The Kakuetta Gorge, revealed in 1906, open to the public since 1966, a true "Amazon" of temperate latitudes according to some, invites visitors to explore a wide canyon nearly 2 km long, along a tortuous river.
Vertiginous cliffs, luxuriant vegetation, refuge of majestic birds of prey, with a little luck, one can admire a rare protected species and emblematic of the Pyrenees, the Bearded Vulture, the Basque mountain offers many surprises and beauties.
The paths and footbridges laid out for the occasion lead safely to the highlight of the walk, the famous waterfall which falls some twenty metres.
The Kakuetta Gorges are one of the wildest and most prestigious sites in Europe, surrounded by lush, unspoilt nature.
The vertiginous and flowing walls reach up to 350 m in height. After an hour's walk, one reaches the waterfall which falls about 20 meters. The cave of the lake, decorated with giant stalactites and stalagmites, closes the journey.
A bit of History
In this Haute-Soule country, only the smugglers used to take these rough and steep paths. It took all the audacity of a speleology enthusiast, Edouard-Alfred Martel, to venture into this interlacing of rocks and faults at the beginning of the 20th century. In the past, farmers used to bring wheat down from the high cliffs to the water mill installed at the entrance to the Kakuetta Gorges. The latter was washed away by the floods of 193. Then these farmers would take the heavy sacks of flour up the same way.
In the surrounding area
A little further on, the village of Sainte-Engrâce has kept the authenticity of the hamlets of Haute-Soule in the heart of the Basque mountains. Its Romanesque church is an architectural jewel of the 11th century.
Not far away, the cave of La Verna offers an exceptional speleological site and one of the largest underground chambers in the world accessible to the public.
A few tips
Provide walking shoes or good shoes with non-smooth soles.
Access to strollers is impossible, so remember to bring a baby carrier.
Even in summer, it is always cool in the Kakuetta Gorge: keep a sweater handy in your backpack.
As the visiting time is not limited and if you plan to stay for several hours, bring your picnic. In any case, put a bottle of water in your bag to quench your thirst. Thank you for respecting the environment and taking your waste with you.
At the entrance of the site, helmets are available to the public. Dogs are allowed on condition that they are kept on a leash.
Please respect the fauna and flora of the gorges. Swimming and fishing are forbidden, as well as the gathering of plants.
Possibility to meet at the Bar "La Cascade" to eat, drink, learn about the history of the Kakuetta Gorges and the legends that animate them.
Open from March 15 to November 15, without interruption, every day from 8am to nightfall unless weather conditions are bad. The visit is free and you can stay as long as you wish.
Take an entrance ticket at the bar " la Cascade ".
Departmental road 113
Tel: 05 59 28 60 83
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator