A selection of the most beautiful canyons in Europe
The Gorges of Verdon, France
Located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the Verdon Gorges form the deepest canyon of Europe. It can sometimes reach up to 700 m deep. After taking its source in the massif of the Three Evechés, it throws itself in the Durance after doing 175 km. Moreover, the gorges begin in the village of Castellane after the Chaudanne dam to end at the Lake of Sainte-Croix .
You can find upstream and downstream, 5 lakes : Castillon, Chaudanne, Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron.
The Verdon is a playground unbelievable for lovers of strong feeling with Deval’Bike or relaxation. You will find both boat rental on the lakes (paddle, canoe, pedal boat, etc.), whitewater activities such as rafting, the canoe, aqua-hiking. Or you can make a sporty day trips in canyoning like the Riolan or the Imbut .
For Trekking enthusiasts or escalation everyone will find their own happiness.
The first canyon in Europe is located in Greece. Vikos is classified, by Guinness World Records, as the deepest Gorges in the world relative to its width. It is located 40 km north of the town of Loannina and in its center flows the Voidomatis river . This gorge is located in the Vikos – Aoos National Park.
You will be able to observe beautiful villages such as Aristi, Papingo and pretty ottoman bridges such as the Kokkori bridge. On one of the hikes to access the viewpoint of the gorges, you can observe a strange rock formation called Stone Forest .
The Gorges of Gorropu, Italy
It’s also considered to be the largest canyon in Europe with rocky cliffs over 500m. It is located in Sardinia and is definitely worth a visit.
After an hour’s drive you will reach the parking lot of the Gorropu base camp. These gorges are very steep but the level of walking remains very accessible . It takes 45 minutes to do one of the courses (green). Then, the course continues in climbing and is reserved for a more seasoned public(yellow course).
The water that arrives is a pure spring water and perfectly drinkable, take the opportunity to fill your gourds.
The Gorges of Cares, Spain
Cares River begins in the peaks of Europe and results from several streams. It then flows into a spectacular gorge, the “Garganta del Cares” also called divine Gorge, “La Garganta divina”. They are walkable thanks to a path dug in limestone rock, the Cares trail and are surrounded by mountains of nearly 2000m. A water channel was built between 1917 and 1921 for the Camarmena-Poncebos power station. From where the construction of a path to be able to access the tunnels. It was then widened in the 40s to facilitate the passage and allow amore touristic access , 24km round trip.
We find two dams on the Cares:
Cain de Valdeon which collects water for the canal and then, the Camarmena Poncebos power station.
The Matka Canyon, Macedonia
In this canyon which is located in Macedonia , you can see the artificial lake of Matka. This 5,000 hectare canyon is a well known tourist destination. We will observe several monasteries and caves like the caves of Vrelo. One of these caves hides anatural siphon : the deepest in the world. It has been explored up to 230m.
Besides, in its center flows the Treska river and all around you can observe its beautiful reliefs and cliffs. It is a natural park sheltering many animal and plant species. You can practice many outdoor sports, such as caving, hiking, kayaking.
The Gorges of Vintgar, Slovenia
These gorges are located 4 km from the Bled lake in the north-west of the country. Entry for the walk is chargeable and lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. Gateways made of wood have been fitted out to be able to discover the gorges, along the Radovna river with the Hom and Borst mountains on either side. At the end of this walk, you can admire a waterfall of 26m. It is strongly recommended to go there early in the morning to have less crowd and a beautiful light .
Then, these gorges are found in Slovenia’s only national park, The Triglav. It is also the highest mountain in the country, 2864 meters. This mountain takes its name from its shape. Seen from its south-eastern slope, which looks like three heads. We also find this mountain on the national flag.
The creation of the park in 1924 allowed the conservation of many species but also the realization of many scientific research .
Samaria Gorge, Greece
These gorges are located west of Creta , and extend from Omalos plateau at an altitude of 1200 meters and up to the libyan sea . Since these gorges have become a tourist attraction, a small port has been created at its exit, the port of Agia Rouméli .
They are in the massif of the White Mountains which are themselves in the national parks of Greece. Since 1981 they have been recognized “ biosphere reserve ” by Unesco.
They are one of thelongest gorges in Europe with their 16 km long, but only the Gorges du Verdon are even longer with twenty kilometers.
A 18km course allows you to visit these gorges bordered by vertical rock walls (up to six hundred meters) and with “The doors” which is the narrowest place (3m)
Gorges du Tarn, France
The gorges of the Tarn , Jonte and Causses cover an area of more than 20,000 hectares with 19 municipalities. These gorges form a canyon created by the Tarn river , between the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre. They are found in Lozère and Aveyron.
This Tarn river takes its source at Mont Lozère to then cross a limestone area and form a canyon 400 to 600 m deep over a length of 53 km
Very beautiful villages, point of view and geological formations are to be seen, such as the circus of Pougnadoire, the circus of Saint Chely du Tarn and its pretty picturesque village, The Sublime point and its breathtaking point of view, “Le pas de soucis” and its enormous scree obstructing the river.
The town of Millau in Aveyron with its impressive viaduct, is considered as the capital of sport because this region offers hiking, canoeing, canyoning, via ferrata and so many other activities.
The Tara Canyon, Montenegro
The Tara canyon was formed by the river of the same name, and is located inMontenegro . It is considered to be the deepest canyon in Europe (up to 1300m). The Tara river crosses the entire national park of Durmitor over 80 km.
But, do not miss the opportunity to make beautiful walks to enjoy the landscapes offered by this magical place, the cliffs mingle with the green of nature and the turquoise waters of the river. You can admire the Djurdjevica bridge and its 5 large arches.
This canyon will delight lovers of thrills , with kayaking or rafting and lovers of flora and fauna can observe more than 300 species during beautiful hikes.
Velika Paklenica Canyon, Croatia
Finally, Paklenica National Park is located near Zadar in two regions, Quarner and northern Dalmatia, it is precisely in Velebit mountain. You can observe many rivers and caves.
The river flowing in the Velika canyon is 14.5km long, there is a narrower part of 3km, typical of a canyon , and deep up to 400m. Rockfalls blocked the canyon creating rapids and waterfalls .
Then, there are two canyons Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica which is smaller, 12 km long and 400 m to 500 m wide, with the narrowest part measuring 10 m
It is a landscape conducive to escalation , this is one ofthe most important site in Croatia, and it is known by climbers all over Europe.