The thrills and spills of canyoning in the Hérault Gorge

By September 8, 2017ACTIVE, TO DO

Summer holidays in France are long. So long that our oldest son started to feel bored. Time for some action! As I wanted to try canyoning for a long time, I thought this was the perfect moment for some mom-son bonding. So off we went to the beautiful Gorges d’Hérault, just outside of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Both were feeling a little bit excited about how high the jumps would be…

Ready, set, go!

We booked our trip with Alteo Nature, based in Montpellier. They offer plenty of canyoning and climbing guided tours in the Caroux and Cévennes. And some around Montpellier, near Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Reservation went easy by mail, and the day before our trip I received a text message with the meeting point and what to bring and wear. At the parking lot of the Grotte de Clamouse, we met our lovely guide Gaetan and the other six persons of the group. After putting on our wetsuits (hot!!!) and a short walk of 5 minutes, we were ready to enter the gorge.

First jump

The first challenge came soon enough: abseiling 8 meters into the Hérault river. Gaetan clearly explained how to, which gave us the confidence to slide down the rope. To be followed by a rappel over water and our first jump. Only 2 meters, but still, we did it!


Meanwhile, I was testing my waterproof cell phone case. It worked perfectly as it kept my cell phone dry. However, a lot of the pictures came out blurry. Think I have to practice more, or buy another – more solid – case. Any suggestions???


During the 2,5 hours trip, we had so much fun. Walking on the shore, rock climbing, jumping from 2 to 8 meters, back in the water and enjoying the amazing scenery. High rocks are covered with fairytale-like bushes, while you are floating in the greenish water. It’s a magical beautifully world down in the gorge.


Although oldest and I aren’t the bravest ones, we had a good time anyway. If you don’t feel like doing an activity (like jumping any higher than 2 meters…), you don’t have to. Gaetan was very friendly and didn’t push at all. Even a chicken like myself. At the end of the trip, we could see the modern bridge just before the Pont du Diable. We made it! And it tasted like more.


Many organisations offer canyoning in Languedoc. We booked our trip with Alteo Nature, whose guides all have State diploma’s (diplômés d’Etat). They also speak English. You can easily make a reservation by email or phone; their website offers a lot of information (in French).

Alteo Nature
66 rue de la Mine
34980 Saint-Gély-du-Fesc
+33 (0)6 78 84 35 22


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