Cascade de Glandieu was probably one of Julie’s favorite waterfalls in France. That was because it had what she likes to call “character.”
What she means by “character” is that the waterfall had more going for it than just the falling water itself. In the case of this waterfall, its underlying cliff had both texture and color giving the falls a very different appearance than most of the other French waterfalls that we had encountered. Of course the fact that it was both wide and tall (said to be 60m in height) also further added to its scenic allure.
We happened to arrive when the weather started to turn from rainy and overcast to partly cloudy with the sun just starting to break through. As a result, the color on the algae-laced walls of the falls was really amplified whenever the sun’s rays struck. Then again, we were able to be patient with this waterfall because it was roadside.
Cascade de Glandieu literally sat near the center of the seemingly quiet and sleepy town of Glandieu, which was near Saint-Benoît and Bugey. The town itself belonged to the department of Ain in the Rhône-Alpes region of Eastern France.
While we were taking our time enjoying the waterfall, we noticed that on behind us on the opposite side of the viewing area, there was a large billboard or collage mounted on the wall of an old-looking building. It seemed like the collage was touting the various aspects of the region or department.
There are many ways to reach Glandieu, but we’ll focus on what we think is the most straightforward route to and from the Cascade de Glandieu from the autoroute A43 east of Lyon.
We reached this waterfall by leaving the autoroute A43 heading east towards Chambery at exit 10 (I believe) about 70km east of Lyon. This exit curled back to a roundabout providing access to both the D82N as well as the D592. We’d take the first exit of this roundabout to go north on the D592 then follow this road for the next 7kkm before this road junctioned with D19. We turned left to go onto the D19 and followed it to a signposted local road leading to Glandieu. Once in the town, the D19 intersected with the Rue de la Cascade, which we turned right onto and followed it right to the waterfall. Overall, this 87km drive would take a little over an hour.
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