Canyoning in the Pyrenees


Canyoning is a refreshing mountain sport: walking, swimming, jumping, sliding, abseiling down waterfalls, to explore the Ossau Valley, in the heart of the Atlantic Pyrenees (64), 2 hours from the Basque coast and 45 minutes from Pau!

Sculpted rock, waterfalls and natural pools are just some of the wonders we'll come across as we descend the canyons of the Pyrenees.

The gorges of Canceigt in Béost, the canyon of Soussouéou or the canyons of the gorges of Bitet near Artouste, the canyon of Bious in Gabas under the lake of Bious-Artigues, the canyon of Brousset under the pass of Pourtalet are some of the routes that we suggest you to descend together

Canyoning in the Pyrenees

Our favourite playground to make canyoning is the Ossau valley : Laruns 40 km south of Pau2 hours from the Basque coast, less than 3 hours from Bordeaux and Toulouse (see the map below of page).

The number and interest of Ossalois canyons make it a major and unmissable canyoning site in the southwest of France. The Canceigt  (Oxygen half-day) and its end is a jewel of greenery in a deep and narrow gorge, the atmosphere is unique. The Bitet canyon (Wingspan Day) attracts canyoning enthusiasts from all over France because of its fun and technical aspects! The Cap de Pount canyon (adventure day) at the foot of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau offers a unique wilderness experience in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park. In short, just a stone's throw from Pau, our playground is vast and varied! Magnificent natural landscapes await you in the Pyrenees for your holidays.

Don't forget to book your canyoning activity in the Pyrenees. You can also read our article "Canyoning in the Pyrenees". prepare your canyoning trip" .

The guide offers you several routes according to your level for your canyoning trip. Whether you're a beginner, a sportsman or an experienced canyoneer, you'll come across different landscapes with waterfalls, jumps and abseiling descents in a lush natural setting in the heart of the Atlantic Pyrenees.

The practice of canyoning is aimed at people who have The desire to play with water and experiment with verticality (abseiling). Canyoning is one of the white-water activities available in the mountains. The programme includes abseiling down waterfalls, jumps and natural slides.

With family, friends or colleagues, for an EVJF or EVG, as a couple or even solo, discover canyoning. For those with more experience and looking to improve their skills, we offer more technical canyons.

For the best possible memories of canyoning we recommend a minimum age of 12 years for canyoning with Aventure Chlorophylle. If your children are between 7 and 11 years oldWe invite you to check out our other activities adapted to the youngest ones such as the Cavingon Rafting or  the Escalade.




Definition of canyoning


Descending a canyon is one of the most challenging mountain white-water activities. This activity involves lowering a canyona throat or a river using different techniques such as walkthe swimmingon jumpthe slidethe abseiling and theclimbing to overcome obstacles.

In the Ossau valley in the Pyrenees, the canyons are rich and varied providing routes for all levels of practiceFrom beginners to the very experienced. Equipped with neoprene wetsuits and socksa helmeta safety harnesss, the cords and a pair of shoes closed for uneven terrainYou'll set off to discover these canyons by overcoming all the obstacles using abseiling, natural slides and jumps.

In familywith a group of friendsfor a EVG/EVJFbetween colleagues or same solos, the thrills are guaranteed whatever your level. Remember to book your canyoning trip in the Pyrenees!

The origins of canyoning


From daring fishermen have always explored narrow gorges on every inhabited continent, while the cavers and explorers (Edouard-Alfred Martel, Armand Jamet and Lucien Briet) were the first to discover sites that are more difficult to access.

Between the years 1950 and 1980The first canyoning expeditions began in the early 1980s, with the discovery of massifs such as the Sierra de Guara in Spain. Exploring the gorges of Béarn really took off in the 1980s. The equipment used at the time was a far cry from the comfort and safety provided by our neoprene wetsuits and socks, helmets, harnesses and safety lanyards.

"From the early 1990s onwards, popular training courses were organised by the federations concerned: Fédération Française de Spéléologie, Fédération Française de canöé Kayak (which has since abandoned canyoning), Fédération Française de la montagne et de l'escalade and Fédération des clubs alpins français". (CDSC64 2022 edition)



How to define your level

Description of the level :

A multi-faceted introductory course that is suitable for everyone: novices or occasional practitioners.

  • Access walk (approach + return) limited to 30 minutes.
  • Progression in the natural river bed is slippery but does not require any skills other than those of mountain hiking.
  • No or little bag to carry (only your equipment and possibly your picnic).
  • Jumps from 0 to 7 metres, of simple execution, always optional and easily avoidable.
  • Simple but compulsory abseils, maximum 15 metres.
  • Short swim, calm water, weak current.
  • Limited commitment: effort less than 5 hours (approach + descent + return), escape routes exist.

Skills required :

  • Be in good physical condition, but not necessarily athletic, limited physical commitment.
  • Know how to swim, be able to put your head under water.
  • Be able to jump 1-2 metres into the water, although all jumps are avoidable.
  • Be able to walk, off-path, for 3 hours, with a moderate gradient.
  • Be able to overcome fear to hang from a rope. No previous experience required.
  • Children from 12 years of age (minimum age in groups, lowered to 10 years in families depending on the case).

Description of the level :

This is an introductory course in sports, with technical training, requiring a good level of comfort and a good condition to move in mountain terrain.
Beginners accepted.

  • Access walk (approach + return) limited to 2 hours.
  • Progression in the river bed requiring a certain ease to cross steep passages.
  • Carrying a backpack, with collective equipment.
  • Jumps from 0 to 8 metres, always optional but requiring good tonicity and a search for precision.
  • Abseiling up to 30 metres, which can be watered.
  • A swim that may require a minimum of whitewater proficiency.
  • Moderate commitment: effort of up to 7 hours (approach + descent + return), several waterfalls can be linked without interruption.

Skills required :

  • Be in good physical condition, have a regular sport practice.
  • Know how to swim, be comfortable in the water.
  • Be able to jump into the water without hesitation up to 3 metres.
  • Be able to evolve in a rocky environment, to face new and even impressive situations.
  • Be able to abseil: previous experience of verticality (accrobranche, climbing, canyoning) is recommended.
  • Children from 13 years old.

Description of the level :

This is an advanced sports course, with technical training, requiring previous experience in canyoning, particularly in climbing verticals.

  • Access walk (approach + return) of up to 4 hours.
  • Progression in the river bed requiring a certain ease of movement and participation of everyone in the management of safety.
  • Carrying a backpack, sometimes heavy.
  • Technical jumps requiring tonicity and precision.
  • Abseiling may be wet, and may exceed 50 metres. You will help the instructor with rope handling.
  • A swim that may require a minimum of whitewater proficiency.
  • Large-scale commitment: effort of up to 12 hours (approach + descent + return), the environment is isolated, the route does not always have possible escapes.

Skills required :

Be in good physical condition, have a regular practice of sports, especially on mountain activities.

  • Know how to swim, be comfortable in the water.
  • Be able to perform technical jumps in a difficult environment. Previous experience required.
  • Be able to evolve in a rocky and vertical environment, knowing how to abseil is mandatory.
  • Be able to manage your own safety and participate in the safety of your teammates.
  • Children from 14 years old.


  • Canyon
  • Rafting
  • Caving
  • Mountaineering
  • Via Ferrata
  • Via Cordata
  • Climbing
  • Catering Parking
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