or their landscape. Depending on their geographical location, some of them were relatively unknown and deserved to be showcased.With this in mind, in 1996, the Conseil Général de l’Ardèche (district council) set up the “Village de Caractère” label, suggesting that certain villages with exceptional architecture and scenery take part in the measure. Since 2009, the Conseil Général has made the Agence de Développement Touristique (Tourist Development Agency) responsible for organising this network of 19 villages.
The aim is to improve facilities and information for visitors and to develop restaurants, accommodation and events out of season.
The label allows us to diversify our tourist offer and incorporate these exceptional sites into circuits to discover the area, in addition to the existing networks.
The history of the “Village de Caractère” label
Chassiers’ participation in the “Village de Caractère” measure advocated by the Department in 1996 was formalised on December 5th 2010 when it was officially awarded the label by the President of the Ardèche Tourist Development Agency, making Chassiers the 18th Ardèche village to obtain the distinction.
The measure, implemented by municipalities since 1996, has gone through several stages to complete the project, which aims to:
protect and showcase the value of our built and natural heritage;
create a product with tourist appeal that contributes to the image of heritage and culture;
connect villages and give them a new lease of life.
The willpower and hard work of the successive local council teams since 1996 bore fruit. All that remains now is to be worthy of this label and keep it alive by continuing to enhance and develop our heritage, promoting the cultural and festive events put on by various organisations in liaison with the “Villages de Caractère” network, and maintaining and supporting our local shops, trades and farmers, all crucial for a dynamic social fabric.
We aim to develop Chassiers in a responsible way. We make sure that projects such as renovating signposts and building an eco-district are in harmony with the exceptional nature of our village heritage and that of the surrounding hamlets, which are just as remarkable. With their authenticity, they are the heirs and the witnesses to the intense and laborious activities of peasants and trades people, as seen in mills in the valleys and the way the slopes have been terraced (“faïsses”).
“Obtaining the label is not an end in itself for villages; it’s the culmination of an approach that is part of a collective dynamic. Maintaining quality requires constant adaptation to the new issues at stake for tourist, town and social planning.”