The best Via Ferrata of the autumn in France

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During the autumn, nature offers us a fabulous spectacle: the trees turn a thousand colours, the soft light caresses your skin... What could be better than to observe these changes in nature during a via ferrata course? The word via ferrata comes from the Italian word meaning "railway". It is a route built in the mountains, equipped with cables, ladders, zip lines and ramps to facilitate the course. A combination of hiking, climbing and touring, this activity will delight those who love strong sensations and beautiful landscapes.

Different levels of difficulty allow everyone to choose the via ferrata that suits their abilities. It is also an ideal experience for friends or family, as the via ferrata is well suited to beginners or younger people, as most via ferratas are accessible without prior experience. The only real contraindication is of course a marked predisposition to vertigo. And because we are convinced that the via ferrata is a must-do experience, we present below the best via ferrata of the autumn in France.

#1 : Via Ferrata of Clécy in Normandy

The via ferrata of Clécy in Calvados in Basse-Normandie is the ideal adventure to do with friends or family. It is the iconic via ferrata of Normandy, and one of the few north of the Loire. The route follows the cliffs along the Orne river and therefore offers a magnificent view of what is (emphatically) called the Suisse Normande. Obviously, no Matterhorn or Jungfrau on the horizon. Nevertheless, with a length of 250 meters and a difference in altitude of 70 meters, the via ferrata of Clécy offers a beautiful moment of climbing and a magnificent view on the valley and the viaduct of the Orne. For your via ferrata adventure you can either be supervised by a qualified instructor throughout the course, or cross the via autonomously. If you opt for the latter, you will of course be trained in safety techniques before you set off. A small test will also be done to check that you can progress independently.

During the via ferrata in Clécy you will face a succession of monkey bridges, footbridges and beams along the cliff. The highlight of the via ferrata is a spectacular 50 metre long footbridge. And during the summer months you have the possibility to finish the via ferrata in a giant tyrolienne!

#2 : Via Ferrata du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees National Park

Open all year round, the via ferrata of the Vertige de l'Adour is suitable for everyone. This via ferrata allows you to choose between several itineraries, more or less difficult, to suit your pace, your desire and your abilities. In all cases, professional guides will be at your side so that you can enjoy this extraordinary experience in complete safety. The Pyrenees in autumn are a spectacle in themselves. The mountain forests are colourful and the highest peaks are often already covered with a first layer of snow. The via ferrata of Vertige de l'Adour is located in a wild canyon carved out by the river Adour and consists of a well-developed and safe course. Tyrolean traverses, monkey bridges, climbing passages and aerial swings follow one another and guarantee a great moment in the middle of nature. The little extra: If you come with your family, you can even take advantage of a baby sitting service for the little ones and enjoy your mountain adventure to the full.

#3 : Via Ferrata du Pont du diable in Ardèche

Are you going to the Ardèche for the autumn holidays? Wonderful! And we have a good plan for you: the via ferrata of Pont du Diable, 20 km from Aubenas. Located in Thueyts along the (magnificent) N102, which runs up to the Haute-Loire plateau, the via ferrata du Pont du Diable takes its name from the iconic stone bridge that spans the upper reaches of the Ardèche in a sumptuous canyon.

In addition to a very entertaining route, passing through Thueyts and the Pont du Diable will give you the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views of a sleeping volcano and the basaltic organs of the Chausse des Géants. This vertical route, on a granite rock face, leads along cables, monkey bridges, ladders, and then along a magnificent 90 metre long and 70 metre high tyrolean traverse that takes you from one bank of the Ardèche to the other. The only prerequisites are a minimum age of 10 years and a maximum weight of 120kg.

#4 : Via ferrata of the Grotte de Champ Retard in Burgundy

Burgundy in autumn has much more to offer than its famous grape harvest. We suggest one of the best via ferrata for an autumn weekend. The via ferrata of the Grotte de Champ Retard is indeed unique in France, as it is installed inside a cave.

Located in an old stone quarry and taking place 90% under cover in the cave (perfect for rainy days!), the via ferrata of the Grotte de Champ Retard is accessible to all, as there are courses for all levels, from 4 years old. From beginner to advanced, it allows everyone to evolve according to their desires and abilities!

This adventure course ends with a 13-metre high climbing wall, where it is possible to self-climb (no previous experience required). This via ferrata ends with a final thrill. Good to know: this via ferrata is normally open until the end of the All Saints' holiday, and it is easily accessible from the Paris region as it is located right next to the A6, after Auxerre.

#5 : Via Ferrata de Liaucous, Gorges du Tarn

The via ferrata of Liaucous is one of the most beautiful via ferrata in France. It is also one of the most varied and fun. Located just at the exit of the Tarn gorges, in Le Rozier (near Millau), this via ferrata offers you a magnificent view of the cherry tree valley, where the Tarn gorges and the Jonte gorges meet.

You will discover atypical landscapes on this via ferrata. Indeed, all along the route the dolomitic limestone cliffs take on particularly surprising colours and rock shapes. Two different routes are possible for the Liaucous via ferrata. The blue route is the most accessible, and gradually increases in height (ideal for families with children). The red route is intended for the more athletic, and takes place in a much more aerial atmosphere. It remains accessible to all, but requires a good physical condition and in no case the fear of heights. At several points the two routes separate and join, allowing everyone to choose the appropriate option, even if you are in a group. The via ferrata of Liaucous is really a superb stop not to be missed on the road to the Tarn gorges.

#6 : Via Ferrata of Saint Paul de Fenouillet near Perpignan

The via ferrata in Saint Paul de Fenouillet is also called "La Panoramique" and for good reason. This vertical hike offers you an exceptional panorama of the Agly valley, the Cathar castle of Quéribus and the splendid Galamus gorges! Qualified guides will be there to accompany you in complete safety. After a 3.5 hour climb using your hands, rungs and monkey bridges, you'll reach the top of this superb via ferrata for a panoramic view - all the way to the sea if you're lucky with the weather.

To do the via ferrata in Saint Paul de Fenouillet you need to be in good physical condition and at least 14 years old.

#7 : Via ferrata of the Asco Valley in Haute-Corse

If you're off on a little island getaway this autumn then there's one activity you shouldn't miss: the via ferrata of the Asco Valley! In the wild and magical setting of the Asco valley and on the edge of the natural pools created by the torrents, you have the possibility of discovering all the wild beauty of the Corsican mountains while surpassing yourself. Different routes allow everyone to choose an adapted itinerary. Thus, families have the possibility to opt for a family adventure course for the first steps in via ferrata.

But also those who are looking for adrenaline will find their happiness. The X-pert course links two via ferratas and finishes with 9 giant tyrolean traverses! Between these two courses, other options are also available to satisfy young and old, beginners or experienced, always in the grandiose setting of the Asco Valley and Corsican nature.

The different via ferratas of the Asco Valley are located in Haute-Corse, and start from Morosaglia (relatively easy access from Bastia or Ile-Rousse).

The via ferrata is of course one of the best adventures you can have in autumn. Discover all our outdoor activities and take advantage of the Indian summer to launch yourself into new adventures! Why not start climbing? Our 10 tips on how to start climbing can help you in this case.