Sillans La Cascade

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

About Sillans La Cascade


Hiking Distance: 1.6km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2012-05-17
Date last visited: 2012-05-17

Waterfall Latitude: 43.56402
Waterfall Longitude: 6.18486

Sillans La Cascade is the name of both the pleasant double-barreled waterfall as well as the town just upstream from it.

As far as its translation and spelling, it literally means Sillans, the waterfall, but I’ve also seen it spelled with hyphens like Sillans-la-Cascade as well as being referred to as La Cascade de Sillans.

Sillans_La_Cascade_028_20120517 - The Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall
The Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall

Technically, both the waterfall and town belong to the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (more 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.

Walking to the Sillans La Cascade Waterfall View

Sillans_La_Cascade_001_20120517 - The chateau at the start of Sillans-la-Cascade the town, which was also where we started the walk to the waterfall
The chateau at the start of Sillans-la-Cascade the town, which was also where we started the walk to the waterfall

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).

We then crossed the road before following a well-established trail of about 1km in each direction.

During the walk, we noticed some wildflowers blooming in a pair of meadows of tall grass as well as an old-looking stone wall adjacent to the foot path.

Eventually, the trail branched off at a junction where the upper path climbed to a panoramic view of the Sillans La Cascade Waterfall while the other path descended towards its “forbidden” base.

Sillans_La_Cascade_035_20120517 - Distant view of the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall from the sanctioned viewing spot
Distant view of the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall from the sanctioned viewing spot

While the panoramic view of the falls was the safer way to see it, I found that the view wasn’t that great.

As you can see in the photo above, the presence of lots of trees blocked most of the view, especially the waterfall’s bottom.

The Bottom of the Sillans La Cascade

Even though there were numerous people who ignored the barricades and warning signs to gain access to the waterfalls’ base, the authorities had good reason to close it.

During the time of our visit, there were three giant rocks atop the cliffs by the waterfall that could fall at any moment.

Sillans_La_Cascade_017_20120517 - Travertine-like formations seen along the descent to the bottom of the Sillans La Cascade Waterfall
Travertine-like formations seen along the descent to the bottom of the Sillans La Cascade Waterfall

So if you do decide to go into the forbidden area, please realize the risk being taken.

Ultimately you are responsible for your own decisions and the safety of yourself as well as of those you might have brought with you.

So with that said, I admittedly followed some folks towards the bottom of the Sillans La Cascade Waterfall 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 from down here, I definitely found Sillans-La-Cascade Waterfall at its photogenic best.

Sillans_La_Cascade_020_20120517 - Looking across the bottom of the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall where there was a late afternoon rainbow
Looking across the bottom of the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall where there was a late afternoon rainbow

There was even a rainbow arcing across its base on the afternoon that we showed up, which further augmented the experience!

Authorities

Silland-la-Cascade (Cascade de Sillans) resides in Sillans-la-Cascade in the Alpes-Maritimes department of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur province of France. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their tourism board website.

Sillans_La_Cascade_006_20120517 - Julie on the well-signed and well-traveled footpath leading from town to the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall
Sillans_La_Cascade_009_20120517 - An ancient-looking wall flanking the trail to the Sillans-la-Cascade waterfall
Sillans_La_Cascade_010_20120517 - The short trail led us to a viewpoint yielding a distant view of the Sillans-la-Cascade visible between foliage just before the lower trail descended towards the forbidden base
Sillans_La_Cascade_014_20120517 - One of the barricades on the path leading to the base of the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall
Sillans_La_Cascade_024_20120517 - Here's a profile view of Sillans-La-Cascade in long exposure and hint of rainbow at its base
Sillans_La_Cascade_026_20120517 - Direct look at the Sillans-la-Cascade Waterfall looking up from its base and misty plunge pool

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We managed to reach the town of Sillans-la-Cascade from the Gordes area.

This drive 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).

Sillans_La_Cascade_005_20120517 - Context of the parking situation near the chateau at the Sillans-la-Cascade town, where we began our hike to the waterfall
Context of the parking situation near the chateau at the Sillans-la-Cascade town, where we began our hike to the waterfall

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 drive from Marseilles or Nice (as the falls and town are pretty much in the middle of the two cities).

Perhaps, the Sillans-la-Cascade sits a bit closer to the city of Aix-en-Provence as it’s maybe about an hour or so drive 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.

Top down sweep of a profile view of the waterfall


Top down sweep of the falls from as direct of an angle as I was able to get


Bottom up sweep of the falls with rainbow at its base


Right to left sweep from the panoramic lookout eventually zooming in on the falls

Tagged with: var, sillans-la-cascade, alpes-maritimes, nice, cannes, aix-en-provence, code d'azur, french riviera, provence, southern france, france, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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