The thrills and spills of canyoning in the Hérault Gorge

Canyoning Hérault Gorge

Summer holidays in France are long. So long, that our oldest son started to feel bored. Time for some action! As I had 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 of us 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. Making a reservation was easy by email, and the day before our trip I received a text message with the meeting point and what to bring and wear. We met our lovely guide Gaetan and the other six persons of the group in the parking lot of the Grotte de Clamouse. After putting on our wetsuits (hot!!!) and a short 5 minute walk, we were ready to enter the gorge.

Canyoning Hérault Gorge

First jump

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

Canyoning Hérault Gorge


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

Canyoning Hérault Gorge


We had so much fun during the 2.5-hour trip. Walking on the shore, rock climbing, jumping from 2 to 8 meters, back in the water and enjoying the amazing scenery. High rocks covered with fairytale-like bushes tower above you, while you float in the greenish water. It’s a magical, beautiful world down in the gorge.

Canyoning Hérault Gorge


Although oldest and I aren’t the bravest ones, we had a good time anyway. If you didn’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.

Pont du Diable
TO DO - Activities
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