What the highest waterfalls in France are is difficult to say. Searching for “highest waterfall in France” in France gives only one result: Grande cascade de Gavarnie. But there are a few other waterfalls that approaches the 440 meter of Grande cascade de Gavarnie. I don’t have any accurate figures about these waterfalls, but there are several waterfalls in France that exceeds the 400 meter.
Grande cascade de Gavarnie is with its 440 meter the number one highest waterfall in France and to my opinion also the most beautiful waterfall in France. I visited cirque du Gavarnie twice and every time I felt I was in heaven. The walk to the waterfall is of astonishing beauty and the last part is very impressive. When walking to the base of Grande cascade de Gavarnie, you see how big the waterfall really is. Take a closer look at my pictures and you will notice how tiny the people are in front of the waterfall.
1. Grande cascade de Gavarnie – Gavarnie – Iceland: 440 meter
Grande cascade de Gavarnie is with a single drop of 281 meter and a total height of 440 meter the highest waterfall in France.
In summertime, with warm weather, there is a lot of melted ice/snow from the glacier L’Epaule. At that time the volume of Grande cascade de Gavarnie exceeds 200 m3/s.
The walk to Grande cascade de Gavarnie is astonishing with a high variety of wildlife and nature. Definitely the highlight of our stay in the Pyrenees.
2. Cascade de Pissevache – Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval – France: 400+ meter
Cascade de Pissevache is one of the waterfalls at the cirque du Fer-a-Cheval. it is the largest mountain cirque in the Alps and is also called the “cirque du 30 cascades”.
When parking the car at cirque du Fer-a-Cheval the first thing you notice is the many waterfalls coming down the cliffs. The biggest one (and most famous one) is Cascade de Pissevache.
Cascade de Pissevache has a total height of 400-450 meter and is maybe even higher then Grande cascade de Gavarnie. It is a must to visit cirque du Fer-a-Cheval with Cascade de Pissevache and all other 29 waterfalls.
From the parking you can see most of the waterfalls.
3. Cascade de la Fare – Vaujauny – France: 200-400 meter
Cascade de la Fare is the third the highest waterfall in France. The upper part of Cascade de la Fare is 200 meters high and the lower part is also approximately 200 meters high. With a total of 400 meters it one of the highest waterfalls in France.
There is a trail going up along Cascade de la Fare starting at the parking at the Telecabine. From the parking walk (over the road) northeast back to Vaujany for 400 meters until there is a bridge. After the bridge go right following the river, walking towards Cascade de la Fare.
4. Cascade du Moulin Marquis – Cirque Bournillon – France: 400+ meter
Cascade du Moulin Marquis is a low volume waterfall with a huge height at Cirque du Bournillon in the Vercors. Most of the time you hardly see the waterfall flowing but it still is an official named waterfall and one of the highest waterfalls in France.
With a total drop of approximately 400 meter it is the fourth highest waterfall in France.
5. Cascade de l’Arpenaz – Sallanches – France: 365 meter
Cascade de l’Arpenaz is the fifth highest waterfalls in France. With a free fall of 270 meters and a total height of 360 meters Cascade de l’Arpenaz is one of the highest waterfalls in France.
Cascade de l’Arpenaz is easy to reach but is also visible from highway A40, near Sallanches.