Gold can still be found in France. For pleasure or to make ends meet, here are the areas you should go to. And what's more, the landscapes are magnificent.
Gold continues to fascinate the curious and the adventurous. In France, despite regional restrictions, there are still places where gold panning (we call it panning) for amateurs is still possible.
The Cévennes, a mountain range in the south of France, are proving to be prime terrain for gold prospectors. This region, which extends mainly into the departments of Gard, Hérault and Ardèche, is renowned for its rivers rich in gold particles. The Cévennes rivers, crossing picturesque and wild landscapes, offer not only an exceptional natural setting for gold panning but also a relatively high probability of finding gold. In the Gard, for example, the activity is authorized from May 16 to the end of November, and there is even a campsite dedicated to gold prospectors in Cardet, at the gateway to the Cévennes.
Another area, the Armorican massif, extending over a large part of western France. It is designated by experts as the most gold-bearing region in France. This ancient geological area, rich in various minerals, is a real El Dorado for gold panning enthusiasts. Rivers like the Lié and the Leff in the Côtes d'Armor, the Vilaine in Ille-et-Vilaine, and other Breton rivers are full of possibilities for gold prospectors. However, it is crucial to research local regulations before embarking on this adventure, as the rules vary greatly from one department to another.
Finally, the Pyrenees, forming a natural border between France and Spain, also hide gold treasures. Although the amount of gold available varies significantly depending on location, certain areas of the Pyrenees are suitable for gold panning. For example, in Ariège, a neighboring department of Haute-Garonne (where gold panning is prohibited), the activity is authorized from May 1 to October 31. The Pyrenean rivers therefore offer an interesting alternative for gold prospectors.
If you want to get started in this activity, we recommend that you consult the information site designed by two gold prospectors from Toulouse, David Rouquier and Lionel Sanmarti. It's called Goldline gold panning and gives a lot of advice on the most gold-bearing areas of France, as well as on techniques for collecting your little treasure.