The Verdon is a large ancestral river that flows through the Alpes de Haute Provence department and out into the River Durance. Over time, coursing from its source in the Alps, it has eroded the rocky terrain to form the biggest canyon in Europe, les Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Gorge). Steep rock faces, exhilarating rapids near the source and calm waters downstream … a little something for everyone.
What is there to visit in Verdon Gorge?
Firstly, Camping la Beaume is located in the Les Basses Gorges so this is the best place to start. From Esparron de Verdon, you can take a boat across the lake and then sail 8km up the Gorge to Quinson seeing hidden treasures as you go such as: la Maison de Contrebandier (Smuggler’s House), La Grotte de l’Ours (Bear’s Cave) and le Sentier du Canal (Canal Path) …
The next day, you might wish to visit Baudinard Gorge which is only accessible by boat. Enjoy waterfalls of poetry in the wild, sublime landscape of the Gorge…
Next, you can visit the Hautes Gorges. Set aside a whole day for this because it takes an hour and a half, starting from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, to drive along the Route des Gorges and finish up in Castellane. You can choose between driving along the ‘Rive Droite’ (right bank) or Rive Gauche (left bank), crossing le Pont d’Artuby (Artuby Bridge) home to the highest bungee jump station in France and stop in Rougon at the viewing point ‘Point Sublime’. For those of you who are feeling fit, there are two hikes that you might like to try: L’Imbut and Le Sentier Martel. If you still have energy to spare, you could always embark on the circular walk along La Route des Crêtes which takes you to the peak of the Gorge to see the Griffon Vultures.
Verdon has five lakes :
.Le Lac de Quinson, a small lake at the end of les Gorges d’Esparron de Verdon.
.Le Lac de St Laurent, a small lake at the end of les Gorges de Baudinard.
.Le Lac de Ste Croix, at the end of les Hautes Gorges (Upper Gorge) is the largest of the Verdon lakes with a surface area of 2200 hectares; a vast expanse for you to explore. A drive around the lake takes roughly an hour and will take you through the villages of Sainte Croix, Bauduen, Les Salles sur Verdon and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
.Le Lac de Castillon, is located upstream, near to the source of the Verdon. It has a surface area of 500 hectares. A small section of the lake is exclusively reserved for the National Marines but, there is still a vast area that you can explore by boat.