Every year, the family and I try to extend the summer to the max. Therefore, this year we headed to the Cascade de la Vis at Saint-Laurent-le-Minier for one of the last river plunges of the season. With its characteristic semicircle shape, it’s probably the most photographed waterfalls of the Gard department. The crystal-clear water of the Vis River and the impressive waterfalls in the background are definitely a sight to behold!
As the Cascade de la Vis site is well-frequented, especially in summer, I advise you to come early in the morning. You can park at the parking lot opposite the restaurant Le Glacier de la Vis, which requires an entrance fee of 5 euros from the end of June to the beginning of September. We went for the second option and drove a bit further in the direction of Saint-Laurent-le-Minier. Here there is a free parking lot just before entering the village. A 600 metre walk brought us back to the magical spot.
On the left bank of the river, we spotted a castle. It’s the Château de Saint-Laurent-le-Minier and was built in 1664. It can’t be visited, but you can see a bit of the beautiful French garden. The fragile aqueduct on the other side of the bridge also belongs to the castle, be careful of falling rocks… And both banks from the bridge in the direction of the castle are private, so that you know that swimming there is not allowed. My family and I went down to the left bank of the river, carefully going under the aqueduct and wading through the low water. It’s dangerous to swim in the waterfall, and therefore forbidden as well. But you can have a dip in the river well away from the cascade. The kids were brave enough to enter the cold water while Chéri and I prepared our picnic.
Besides the waterfalls, I was also impressed by the clarity of the water. The water of the Vis River, which originates in the Cevennes mountains, is some of the cleanest and clearest in France. At the Cascade de la Vis, the water has an emerald, green hue, with big rocks shining through the surface all along the riverbed. It’s of such a surreal beauty, and it was a great spot to eat our lunch. Even the trip back home was spectacular, with dramatic views over the Gorges de la Vis. In a day, we felt like we had travelled a long way from France!