Top swimming spot at the Gorges du Gardon in Collias

By August 28, 2018NATURE, TO DO

One of the best things about living in the South of France is that you can be sure of sunny and warm summers. Essential is that you know some good places to cool down. If you want to ditch the crowded beaches, you could try having a splash in a river. The protected natural site of the Gorges du Gardon in Collias for example. This all-natural wonder is a true paradise!

First plunge

Chéri, the kids and I enjoyed a little holiday in the Gard department. As it was one of the first warm days of the year, we decided to go to the Gorges du Gardon. It was warm enough to walk in shorts, but it took courage to jump in the emerald green river. The first plunge on the right side of the bridge was chilly and refreshing!

Local hangout

I always like it when I discover a local hangout. The banks of the river in Collias seem to be exactly that: families have picnics, little ones play with pebbles and the young and brave jump off the rocks (which is dangerous by the way, highly unrecommended!). And to think that the Gardon River took about 6 million years to find its way through the limestone rocks to create the gorges makes the place even more special.

Paradise feeling

In total, the Gorges du Gardon spread over 20 kilometres, so there must be other good swimming spots. We liked Collias very much, as it has that paradise feeling and you can do numerous activities. Hiking, biking, climbing and visiting caves all belong to the possibilities. After checking out the right side of the river (“rive droite”), we went to discover the left side (“rive gauche”).


Whereas the right side is rather calm and flanked with modest limestone rocks, I found the left side more impressive. The rocks are higher and covered with trees and bushes, and there are a few rapids in the river. The kids played for hours in this puddle below an old mill. All of a sudden they came running back at us, pointing us at a man who had caught a snake. Right… My image of the idyllic paradise and snakes don’t go well together…

Afternoon swim

Of course, we’re tough cookies and didn’t let the snake spoil our fun. It was a little and harmless couleuvre, so no worries. The Gorges du Gardon definitely merit a visit. After our canoe trip and afternoon swim, we didn’t have time or energy left to do a hike. A good excuse to come back; I can’t wait till we can spend another holiday in the Gard again!


Collias is a pleasant little village situated at the banks of the Gardon River and in the middle of the Grand Site des Gorges du Gardon. You can rent canoes at numerous places. A good starting point to visit the Gorges du Gardon is the Maison d’Accueil at Sainte-Anastasie. Before you go, I advise you to check their website for opening hours.


We parked our car for free at the Place du Marché. From here it is a small walk to the river.

Maison des Gorges du Gardon
Hameau de Russan
2 rue de la pente
30190 Sainte-Anastasie
+33 (0)4 48 27 01 00


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