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Liguria

Liguria: a walk through the centuries in Val Gargassa

In Liguria , you literally walk through the centuries.

21 September 2022

2 minutes

There, where the land has slowly changed its face, transforming the landscape, the stratification of time is revealed at every step.

Over millennia, the river has shaped these exceptional places, creating deep canyons between sheer cliffs, green lakes, stone towers and spires.

We are in Val Gargassa, within the Beigua Park, one of the UNESCO Geoparks in Italy.

1. Canyoning in Val Gargassa

You will need four hours and a lot of adventurous spirit to dive into the unspoilt and wild beauty of the canyons in Val Gargassa.

The route, which is well signposted, can be travelled on foot following a natural trail that runs along the river and fords it in two places. Or you can choose to try your hand at canyoning along the river. In this case, you will also need a harness, helmet, ropes and an experienced local guide.

2. The natural trail along the canyon

If you opt for the natural trail along the canyon, you will begin the loop inside a forest of oak, chestnut, hazel and maple trees. When you come out of the forest, you can glimpse the first small lakes formed by the river, then gradually the walls become steeper and closer together.

At the first ford, don't forget to look up to admire the tower known as Muso del Gatto (Cat’s mouth). Not far away two other famous towers dominate, Rocca di Crava and Rocca Giana, which can be reached via a ledge equipped with ropes: watch out for vertigo.

Along the way, you might run into an ancient hamlet, Case Vereira, which bears witness to the human presence on these sites in the 13th century: glass was produced here in the pre-industrial era. But almost immediately we get back to nature, discovering a sulphur spring in the middle of the river.

Don't miss the Lady's Balcony, a vertical fracture on a rock bastion that looks like a window and allows a glimpse of the sky: a guaranteed spectacle. Towards the end of the route, you will also see from above the scene you have just crossed, from the deep cleft in the rock carved by the river to the astonishing towers towering upwards.

3. Canyoning on the Prialunga river

Within the Beigua Geopark is another unmissable place for those who love canyoning.

It is the Prialunga streamclosest to the coast, in the area Varazze. It offers jumps into hanging puddles, beautiful verticals and toboggans to be invented where passing becomes difficult.

The route takes three hours and is recommended for experienced hikers who want to test themselves along a daring but unforgettable route.