This is a deep, narrow gorge on the upper Var river. If you're travelling east-west between Annot and Entrevaux, either on the N202 or the Train des Pignes, you'll see a deep V-slot in the high rock walls to the north (photo). Our photos are arranged in order, from the southern end of the gorge to the north, just before Guillaumes.
The D902 goes up through that slot into the Gorges de Daluis (actually, through the tunnel just to the left of the slot), winding up the west side of the canyon and high above it, with magnificent views. The road passes by Sausses, Daluis, then with some real switch-backs and tunnels to Guillaumes at the northern end of the gorges. From Guillaumes the D28 goes east to Valberg, Beuil and St. Sauveur, or the D2202 continues on northeast to the Col de la Cayolle and Barcelonnette.
Just a couple of km up the valley the road goes through the tiny village of Enriez, with the adjacent village of Castellet-les-Sausses perched on the peak above. The valley is still fairly wide here in the southern part. Passing near the village of Sausses, the road goes past a narrow part of the river where the old, arched concrete pont des Sausses crosses to the east side [photo-4].
About 8 km up the valley, the road passes through Daluis, with the old Daluis village perched along a steep ridge up to the left. The Grottes du Chat caves are located just 300 m above the Daluis village. Access is available partly by the narrow D96 road that winds in through the hills to the hamlets of Les Plans, St. Martin, Sauches and Le Tour.
Half way up the valley, the road begins rather twisted, as it passes through narrow cuttings and even narrower tunnels along side the real gorges, with steep red-rock cliffs alongside the river. You can see an example of the road cuttings in photo-7, and the narrow, southern end of this gorge at the right of photo-8. Photos 10 and 11 give an idea of the savage beauty of the Gorges de Daluis, which is this part of the valley.
At the northern end of the gorges, the Pont de la Mariée crosses high over the river. The old rail line once crossed this bridge, entering a tunnel and continuing up the east side of the river. Today, the current road continues up the west side. The Pont de la Mariée is popular for bungee jumping on weekends and during the summer.
Just north of the gorges, at Pont de la Mariée, the valley is again broad, with sloping forested banks where the Var river flows down from Guillaumes.
Transportation Daluis Gorges
Bus. See Travel-Bus (Guillaumes).
- Cat Grottos - Grottes du Chat
- The Grottes du Chat caves are located 300 m above the village of Daluis, 8.5 km north of the N202, half way between Annot and Entrevaux.
IGN (1/25,000) #3540 ET "Haute Vallée du Var, Gorges de Daluis, Mercantour"
IGN (1/25,000) #3541 OT "Annot - St. André-les-Alpes"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #9 "Mercantour"
At the mid-southern part of the valley, at the village of Daluis, all the way north, through the Gorges and to Guillaumes, a large number of trails loop through the hills and mountains on both sides.
You can easily find places to hike by watching for the brown trail sign-posts beside the road. One of these trail signs is beside the road in Daluis village, and others are all the way to the approach to Guillaumes. Better, of course, is to pick one of the many trails from the IGN map 3540-ET.
At the southern end of the valley, IGN map 3541 OT shows one trail going northeast from the narrow slot where the Var river flows out of the Daluis valley. There are other hiking trails in the hills to the west, from the village of Castellet-les-Sausses towards the north, including through the village of Sausses.