A sporty and playful canyon with multiple jumps: Saint-Auban canyoning adventure!
I had the chance today to go down this canyon with Angèle and Mathias, canyon guides Les Verdoniens at La Palud Sur Verdon. The canyoning adventure of Saint-Auban is a small marvel! We jump and swim in clear water. The canyon does not present any particular difficulty for a sporty person. Indeed, the height of the jumps remains reasonable: between 3 and 6 meters.
Today our guide was guiding a family of three people, 55 years old for Pat and 16 and 18 years old for his two daughters Kate and Jill. The difficulty lies more in the duration of three hours and the real freshness of the water. Indeed, fatigue is felt after two and a half hours despite the beauty of the canyon which keeps its promises until the end. The canyoning course of Saint-Auban: a must…
The first jumps quickly put us in the mood
In Saint-Auban, we start with a 6-meter jump. The first contacts with cold water are a bit rough. Our guide takes us down on a small promontory to jump and I go first. Obviously, my jump was not convincing because the following ones all ask to be lowered a little bit.
Just a few meters lower, we jump back down with a 5-meter jump into a welcoming bowl.
The 40-meter zip line is one of the highlights of the canyon.
After having filled up with jumps, each one more beautiful than the other, we arrive at the zip line. At first, I saw Angèle stretch out a small 10-meter zip line to cross the right bank. I thought: “a little classic as a zip line”. Then Mathias, the second guide, stretched a zip line of almost 40 meters with a steep slope… Now it’s starting to get interesting!
Indeed, the sensations were there! The arrival in the water has the advantage of braking gently and you come out of it with a smile on your face.
For whom should this canyoning tour be recommended?
If you are not sporty, it is better to start with a water hike or a canyon like Baudan or the Bau. Indeed, if the guide has to take out the rope each time the jump is refused, the time will be longer and the pleasure will fade after a few hours. In family with teenagers of 14 years old or more, it is a possible route if the motivation is there.
Needless to say that if you have back or health problems, it is better to take a more aquatic course.
Is it necessary to know how to abseil?
This course does not require mastering the abseiling technique. Your guide will be able to take you down with the rope to cross some passages where it is impossible to jump. On the other hand, your equipment must include a harness and two lanyards.
What equipment should I bring to do the Saint-Auban canyoning tour?
Canyoning equipment is necessary. Neoprene suit, helmet, adapted shoes, harness and lanyards. A descender can be useful but not obligatory. Don’t forget to take water and a picnic as you lose a lot of calories!
If you leave without a guide, two ropes of 20 meters and 40 meters will be necessary (the latter for the zip line).
Where is the canyon? Access and travel time for this canyon
First of all, let’s remember that the river is called the Estéron. The Estéron valley has many canyons such as the clue d’Aiglun, the Riolan etc … Access is easy just after the village of Saint-Auban. Indeed, the clue is visible from far away. Moreover, a tourist road runs along the canyon in height. However, the road is not visible from the canyon and does not “break” the atmosphere. Conversely, do not take lightly the commitment and safety in the canyon. Once engaged, it will be very difficult to escape, especially in case of bad weather. All the usual precautions in canyoning are therefore required even if the road is not far.
From Castellane , count about 35 minutes to reach the starting point.
The canyon of Saint-Auban in a few figures
5-minute approach. Departure altitude 1014 m. Elevation gain 115 meters.
Highest waterfall 20 meters. Rope of 20 meters minimum (with a jump of 8 meters).
Descent of 3 hours, return of 30 minutes.
The Saint-Auban canyoning adventure: a regulated canyon.
By order of the Prefecture, the descent is only authorized from 1st April to 31st October inclusive only on the following days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Not to be missed on an excursion to Saint-Auban
On the way back, we stopped at La Gardoise . As its name suggests, this delicatessen is located in the village of La Garde. The specialties are homemade ravioli, mushroom and porcini mushroom sauces, curd cheese … A stop on an empty stomach in this delicatessen is enough to invigorate us! The place is amazing as is the diversity of the culinary specialties on offer. You have understood it, a second visit is necessary … Finally we will surely come back for the Riolan or the clue d’Aiglun. As for redoing the canyon of Saint-Auban, it will be a pleasure!