About Sillans La Cascade
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 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!
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).
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