We have lived mainly in southern Ardèche and also some time in northern Gard over the past 40 years.

For the Gard, it was an arc from Barjac to St Ambroix and the Grande Combe – a former coal-mining region.
None of these places have any particularly notable buildings, except perhaps Barjac.
As for the northeast area closer to Vaucluse, I only know it for having worked there.
Bagnols isn’t pretty but you’ll find plenty of what you need. Like Beaucaire or Tarascon really… but without the Rhône.
The surrounding rural area is made up of vineyards, pine and holm oak forests with wild boars and hunters.
Chusclan is a pretty little town, a stone’s throw from the Marcoule nuclear power plant, nestled at the foot of the foothills of wild rosemary.
Perhaps follow the River Cèze towards Montclus – there are several attractive villages such as Goudargues and La Roque sur Cèze.
On the weather side, if you are in St Cécile, you know the wind, the flash floods and the forest fires as well as the drought and the heat.

Southern Ardèche is a little cooler because it is closer to the Massif Central.
I know the region that goes east from Villefort in Lozère to Aubenas via Les Vans and Joyeuse.
This area may be too far from Vaucluse for you;
I counted a 45-minute drive to get to Bagnols and 30 more to Avignon.
There have been big changes over the years, farmers wearing Renault quatrelles have been gradually replaced by coke-sniffing sales reps, exhausted chefs and estate agents.
Tourists flock from Easter to All Saints’ Day, property prices have skyrocketed and roads and services cannot cope with the extra load.
The variety of landscapes is superior to the Gard, caves, rivers, cliffs, hiking trails, canyons, mountains culminating at 1400m and a varied geology making houses in basalt, granite, schist, sandstone or limestone.
Access in and out of this region is not always easy, so there is a particular closed circuit state of mind.

Closer to the Rhône valley, there are Ruoms and Vallon which are small towns that are quite dead outside the tourist season.
Further east is St Rémèze, on a dry plateau with sheep, almond trees and lavender fields.
The surroundings of the Gorges de l’Ardèche are certainly majestic but empty.

Further north, St Maurice d’Ibie (miles of road to go everywhere), Valvignières and St Montan could interest you?
Overall in southern Ardèche and NW Gard, there is an impression of space and freedom because many lands are unexploited or wild, because they are too steep, rocky or difficult to access.

I hope this will help you in your research!