While the road down from Gourdon to Cascades sur Loup is a very scenic drive, the café and entry into the cascades on the river Loup are a little tired and have obviously been serving this road for many years. However, I loved the name of the establishment guarding the entry to the waterfalls…Saut du Loup, the Leap of the Wolf! Unfortunately for the café, we had just dined so we headed for the coined slot device on the wall near the turnstile that asked for a one Euro coin for the pleasure of heading to the other side of the building. We could then walk down the steps to the viewing platform and witness the ‘wolf’ racing through the rock channels and leaping the rock falls down to the standing pools enveloped in rocky greenery.
The main waterfall appears to have a number of names, all presumably nominated by early humanity in this region who decided that the speedy and swift nature of this river downhill reminded them of the original wolves of these mountains. Thus this waterfall was called ‘Saut de Loup’. Perhaps this name was too masculine for later generations so it has been given another name, ‘Cascades de Demoiselles’, the waterfall of the bridesmaids. There is the hint of bridal veils in the fall of the minor cascades in the image below.
There are other waterfalls in this valley such as Cascade de Courmes. With plenty of time and a love of hiking, this would be a great valley to walk up the river and discover the large and small waterfalls that carry the ‘Loup’ down to the coast. Apparently in summertime the cascades do not get sufficient water so such a journey would have to be timed for the rainy season. However the road did have some attractions at Cascades sur Loup; after pulling out of the carpark we immediately entered a tunnel in the hillside and then we were treated to the gorgeous rock formations along the side of the road for many kilometres.
Visiting Cascades sur Loup on our journey from Gourdon was a great idea as, although the road provided plenty of green scenery, it was only by stopping along the way that we got a sense of what a beautiful gorge the Loup River ran through until it reached the calm waters beside our Camper Park at Camping Pinèdes.