Rock Climbing, Abseiling & Canyoning

Canyoning in Europe | 7 of the Best Gorge Walking Spots

A guide to some of the continent's top gorge walking

There are plenty of great places to go canyoning in Europe. From the crystal clear waters and dizzying heights of the Tyrolean Alps to the breath taking depths of the Gorges Du Verdon, Europe has loads of top quality canyoning spots on offer, each with a distinctive take on gorge walking.

What is Canyoning? | A Beginners Guide to Gorge Walking

If you’ve tried (and enjoyed) canyoning in the UK, you’ve got (or can rent) the right canyoning gear and you want to test your gorge walking skills on slightly bigger stuff, then why not make one of these European canyoning hotspots your next destination? After all, adventurous activities are a great way to see a different side of any country you’re travelling to.

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Interlaken, Switzerland

Smack in the middle of Switzerland between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz you’ll find Interlaken. Surrounded by stunning Swiss Alpine scenery and crisp mountain water, this is a canyoning paradise with plenty of impressive features to play on.

If you’re heading this way check out Chli Schliere which is packed with fast, twisting slides, high jumps and some really technical obstacles that will require all your best scrambling and climbing moves. This is big mountain canyoning at its best.

Go With: Outdoor Interlaken

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Gorges Du Verdon, France

With its turquoise water and lush, green scenery, the Gorges du Verdon is one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe. Located in the south east of France, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the gorge lies just a couple of hours drive from the Swiss border.

Entering the Verdon, canyoners are greeted by towering limestone walls. The gorge can get pretty deep, reaching a down to 700m in some places, and at 25km long this makes for hours of canyoning fun. This is a canyon that will test both your guts and your technical canyoning skills with breathtaking jumps and plenty of tight boulder squeezes through fast flowing water.

Go With: Canyoning Verdon

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda is one of those places that’s so beautiful it’s on many people’s bucket lists already. The fact that there’s some killer gorge walking to be had here is just the icing on the cake.

Found halfway between Venice and Milan, Garda is Italy’s largest lake. The glacier-formed landscape here is surrounded by huge, dark mountains which have been cut through by fresh mountain streams, forming narrow gorges and unusual caverns. The slides in this European canyoning spot go on for ages, the abseils are impressive and you’ll have to remember to pack your head for heights too because the drops here are quite something.

Go With: Outdoor Planet

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Argelès-sur-Mer, France

France’s second entry on this list is not what you might expect. No Alpine mountain hideaway here, this canyoning spot is right near the beach! Canyoning Park in Argelès-sur-Mer, is less than a kilometre from the Balearic sea, which means you can go canyoning in the morning and be surfing by lunch.

This park is a man made European gorge alking spot which crams an entire canyon’s worth of fun into just over 1 square mile. With waterfall abseils, 9m high jumps, 14 different pools to land in and a 100m zipline you’ll get a lot canyoning bang for your buck. There’s even super steep rock slides to play on, including one that leads into an underground cave!

Go With: Canyoning Park

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Sierra De Guerra, Spain

The sunbleached rock of the Sierra de Guara provides the backdrop for this European canyoning spot. This limestone mountain massif is run through by numerous rivers, each carving their own unique path through the area’s bedrock.

There are tons of gorges to explore with top spots to look out for including the Rio Vero and Rio Alcanadre. Most gorges start off small and then widen as they work their way down to the Ebro river. Expect jade green water, meandering bends and broad gorge bases with plenty of scrambling, and underwater passes at this chilled out gorge walking spot.

Go With: Guara Canyoning

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Bad Tölz, Germany

Thanks to the many small rivers draining into the mighty Isar River, the countryside surrounding Bad Tölz in Bavaria offers plenty of opportunities for gorge walking. The alpine scenery here shares a lot with Germany’s next door neighbour Austria which means you can expect some pretty intense canyoning.

Bad Tölz specialises in tight, technical descents with a decent amount of abseiling thrown in. This is physically demanding stuff (it’ll give you a proper workout so make sure you’ve got a decent level of fitness) but the huge rush you get jumping into narrow pools and channels makes it all worth it.

Go With: Xtreme Spots

The Best Canyoning Spots In Europe: Otztal Valley, Austria

If you’re going canyoning in Europe, don’t miss out on a trip to the Austrian Tyrol. Split in two by the Alps, the Austrian state of Tyrol is home to outdoor thrill seekers of all kinds from mountain bikers to snowboarders. The Otztal follows the line of the Alps and running through it the Ötztaler Ache river creates a dramatic playground for canyoners, full of some of the most challenging and rewarding descents you’ll find in Europe. In fact, this stunning spot is as good as any of the best canyoning spots in the world.

There’s plenty of fun to be had throughout Otztal but at the head of the valley you’ll find the Auer Klamm, a beautiful and unspoiled spot of Alpine gorge walking goodness. As you’d expect with the Alps, elevation plays a big part in any trip here. You’ll be tackling plenty of abseils, back to back drops, technical slides and jumps up to 16m! If that doesn’t put a smile on your canyoning chops we don’t know what will.

Go With: Area 47

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