The tufa waterfall of Roquefort-les-Cascades

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In the Cathar Pyrenees, just off the D1 road between Foix and Laroque d'Olmes, lies a tiny village named for the unusual 30 metre waterfall just above it. The water from the spring that feeds these falls is very calcareous, and calcium deposits form on the rocks and moss over which it flows. When the vegetation underneath the deposits dies, it ferments, and the beige crust left behind has a porous texture resembling a sponge. This type of cascade, called a Tufa waterfall, is fragile and rare.

photographeThe best period to visit these falls is in the spring and autumn, when snowmelt and rains assure an abundant flow of water. In the winter the frozen falls are a worth a look. Even though in summer the cascade is dry, the site is very pleasant and shady, with picnic areas and footpaths winding up and around the falls. When the falls are not in full spate, you can see a face in the rock wall.

The site is free and open to the public all year round.

Many thanks to these photographers

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