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.
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) …
At the end of the Basses Gorges d’Esparron-de-Verdon, you reach the Lac de Quinson. A superb little lake of about 2km², it has very large beaches, ideal for picnicking.
De delicious little restaurant with a very nice view along the lake: Chez Kinou, le Resto du Lac and l’Auberge. Boat rentals are waiting for you on Quinson Lake, including our friends, the Volontier family, who manage the Verdon Electronautic stand. They are also partnering with Alizée Electronic from Esparron-de-Verdon so that you can leave your boat at the pontoon for the time of visit the village of Quinson after your crossing of the Gorges.
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 :