Itaca Canyoning

Rio Barbaira



Meeting Point:



duration of the activity:

3/4 hours

total duration:

5/6 hours


40 minutes


10 minutes


from April to October

Starting from:

14 years old

Mandatory Dive:

3 metres

mandatory rappel:

15 metres


80 € / person special prices for groups

Rio Barbaira

Rio Barbaira offers one of the most beautiful descents of Liguria and among the most beautiful in Italy. A route where aesthetics and fun combine in a magical way. Due to its proximity to France, the stream is very busy during the summer season.

The rio Barbaira is located in a wild and luminous valley, even though it is only a few kilometres from the coast, we have the impression of being isolated and far from the world. The route features a series of waterfalls of varying heights that allow . The constant presence of water makes the descent pleasant and possible throughout the summer season.

Canyoning Rio Barbaira, one of our favourites in Liguria

Practicable from April to October, this canyon is definitely one of our favourites. It is perfectly suited for a first experience and will leave even the most experienced enthusiast speechless.

From the village of Rocchetta Nervina, the path climbs among olive groves and margins until, in about forty minutes, it reaches the Cin bridge that marks the start of the descent. Here we wear wetsuits and all technical equipment and are given information on safety and progression in the torrent.

A short stretch and we reach an inclined plane that we pass with the use of the rope.

The route continues between pools and dives for 400 meters until we reach a small slide where we practice rappelling on a rope.

The next three pools allow even high and impressive dives and end on the 12-meter waterfall, the highest in the creek. A spectacular plunge or a scenic rappel takes us to the magnificent pool and the 5-metre slide that follows.

Rio Barbaira, waterfalls for spectacular dives

Here we find on the right bank a short ferrata at the end of which with a 4-meter plunge we arrive in a deep natural pool. Here we will take a break.

This is followed by the more recessed section known as ‘le Curumbeire’, we proceed between high moss-covered walls from which a thousand small waterfalls pour down in an evocative environment. A sequence of three dives culminates with the truly impressive 9-meter plunge into a narrow and very deep pool. We soon reach the last waterfall where the use of a rope is mandatory.

From here the progression over the Barbaira stream turns into a pleasant march over rough terrain to Lago dei Castagni. In a further 15 minutes or so, you reach the bridleway that marks the end of the descent. One last dip and in less than ten minutes an easy path leads to the car park in the village centre.

Its location makes Rio Barbaira easily accessible from the motorway linking Italy and France. It is therefore ideal for combining a weekend of tourism in Nice with a fun and exciting sporting activity such as canyoning or as an intermediate stage of a holiday.

The optional nature of the higher dives means that even very heterogeneous groups can enjoy the descent each according to their own level and motivation.

If you liked Rio Barbaira, you can move across the French border and discover the nearby Val Roya and its famous canyons.

General Information

The Rio Barbaira is hidden in the folds of the Nervia Valley, behind the small and beautiful village of Rocchetta Nervina. Half an hour from the beaches of the Ligurian Riviera and an hour from Nice and the famous French Riviera, we discover the remains of another world and another way of life. The nucleus of the village of Rocchetta Nervina dates back to the Middle Ages and the path to reach the beginning of the stream climbs among ancient terraces of dry stone walls and centuries-old olive trees.

vertical features

The descent of the stream is just over two kilometres long. The hundred and forty metres of difference in height are concentrated on the first half of the descent where we find the highest waterfalls, up to 12 metres. Of the nine rappels on the route, none is really compulsory, and even very high dives are possible. It should be noted that the clarity of the water facilitates the dives quite a bit, making it very easy to locate the finish area. The highest waterfall features a very scenic rope descent.

water features

It can be visited from April onwards, with a water level that can still be significant and makes for a sporty descent. As a rule, the flow rate is never excessive and the canyon is also ideal for beginners. Throughout the summer, the flow rate remains constant, even in drier seasons, and descent is always possible.

The swimming parts are never too long and do not present any particular complexity.

The temperature of the water, which is never cold, and its extraordinary clarity combined with exposure to the sun make the descent particularly pleasant.


The descent presents on the first half the most recessed and suggestive alternate zone, which is followed by a second part that is much more open and bright.
Along almost the entire route, it is possible to quickly leave the course of the river and reach the paths that run through the surrounding valleys.
The transparency of the water and the adherence of the rock greatly facilitate progression.

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