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.

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

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

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

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.

Sautadet Falls on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 44.1898 N 4.5270 E
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 2 out of 10 stars
Where is located? 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

Landmarks of Languedoc-Rousillon

Pont du Gard, France
Pont du Gard / ignis, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Highlights of this region are its medieval towns, like the nearly unique Aigues-Mortes as well as heritage of Ancient Rome and the gorgeous Ardèche Gorges.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

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