The Gorge de Galamus in the Pyrenees is a spectacular place full of surprises, our day there was probably the highlight of our summer road trip. The drive through the narrow road, along the rocky ledges of the gorge road is quite extreme. At peak periods they operate a 'tidal' one way system, so you never meet anyone coming the other way. We arrived before this was running, and had a few interesting manoevers to make to squeeze the cars through, which thankfully we managed unscathed.
At the far end of the gorge, there is a carpark, viewpoint, a cafe and a path which descends down to "The Hermitage". At the bottom of the path a door carved into the cliff walls leads into a surprisingly beautiful underground church, in a cave.
The Gorge de Galamus has much more in store though. Walking back along the road, reveals a descent track down into the gorge itself. Slippery, and strewn with loose scree, its a tricky march down, and a chest-level wade through the narrowest and deepest section of the river to enter the most remarkable river playgound.
The river tumbles over endless waterfalls and into countless deep pools. There are some for swimming in, loads for the kids to play in, and several which are deep enough to leap into from the high rocks around them.
After many hours of fun, we got the kids to clamber back up to the cafe, and the car for the drive back to Carcassonne. Happy Days!