Opening photo: Discover the joys of the Via Ferrata, thrills guaranteed! Photo © Maja-Kochanowska | Unsplash
Canyoning is what is known in pure French as “canyon descent”. Canyoning is often confused with canoeing. But to descend this famous canyon, no need for a boat, you will only use your body!
The practice of canyoning involves joining a mountain stream and it often climbs! Once at the highest point, you follow the torrent, sliding on slides, swimming in basins, jumping in waterfalls, on foot in the dry parts, abseiling along the cliffs...
It is therefore a very complete whitewater sport, which combines different disciplines: swimming of course, but also hiking, abseiling or climbing... This is why canyoning is often linked to via ferrata, because the courses are very close and on the same playground! Some passages may even require some notions of mountaineering or caving.
The via ferrata is a mix between hiking and climbing. Concretely, a rock face is "fitted out", that is to say equipped with equipment to facilitate the crossing. It is more often a transverse progression than an ascent, which also distinguishes it from traditional climbing. You will therefore use footbridges, ladders, ramps, cables which will ensure a safe passage along a cliff, on a narrow natural or artificial "path".
Canyoning is fun, no need for a boat! Photo © ARochau | Adobestock
That's a good question! Like many sports, there is something for all levels. Some routes are more like a water ride than a descent into the rapids. Others are much more sporty and technical. It remains a sport that can be quite physical. So at least you have to be in good shape. The canyoning clubs will be able to advise you according to your aptitudes and your desires. This is why we strongly advise you not to attempt a practice on your own!
If there is no age limit, there is a minimum, since you have to know how to swim! Generally, before 7 years, it is not advised. Depending on the water level and the strength of the current, swimming must be well mastered, which is not necessarily the case before this age. For the via ferrata, certain equipment is provided for a minimum and maximum weight and size. Remember to check this information for children who would not be safe, if they are not the required height.
In terms of equipment, you have nothing to plan, apart from a swimsuit for canyoning; good shoes and a suitable outfit for the via ferrata! The clubs take care of everything and equip you with wetsuits, helmets and gloves, harness, rope and carabiners, and other safety and comfort equipment, both for canyoning and for the via ferrata.
Sometimes we also use ropes, we have fun, we slide we walk in the water... Photo © Ammit | Adobestock
This outdoor sport allows you above all to discover another facet of these exceptional gorges. It takes you off the beaten track, to places usually inaccessible. You will discover breathtaking views, in the heart of a wild and unspoiled environment. In the middle of the Gorges de l'Aveyron, you will pass through ravines and cliffs, ponds and basins...
The Gorges de l'Aveyron are very famous for practicing canyoning. The canyon is beautiful there and the waters are crystal clear. You will find circuits of all levels there and many clubs are there to advise and support you. Here is our selection of providers specializing in Canyoning and Via ferrata.
Come and enjoy incredible views! Photo © B&ABA Sport Nature
You can also practice it in the nearby Gorges du Tarn and we offer a list of providers in the Tarn-et-Garonne.
To go further: We have tested the Via ferrata du Roc de Corb for you in the Gorges de l'Aveyron, near Najac, see our report (fr).
Here is a great opportunity to discover the canyons of the Gorges de l'Aveyron, from a different perspective and to introduce you to an unusual, sporting and family activity.
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