Sillans La Cascade

Var, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Sillans-La-Cascade

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INTRODUCTION

Sillans La Cascade (literally Sillans, the waterfall; I've also seen it spelled with hyphens like Sillans-La-Cascade as well as referred to as La Cascade de Sillans) is the name of both the pleasant double-barreled waterfall as well as the town just upstream from it.

Technically, both the waterfall and town belong to the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (though specifically in Cote d'Azur or French Riviera region) in Southern France.

This attractive waterfall featured dual parallel drops each with a height of a reported 44m. We noticed some interesting travertine formations here, and the waterfall seemed like a very popular place despite the authorities closing access to the base of the falls. Still, that didn't stop people from going around some of the barricades while knocking down others to gain access to where the waterfall was the most scenic.

The chateau at the start of Sillans-La-Cascade the town The well-signed walking path started from a car park area at the start of town right in front of the walls of a pretty humble-looking chateau (at least humble by France's lofty standards), then crossed the road before following a well-established trail of about 1km each way. We noticed some wildflowers blooming in a pair of meadows of tall grass as well as an old-looking stone wall next to the foot path.

Eventually, the trail branched off at a junction where the upper path climbed to a panoramic view of the falls while the other path descended towards the "forbidden" base of the falls. While the panoramic view of the falls was the safer way to see the falls, the view wasn't that great as quite a bit of the falls was blocked as trees covered most of its bottom.

Even though there were numerous people who ignored the barricades and warning signs to gain access to the falls' base, the authorities had good reason to close the base due to three giant rocks atop the cliffs by the waterfall that could fall at any moment. So if you do decide to go into the forbidden area, please realize the risk being taken and that ultimately you are responsible for your own decisions and the safety of yourself and of those you might have brought with you.

So with that said, I admittedly followed these folks towards the bottom of the falls where the path degenerated into a scramble on rocks and logs to get a cleaner look. I would definitely recommend against swimming here to minimize the temptation of increasing your exposure to that rockfall danger even more. But I definitely found Sillans-La-Cascade at its photogenic best from down here. There was even a rainbow arcing across its base on the afternoon we showed up!




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Sillans-La-Cascade was about a 2-hour drive from the part of Provence where we stayed at, which itself was near the picturesque town of Gordes shown in the photo hereSillans-La-Cascade was about a 2-hour drive from the part of Provence where we stayed at, which itself was near the picturesque town of Gordes shown in the photo here
Gordes was also near the picturesque town of Rousillon with its Bryce Canyon-like (or Cedar Breaks-like) red cliffs, except the town itself was very quintessential ProvenceGordes was also near the picturesque town of Rousillon with its Bryce Canyon-like (or Cedar Breaks-like) red cliffs, except the town itself was very quintessential Provence
About a half-hour drive or so west of Avignon was the Pont du Gard, which was an ancient Roman aqueduct (though was since restored).  We really had to work hard to fit in a visit to Sillans-La-CascadeAbout a half-hour drive or so west of Avignon was the Pont du Gard, which was an ancient Roman aqueduct (though was since restored). We really had to work hard to fit in a visit to Sillans-La-Cascade
Further to the west of Pont du Gard was the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, where we really wished we could have stayed a bit longer prior to making our excursions in ProvenceFurther to the west of Pont du Gard was the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, where we really wished we could have stayed a bit longer prior to making our excursions in Provence
Looking back at the chateau as we were about to cross the D22Looking back at the chateau as we were about to cross the D22

Well-signed and well-traveled footpath leading from town to the fallsWell-signed and well-traveled footpath leading from town to the falls

An ancient-looking wall flanking the trailAn ancient-looking wall flanking the trail. I wasn't sure if this had any historical value or not.

Distant view of the falls between foliage just before the lower trail descended towards the forbidden baseDistant view of the falls between foliage just before the lower trail descended towards the forbidden base

One of the barricades on the path leading to the baseOne of the barricades on the path leading to the base

Interesting travertine formations within the forbidden zoneInteresting travertine formations within the forbidden zone

Rainbow in the spray of La Cascade de SillansRainbow in the spray of La Cascade de Sillans

Here's a profile view of Sillans-La-Cascade in long exposure and hint of rainbow at its baseHere's a profile view of Sillans-La-Cascade in long exposure and hint of rainbow at its base

Distant view of la cascade from the official panorama viewpointDistant view of la cascade from the official panorama viewpoint


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Top down sweep of a profile view of the waterfall


Bottom up sweep of the falls with rainbow at its base


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We managed to reach the town of Sillans La Cascade from the Gordes area, which took us about 2.5 hours via a combination of driving the A7 and A8 autoroutes due east of Aix-en-Provence then leaving the autoroute for the D22 road near Brignoles.

While going northeast on the mountainous D22, we passed through the charming town of Cotignac (though we didn't have time to stop here to check it out). The driving on the D22 probably takes between 30-45 minutes depending on traffic conditions (specifically if you're following a caravan of vehicles started by a slow driver refusing to use shoulders or pullouts).

It's probably about 80-90 minutes from Marseilles or Nice (as the falls and town are pretty much in the middle of the two cities) and maybe a little bit closer from the city of Aix-en-Provence (like maybe about an hour or so from there).

For further context, Gordes (where we were staying) was 39km (under an hour drive) east of Avignon, 91km (90 minutes drive) north of Marseille, and 258km (2.5-3 hours drive) south of Lyon.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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