Looking for the most beautiful waterfalls in France to add to your bucket list? From the famous ones to hidden gems, I’ve got you covered!
Famous for its glittering cities and cultural delights, France’s natural beauty may be underappreciated at times but when you take the time to observe, you’ll see that France is full of stunning natural wonders, from idyllic vineyards to spectacular waterfalls.
The waterfalls of France are certainly some of the most breathtaking sights in the country. So, why not check out their incredible beauty and get away from the bustling cities?
Most waterfalls in France are located near France’s two biggest mountain ranges, the Alps and the Pyrenees. So, they’re a great place to start your journey to see the most beautiful France waterfalls.
Still unsure about which waterfall to visit? You’ve come to the right place! This article will highlight 16 of the best French waterfalls that you’d love to add to your itinerary!
The Most Beautiful Waterfalls In France
If you’re not much of an outdoorsy person, the picturesque Cascade de Sillans is perfect for you! Situated inland from the famous French Riviera, it’s one of the most accessible waterfalls in Provence.
Cascade de Sillans is a 42 m (138 ft) high twin waterfall that drops into a gorgeous azure pool. With such scenery, it’s no wonder that it has been dubbed one of the most beautiful waterfalls in France.
It’s highly recommended to visit this beauty in early spring when it’s less crowded. While you’re there, the nearby village of Sillans-la-Cascade is also worth the visit!
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2. Cascades du Herisson, Jura
The Cascades du Herisson is a series of high-volume waterfalls located in the river Hérisson.
There are seven major waterfalls and several side cascades within the four-kilometer trail. The hike is suitable for everyone, including children, but be careful since it can be slippery.
The tallest and most impressive waterfall on the trail is l’Eventail, which stands 60 m (197 ft ) high.
Another worthy mention is Le Saut Girard. The 35m (115 ft) tall waterfall is very photogenic, perfect for taking family pictures and holding a nice picnic.
Unfortunately, the water flow in Cascades du Herisson is greatly reduced during summertime, so it’s better to visit in the fall or during a rainy period.
Standing at 422m (1384 ft) high, Cascade de Gavarnie is the tallest waterfall in France.
Situated at a glacial cirque in the Pyrenees mountain range, it’s also one of the most charming waterfalls in Europe.
The sheer size of this majestic tiered waterfall is enough to impress anyone, but its surrounding flora and wildlife are also breathtaking.
There is a lot of melted snow from the glacier in the summer, making the water flow even more powerful.
Incidentally, that’s also when the waterfall gets the most visitors. If you want to avoid crowds, you’re better off visiting Cascade de Gavarnie in the spring.
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Framed with lush green foliage and rich wildlife, Cascade d’Ars is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in France. It’s also one of the most powerful cascades in the country, dropping 246 m (807 ft) down with a thundering force.
Despite its great height, the hike to Cascade d’Ars is surprisingly pleasant and accessible even for children. It’s also very photogenic, making it an incredible spot for family pictures and professional photographers alike.
It’s best to visit during summertime when there’s a lot of thawing ice, which makes the water flow even more powerful.
Additionally, it’s recommended to visit the waterfall either in the early morning or late afternoon to take the best pictures.
Framed with dramatic cliffs, Chute de la Druise is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent France waterfalls.
Standing at 72 m (236 ft), it may not be the tallest waterfall in the country, but this powerful cascade is certainly worth a visit.
The waterfall is a mere 20-minute walk away from Plan de Baix. Just make sure to wear a good pair of shoes since the route can be challenging in certain spots.
Unlike most waterfalls on the list, you can visit Chute de la Druise all year round without much of a difference. But, it is slightly more powerful during rainy periods.
At only 5 m (16 ft )tall, Cascade de Sautadet may not sound very impressive but the unique surrounding rock formation will change your mind!
In fact, the waterfall is so dramatic that it’s named Sautadet after the Greek god of the Underworld, Hades.
Additionally, the rushing Ceze river is a great place to swim. You can also get an adrenaline rush by diving off the surrounding cliffs.
However, be careful when swimming since the current can be strong, and the river itself is dotted with deep waterholes and rugged rocks. That said, further down the stream, there’s a gentler and safer bathing spot for younger children.
If you wish to see the waterfall in its full glory, it’s best to visit in spring. However, if you’re looking to swim in front of the falls, you’re better off coming in the summer when the water is relatively low.
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7. Le Grande Cascade du Mt. Dore, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Located just outside the village of Mt. Dore, you can visit the Grande Cascade du Mt. Dore after a pleasant 45-minute hike.
This 35 m (115 ft ) high waterfall isn’t just beautiful in its own right but it also offers a majestic bird’s eye view of the alpine landscape.
There are several other scenic waterfalls in the area, such as Cascade de Queureuilh and Cascade de Rossignolet, but Grande Cascade du Mt. Dore is the most impressive one.
However, Grande Cascade du Mt. Dore doesn’t flow all year round due to its light-flowing nature.
You can only visit this beauty during spring and early summer when there’s a lot of melting snow and high precipitation.
8. La Cascade du Cirque de Saint Même, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Sitting at the heart of Chartreuse Regional Park, Cascade Cirque de Saint Même adorns the spectacular, 500 m (1640 ft) high amphitheater of Urgonian limestone.
It’s an impressive collection of four waterfalls; Pisse du Guiers, Cascade Isolée, Grande Cascade, and Cascade des Sources.
The first three waterfalls are relatively easier to access, while the last part of the trail can be quite steep and slippery from time to time.
Also, there’s a picturesque wooden bridge in front of the Grand Cascade, making it a fantastic spot for taking pictures.
The gorgeous Cascade Cirque de Saint Même stays beautiful all year round, but the water flow is especially strong in spring and early summer.
9. La Cascade de la Vis, Occitanie
The beautiful Cascade de la Vis is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the southern region of France.
It’s framed with lush greeneries and a beautiful rock formation. Standing near the old Château de Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, this semi-circular waterfall looks like a scene straight out of a fairytale.
The riverbank is ideal for picnics, so it’s very common to see families having picnics and enjoying the beauty of the waterfall during spring and summer.
Also, while swimming underneath the waterfall can be dangerous, you can take a dip further down the river away from the rock formation.
It’s highly recommended to visit this beauty in the summer or whenever the weather is sunny. If you wish to take pictures in front of the cascade, try to come early in the morning when it’s not too crowded.
Standing at approximately 20 m (66 ft) tall, Cascade de Mortain may not be the tallest waterfall in France, but it’s certainly the most magical one.
It’s located in Mortain, which was believed to have been inhabited by magical creatures, like fairies and elves. Mortain was even mentioned in some of the many adventures of the legendary King Arthur.
Aside from the main waterfall, there are smaller waterfalls nearby as well, such as the Petite Cascade de Mortain. This lovely waterfall runs through a rocky gorge and provides an extra challenge for those who love hiking.
Cascade de Mortain looks spectacular all year round. However, it seems especially magical and mysterious after heavy rainfall. So, you should consider visiting it in early spring and fall.
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Located near the quaint village of La Chapelle-en-Valgaudémar, this waterfall has a very romantic name, the Bridal Veil Waterfall. True to its nickname, this 80 m (262 ft ) tall waterfall is shaped like a bridal veil.
Aside from its charming view, it is also famous for its scenic trail. The verdant landscape and rich wildlife make this trail especially famous among hikers.
Cascade du Voile de la Mariée is fed by melted snow and ice from the glacier Lauzon. For that reason, its flow gets significantly stronger when the weather gets warmer. So, it’s best to visit in the spring and early summer.
When you visit the village of Glandieu, you may notice an unexpected yet breathtaking spectacle by the road, the Cascade de Glandieu.
This magnificent, 60 m (197 ft ) high waterfall stands only a few minutes from the village center. You can even enjoy its beauty while sipping on a cup of coffee at the small restaurant nearby.
Aside from its proximity to the village, what makes Cascade de Glandieu so special is its shape.
The water cascades down an unusual, moss-covered rock formation, which makes the waterfall appear magical and out of this world.
Moreover, the site is also home to various wildlife, including some protected species of birds, fish, and bats.
It’s best to visit Cascade de Glandieu in the fall as it looks especially gorgeous after rainfall.
13. Cascade de la Queue de Cheval, Jura
Cascade de la Queue de Cheval is one of the most beautiful French waterfalls, yet its beauty is shadowed by its neighbor, the Cascades du Herisson.
This stunning, 60 m (197ft ) waterfall descends into a clear basin that’s perfect for swimming and cooling down.
The hike to Cascade de la Queue de Cheval is moderately challenging since it can be quite steep and slippery in certain places.
So, it may not be the best waterfall to visit if you have very young children but if you’re a hiker who’s up for a challenge, this waterfall is perfect for you!
The water flow is particularly powerful in the spring, especially after heavy rainfall. However, it’s also a must-visit during summertime as it’s a fantastic spot to swim and relax with your loved ones.
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Nicknamed the “Queen of the Alps,” Cascade du Rouget is one of the most famous and powerful waterfalls in the French Alps. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to access since it lies just 4 km from the main road.
Aside from Cascade du Rouget, you can visit many other waterfalls in the Sixt Fer a Cheval area, including Cascade de la Pleureuse, Cascade de Sales, and Cascade de la Sauffaz.
With a number of waterfalls, this area is a must-visit for nature and waterfall lovers.
This 90-m tall cascade is fed by melted ice from the mountain. To see the Queen of the Alps in its full glory, aim to visit in the spring or summer when the water flow is particularly strong.
Cascade du Lutour, also known as Cascade de Cauterets, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Pyrenees.
It’s a 140 m (459 ft) high, winding waterfall that descends into the clear water of the river Gave de Lutour.
This waterfall is located right next to the small village of Cauterets, a famous tourist hotspot.
The area is particularly popular among tourists and nature lovers because it’s home to more than a dozen waterfalls, including Cascade du Lutour and Cascade du Pont d’Espagne.
The best time to visit is in late spring and summer when there’s a lot of melted ice. However, since it is a famous tourist attraction, it can get a bit crowded in the summertime.
So, it’s recommended to come early in the morning when there are not too many people around.
If you happen to be visiting the Island of Corsica, don’t miss to visit Cascade de Piscia di Gallo.
Much like on the mainland, there are various beautiful waterfalls on this mountainous island but Cascade de Piscia di Gallo is by far the tallest and most stunning one.
Standing in the middle of a lush pine forest, the water tumbles down a series of granite rocks into a clear natural pool. This waterfall is truly a sight to see.
The majestic waterfall looks gorgeous at any time of the year, so feel free to visit it anytime. But, like other waterfalls on this list, Cascade de Piscia di Gallo is stronger and even more beautiful after heavy rainfall.
Final Thoughts on The Best Waterfalls in France
While the cultural and culinary scenes take most of the spotlight in France, the country is also abundant in natural beauty.
The waterfalls are particularly some of the most impressive hidden gems in the country. So, they’re a fantastic option if you wish to visit off-the-beaten-path vacation spots.
I hope you like this list of the most beautiful waterfalls in France. Which one will you be visiting on your next excursion?
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to France
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- The most famous landmarks in France
- Best things to do in Paris
- The most beautiful Castles in France
- Hidden gems to visit in Paris
- Most beautiful beaches in the South of France
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