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Sautadet Falls

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 44.1898 N 4.5270 E
No:247        (list of all attractions)
Category:Waterfalls
Values:Geology, Visual
Rank:7
Address:Europe, France, Languedoc - Roussillon, Gard department, south from La Roque-sur-Cèze town on Cèze river.
Name in French, alternate names:Cascades du Sautadet, Les Chutes du Sautadet, Saut de la Cèze
Height:?
Width:25 - 40 m
Sautadet Falls, France
Sautadet Falls / Benh Lieu Song, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0

Sautadet Falls belong to comparatively little known natural wonders of France. This is an unusual landmark characterised by a rugged beauty.

After leaving the dramatic Ardèche Gorges Cèze river enters the vast plains in Rhone valley. But here awaits the last obstacle – an enormous block of limestone formed some 5 million years ago.

The power of the stream has gnawed a passage through this stone – a 470 m long section of waterfalls, rapids, narrow ravines, hollows and sharp stone blades.

Sautadet Falls, France
Sautadet Falls / Aslak Raanes, Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Interesting features are up to 10 m deep kettles, hollowed by turning stones (Marmites géantes). These cylindric hollows may have a diameter of several metres.

This natural monument is quite dangerous. Inattentive visitor may fall on the sharp limestone blades or in a basin of raving water.

In summer the weather here might be hot and dry, but in autumn the water level rises turning the labyrinth of gullies and waterfalls into a single roaring rapid. Very frequently here blows a cold, sharp wind – mistral. It is considered that the wind also has been actively shaping the cliff formations.

In 1881 above the falls was built a weir – it allowed to operate a flour mill until 1900. Around the falls has been made also a diversion channel – Béal.

This waterfall and the harsh landscape around it is protected since 1993.

Map

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