12 Gorgeous Waterfalls in France You Must Visit (+ Map)

Looking for the best waterfalls in France? Read on for all the details!

When you think of France, most people think of charming villages, iconic monuments, and delicious bread. Waterfalls? Not so much. Are there even waterfalls in France? Absolutely!

As you’ll see in this article, there are some really gorgeous French waterfalls that should absolutely be on your French bucket list.

12 Incredible Waterfalls in France

In this article, we’re sharing twelve of the best French waterfalls to visit and why!

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France Waterfalls Map

1. Cascade Cirque de Navacelles

By Imee of Journey to France

The southern French region of Occitanie, specifically the department of Gard, is home to one of the most stunning and unusual waterfalls in all of France. The waterfall, known as Cascade Cirque de Navacelles, is situated in the heart of the village of the same name, and is 2 hours west of the famous Pont du Gard.

The Navacelles cirque is a “grand site” of France recognized by Natura 2000, acknowledging that the surrounding area one of the most beautiful in the world.

You can explore the three different sections of the medieval hamlet of Navacelles, which is located in the center of the cirque. It is beautifully integrated with the surrounding cliffs and nature.

A short hike brings you to the waterfall in the heart of Navacelles, where the Vis River supplies crystal clear water for the spectacular 8-meter-tall waterfall.

Those who enjoy swimming flock there every summer. It’s chilly (about 11 degrees Celsius) so be careful. You can see a lovely mule bridge erected in 1595 that spans the river a short distance upstream.

2. Cascade d’Angon

By Emily of Emily Embarks

Found along the eastern shore of the gorgeous Lake Annecy in the southeast of France, the Cascade d’Angon waterfall is definitely a sight to behold. Standing at about 60 meters tall, this quickly-flowing river has carved its way through rock and rubble, leaving nothing but a perfectly smooth ripple through the rockways lining its steep walls.

The trailhead starts on the Route des Vignes with just a small, picketed sign to mark its beginning.

Novice hikers and those looking to take in the view offered by the scenic overlook at Belvédère, which takes in the whole eastern side of Lake Annecy and the breathtaking French Alps, can complete this hike in about 1.25 hours. 

Experienced hikers can make their way through the steep and rugged trail in just 45 minutes when moving at a steady pace.

Be careful on the initial descent as high roots and slippery rocks are plentiful, making for quite the workout as you traverse your way to the first blossoming field dotted with quintessential French houses.

During the hike, you’ll experience around 300 meters in elevation gain over a course of about 1.3 kilometers to the waterfall, representing the abrupt incline you will encounter right from the start. Perfect for some quick views or even an all-day picnic excursion, the Cascade d’Angon is easily one of the best waterfalls in France.

3. Cascade du Casteu

By Cory of You Could Travel

Cascade Du Casteu is an artificial waterfall in the Castle Hill in Nice, France. While it’s man-made, this impressive waterfall is a joy to photograph, when hiking the Castle Hill. The waterfall is fed by Paillon river, and it’s entirely free to access.

Castle Hill is considered to be the cradle of the town of Nice. Once a military citadel, the Castle Hill eventually became a park which attracts countless tourists. It continues to be the number one attraction in Nice, and for good reason. Castle Hill is a big limestone rock 93 meters in height which promises superb views over the city.

Along the route to the top, tourists can stop to admire the Cascade Du Casteu. The waterfall, which did not exist before the 19th century, was an enhanced addition in the 1885 during the Sardinial restoration. The waterfall is also known as Cascade Dijon.

Not only the waterfall looks spectacular, but on top of it there is a viewing platform which offers stunning vista points over Nice and Promenade des Anglais with its long stretch of sandy beach. 

4. Les Cascades du Hérisson

By Annelies of Travelers & Dreamers

The waterfalls of Hérisson, commonly known as Les Cascades du Hérisson, are located in the Jura department of France and is one of the most famous waterfalls in France. The area is actually a nature reserve that lends its name to the “Hérisson river” which flows right through it.

No less than seven notable waterfalls are inside the nature reserve, each even more beautiful than the last. The waterfalls are called: Sait de la Forge, Chateau Garnier, Le Gour Bleu, la Grand Saut, l’Eventail, Moulin Jeunet, and Le Saut Girard. L’eventail and Le Grand Saut are the most impressive ones, being both over 60 meters in height.

You can opt to visit the waterfalls by car if you don’t like hiking but there is a seven-kilometer pathway next to the river which takes you to all the waterfalls in three to four hours.

The best way to reach one of the starting points is to drive to the parking de la Maison de Cascades. Here, you can visit the museum about the waterfalls before you embark on your walk and buy some snacks and refreshments.

Do note that, while the entrance to the waterfalls is free of charge, the parking space isn’t. It costs € 10 if you stay for one up to a maximum of four hours. Good walking shoes are required because the pathway is rocky in some places and it can get quite slippery.

5. Sillans La Cascade

By Soline of On the Road Diary

The waterfall of Sillans-La-Cascade is the hidden treasure of the Var region, in the south
east of France. It is located in the village of the same name, and is a 30-minute ride from the
famous Gorges du Verdon and village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

If your waterfall dreams include being surrounded by pristine nature and looking out over an idyllic scene, then Sillans-La Cascade is your perfect getaway. This picturesque waterfall rolls down 42 meters worth of rocks and flows into a turquoise blue oasis.

To access it from the parking lot, you will need to walk around 15 minutes along a path in the
forest, following the river. It’s very accessible but there are not many direction signs, which
keep this wonderful spot away from mass tourism.

The path will lead you to a viewpoint offering a panoramic view on the waterfall. You cannot
go down to the foot of the waterfall from there, and it’s not recommended by the town to
preserve the environment.

What makes this one of the best waterfalls in France is its idyllic emerald blue water pool. It offers a dreamlike landscape and you should definitely take a trip there after kayaking in the famous Gorges du Verdon nearby.

6. Cascade de la Billaude

By Nesrine from Kevmrc

The Cascade de la Billaude, also known as Saut Claude Roy, is an exceptionally aesthetic waterfall in Jura, a region located in eastern France close to the Switzerland border. The whole area is a natural treasure famous for its beautiful lakes, valleys, and mountains.

In the heart of a wooded site, the Lemme River falls in 2 successive waterfalls through a thin crack in a vast rocky amphitheater. With a total height of 28 meters, the Cascade de la Billaude offers a landscape that seems straight out of fairy tales, especially in winter when it freezes and comes to a complete stop.

Discovering this waterfall is quite easy as there is a great viewpoint at its top, accessible directly from the parking lot. For a fuller experience and a closer view, you can hike down to its foot. Although the downhill seems impressive from above, the hike is actually not too difficult.

With an elevation of 144 meters/472 ft, the 0.8 km/0.5 miles trail is easy and well maintained with a huge metal staircase at the end. It is a scenic walk with several viewpoints on the way allowing to see the waterfall from all angles.   

7. Cascade Blanche

This magnificent waterfall is found just outside the little town of Saint-Eulalie-en-Royans, which is about 2 hours south of Lyons, or a 4 hour trip from Nice. You’ll go on a hike through the countryside for approximately 2 km/1.2 miles to the waterfall, which is on the Vernaison River. It’s a bit of a steep climb down, but worth it!

You can swim in the stream at the bottom of the falls or just picnic on the grass. The water is cool, but feels great in the summer! This is a popular trail, so expect to see some other people as you hike to the waterfall. There’s another waterfall – the Cascade Verte – that is farther along on the trail you can hike to.

It’s about 4 km/2.5 miles round trip to the waterfall. The waterfall is beautiful in how it drops uniformly off one long edge down to the stream below!

8. Cascade de la Beaume

This beautiful waterfall can be found in the rural areas of Haute Loire in south central France. Enjoy a relaxing, 15-20 minute hike through the forest to these picturesque falls. The path is pretty flat most of the hike, but then descends steeply at the end to take you to the base of the waterfall.

Located between the villages of Le Brignon and Agizoux, you’ll find it along road D54 There’s parking just after a charming bridge – search for “Parking du Reynardou on maps; the trail to the waterfall leaves from the lot.

Cascade de la Beaume offers a striking contrast of powerful white water against stark, black rocks as it drops 27 meters/88 feet. This is definitely a French waterfall worth visiting if you are in the area.

9. Cascade du Rouget

Located near Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval, which is near to Chamonix, this waterfall is accessible via an easy, short but steep 0.3 mile/0.4 km hike. This waterfall is also known as the “Queen of the Alps,” and is almost 90 meters/295feet tall. This is a great hike for families and dog-lovers (dogs on leashes are permitted).

You can see the waterfall from the parking lot, but going along the path will take you closer and give you an even better view of the falls. Alternatively, you can enjoy the waterfall from the nearby restaurant with fall views.

There are a ton of waterfalls in the Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval area, but this is one definitely a can’t-miss waterfall!

10. Cascades du Cirque de Saint Meme

This loop trail takes you along the river for part of the path and through the forest. There are actually 3 different waterfalls on this loop: the Grand Cascade, the Cascade des Sources, and the Cascade Isolée.

The Grand Cascade is the largest of the three, with a total drop of 100 meters/328 feet! There is also a very lovely, scenic bridge that crosses in front of this waterfall.

The second two waterfalls both have drops of 30 meters/100 feet. The entire loop is 1.7 miles/2.7 km.

The waterfalls are surrounded by tall cliffs (even higher than what is shown in the above picture) and creates an enchanting environment around the waterfall.

This is a popular hike with families, as it’s not too difficult to do, and the payoff is spectacular. There is also a lovely little meadow by the river at the beginning of the trail.

11. Cirque du Fer a Cheval

Cirque du Fer-a-Cheval is actually the name of a hike in the Haute-Savoie region of France. It’s near the town of Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval, and also near the Cascade du Rouget, above.

What’s particularly noteworthy about this hike is that, in addition to the gorgeous mountain views you’ll enjoy, you’ll also pass around 30 different waterfalls on the loop.

While the hike is decently long (6.6 miles/10 km), the stunning landscape really makes it worth the effort. Note that the hike alternates between relatively flat and pretty steep sections, and the descent in particular can be pretty steep (it’s not advised to do in the rain).

The hike is free, but parking is 6 euro per car.

This is one of the most epic hikes in France for magnificent views of the mountains and one of the best places to see multiple waterfalls in France!

12. Cascade Saint-Nicolas

A light flow here at this waterfall

Cascade Saint Nicolas is a smaller, gentle waterfall in the Alsace region of France, south west of Colmar and not far from Strasbourg. Follow D13B1 from the villiage of Kruth to the Chapple de Saint Nicolas. The hike itself is a pretty and easy walk. You’ll pass by a little chapel, then hike through a meadow and forest, passing across a bridges and streams, to reach the falls.

The path is well-marked and fairly short, taking around 45 minutes to an hour to do the entire loop. However, there are other hikes in the area nearby Colmar that you can do if you want a longer hiking experience.

Final Thoughts on the Best French Waterfalls to Visit

There are truly many spectacular waterfalls to visit in France. Whether you’re looking for an easy or challenging hike, a waterfall in the mountains, forest, or city, or massive falls or a slower babbling cascade, there’s a waterfall on this list for you!

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