The Grand Canyon of France! A spectacular and beautiful nature spot in the South of France with turquoise waters, impressive cliffs, a beautiful lake for all kinds of water activities and cute towns. If you heading to the South of France, you should definitely visit the Gorges du Verdon!
Gorges du Verdon activities
Pedal boat, kayak or stand up paddle through the famous part of the Gorges, head towards the waterfall and find a safe spot to jump off a cliff.
The most accessible part of the gorges on the water can be found at the Pont du Galetas near Salles-sur-Verdon, on the road leading to Moustiers Sainte-Marie. You will find rental spots for pedal boats, electric boats and kayaks on both sides of the river near the bridge. We crossed the bridge first, coming from the Cote d’Azur and then parked at the ‘Base de l’Etoile’, one of the boat rental spots near the entrance of the Verdon gorge. Like most beautiful sites… beautiful means you will not be the only one to visit… so coming early is recommended to enjoy the Verdon gorges without too many people on the water.
We rented a pedal boat for our family and went for 2 hours of pedaling and swimming. The colour of the water in the Verdon gorge is amazingly turquoise! After pedaling for about an hour at a calm pace you will reach a beautiful waterfall. We had a water-resistant bag with us that we use when we go stand-up paddling so we had no problem navigating right through the waterfall which was fun and refreshing!
Villages around Gorges du Verdon and Lac Sainte Croix
When we were finished we left for the beautiful town of Moustiers Sainte-Marie. A historical, medieval town, known for their porcelain craft work. A lot of little local shops, restaurants, and a scenic entrance bridge with a waterfall.
Another small town we liked walking around in was Salles sur Verdon.
Lac Sainte Croix activities
The lake has several spots where you can rent equipment for water activities, or beaches to relax on. We decided to go stand-up paddling on the beautiful Lac de Sainte Croix.
The artificial lake is huge, and the water has the same turquoise color as the water in the Verdon gorge. The water is very clear and we saw some nice fish. We decided to go to the Surf Center in Salles sur Verdon. What a cool spot! Hammocks, a slack line for kids to play on, a cool beach bar and a rental place for paddles and boats of all kinds. We already have 2 paddle boards of our own, so we just rented 1 extra board for us to paddle as a family, as our little one still likes to sit in front of one of our boards 😊. After the crowd in the Gorge, peace and quiet reigns at the Sainte Croix lake. The lake is so big, you just paddle away and you can find quiet spots on islands or on the lake shore where you can have the feeling your family are the only ones that exist. Our children called it ‘playing Robinson Crusoe’ when we had a little break on the island 😊.
The town of Salles sur Verdon also has loads of restaurants, and the Surf Center is really highly recommended as the staff is super friendly and they have re-created a tropical island atmosphere here. The beach bar sells smoothies, snacks, pasta salad and cocktails. Need we say more? 😊
Hotel Verdon Gorges
If you would like to stay overnight near the Verdon gorges, we would suggest you stay in the town Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. There is a beautiful hotel located right on the main square, at easy walking distance to all the restaurants and shops.
Lavender fields Provence
An easy day trip from Gorges du Verdon is to visit the famous french lavender fields. The closest place to visit some of the spectacular purple fields which are in bloom in summer, is around the town of Valensole, which is about 35 minutes by car from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
The Verdon Gorges and Lac de Sainte Croix as seen from above in the video made with our drone:
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