One of the best things about living in the South of France is that you can be sure of sunny, warm summers. That also makes it essential that you know some good places to cool down. If you want to ditch the crowded beaches, you can 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!
Chéri, the kids and I enjoyed a little holiday in the Gard region. 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 around in shorts, but it took courage to jump into the emerald green river. The first plunge on the right side of the bridge was chilly and refreshing!
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 thinking about how the Gardon River took about 6 million years to find its way through the limestone rocks to create the gorges, makes the place feel even more special.
In total, the Gorges du Gardon stretch over 20 kilometres, so there must be other good swimming spots. We liked Collias very much, as it has that paradise feeling and there are numerous activities. Hiking, biking, climbing and visiting caves are all options. 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 a small pool below an old mill. All of a sudden they came running back to us, pointing at a man who had caught a snake. Right… my image of an idyllic paradise and snakes don’t go well together…
Of course, we’re tough cookies and didn’t let the snake spoil our fun. It was a little, 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!