The Gorges du Verdon is the most beautiful canyon in Europe! It has nothing to envy to the Great Parks of the American West. It impresses by its gigantism, the turquoise blue color of its water and its large tawny vultures.
I am going to separate these in 2 parts:
- Low-Gorges: made up mainly of lakes and small gorges, west of the Sainte-Croix dam.
- Hautes-Gorges: part of the Canyons and mountains, east of the dam up to Castellane.
The two villages to be visited, see to take root :
- Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, this village flanked by its rock is the ideal place to stay in the region. A real “coup de coeur” for me.
- Castellane : At the end of the Gorges du Verdon, Castellane is the spot for all white-water activities and sensational sports (Rafting, Kayak, etc.).
The Low Gorges of the Verdon
Linking the lakes of Esparron to the lake of Sainte-Croix, they reveal to us a flamboyant and wild nature. They are part of the different tourist landscapes offered by the Verdon Regional Natural Park.
We discover an exceptional environmental heritage. In addition, lakes with breathtaking turquoise water are ideal for swimming and water sports in summer.
The High Gorges of the Verdon
The Hautes Gorges du Verdon are located between the villages of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Castellane. They are considered the “Grand Canyon” of Europe. The landscapes are the most impressive and vertiginous but not easy to take pictures.
Then, the best time for photos is (again) in the early morning. Hopefully, there will be some fog coming up from these plateaus.
At dawn, the Gorges du Verdon give way to a colorful and breathtaking scenery. Vultures are present but also eagles. The big gliders deplore their wings under the warming sun. They offer a natural and magical moment.
Remarkable photo spots in the Gorges du Verdon
Take the route des Crêtes from la Palud sur Verdon
It is a loop which allows to have magnificent panoramas on the Gorges.
The 14 Belvederes offer unforgettable viewpoints where you can stop.
What I recommend for the Belvederes :
- Trescaïre and the Carelle to observe the vultures (late morning)
- Stops to admire the immense limestone cliffs.
- Gorge of Guegues which makes it possible to guess the meanders of the Verdon river.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has been one of the most beautiful villages in France since 1981. The village is anchored in the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon and the Geopark of Haute-Provence.
Then, you will discover: typical provincial alleys, chapels, ramparts and aqueduct, gourmet restaurants, olive groves, fountains, pastel tile tones …
This architectural ensemble enhances the value of this lively and natural place. Today, there are 700 inhabitants. Tourism and the earthenware tradition contribute to the economy of the village.
At the end of the High Gorges, Castellane is the village of the activities sensations for the tourists. Indeed, the town of Castellane has a remarkable historical and cultural heritage. Castellane is located in a preserved environment and offers to the visitors a very rich range of activities.
Hiking, swimming, mountain biking… you will find what you are looking for!