The Verdon river

The Haut Verdon

Haut Verdon: a well-kept secret that comes to light in the spring

Less known, the Haut Verdon Valley offers splendid landscapes of villages and of mountain peaks. It is ideal for rafting during the spring season.

Those who know the Gorges du Verdon have not finished being dazzled by the region! The Haut Verdon Valley offers superb landscapes of forests, waterfalls, mountains and alpine villages, in which the Verdon river crisscrosses. More unknown to tourists, it will delight lovers of nature and a mountain and wild atmosphere … always hungry for thrills!

Melting snow and natural water flow

The Haut Verdon Valley is located between the ski resort of Val d’Allos, where the Verdon river has its source, and the village of Saint-André-les-Alpes. The river is only practiced part of the year since it is not regulated by dams , unlike the part of the Gorges du Verdon. This is how you can discover it in the spring. When the winter snows melt and turn into water, the level of the Haut Verdon river increases, as does its flow. These natural conditions are then ideal for the practice of rafting or canoeing. .

Waterfalls, rapids and wild landscapes

Several rafting courses are accessible, depending on the level of the river, between the villages of Beauvezer and Saint-André-les-Alpes. Narrower and deeper than the part of the Gorges du Verdon, it offers many rapids . The turns follow one another, and you will have multiple waves to face! You will also discover all along the route sublime waterfalls gushing into the river…

Depending on the snow cover and weather conditions, the descent can be made in April, May and / or June . Do not hesitate to contact our teams who can provide you with more information to take full advantage of this beautiful course!

If the water flow is not sufficient for rafting and canoeing, then there is still the possibility of visiting the Gorges du Verdon with the aqua hike!

And if you prefer to stay dry, Haute Provence Outdoor offers other activities to explore the region such as the Deval’Bike in the village of Annot or the Trott’Elec in Trigance.

The Verdon river

Verdon level and whitewater activities: understanding the role of dams

Verdon level and whitewater activities: understanding the role of dams

In the Gorges du Verdon, water releases from dams regulate the flow of the river. An operation to know to practice sports activities in white water.

The Verdon river constitutes a true geological wonder which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

To discover its beauty, nothing like trying out whitewater sports, which will offer you, in addition to spectacular landscapes, beautiful sensations!

To practice these activities, it is necessary to understand how the level of Verdon . The river takes its source above the Col d’Allos. It then flows for nearly 170 km and is regulated by hydroelectric dams . These are the Castillon and Chaudane dams upstream of the Gorges, and the Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron dams downstream.

Castillon lake view of the dam - Alpes de haute Provence

It is on the Chaudanne dam that we linger since it is the one that regulates the flow of the Verdon from Castellane to Lake Sainte-Croix, the part of the Verdon on which our activities take place. When the dam is open , the flow of water is strong and the flow is rapid: the conditions are then ideal for the practice of rafting and canoeing . If this is closed , the level goes down but the river is not dry. The water flow is lower and it is then possible to do aqua-hiking and canyoning without a rope in the Grand Canyon du Verdon .

Castillon dam - Verdon lakes

Summer period: opening of the dam on Tuesday and Friday

Our activities depend on information provided by EDF , which regulates the dam. In July and August, water releases are regular . Thus the water flow allows the practice of rafting and canoeing Tuesdays and Fridays . The other days, the river is not dry but the water flow is lower. All you have to do then is let yourself be carried by the current in aqua-rando, or try a canyoning outing. In September, the releases are irregular but more frequent . Do not hesitate to contact us, our teams will be happy to inform you about the activities that you can practice!

In spring: irregular water releases

During the spring season, the releases are carried out depending on weather conditions . They are therefore irregular . They may be more frequent due to precipitation or snowmelt. EDF only gives us the information on the release days a few days in advance. They are often scheduled on weekends, especially during the May holidays .

These periods are then particularly suitable for the practice of rafting and canoeing. In spring, it is also possible to discover the Haut-Verdon, which does not depend on water releases! And allows you to discover a completely different aspect of the region, less known and wilder. Or even go further downstream towards the Gorges de Baeaudinard or the lake of Quinson or Esparron and why stop on the way at the village of Trigance and learn about the Trott’Elec !

The Verdon river

The Verdon river, turquoise water and splendid landscapes

The Verdon river, turquoise water and splendid landscapes

It is by flowing in the middle of limestone rocks that the Verdon river carved out the Gorges of the same name, considered today as one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe.

A water with emerald reflections of rare intensity.

With its color oscillating between blue and green, the Verdon river will not fail to charm you … But do you know what gives Verdon this unique color? These are microscopic algae and fluorine, present in its bottoms, which make it one of the most beautiful rivers in France. To discover the river and appreciate the superb landscapes that surround it, many activities are possible : rafting , aqua hike , canoe Kayak , canyoning or even hikes …

The Verdon stops for a moment
Panorama on the Verdon river

The river in the heart of the Gorges du Verdon

It is in the massif of the Three Bishoprics , in the town of Allos, that the Verdon takes its source. Following a route of approximately 175 kilometers , it then flows into the Durance, in the town of Saint-Paul-les-Durance.

To experience white water sports, two areas of the Verdon are passable :

The section of Haut-Verdon

Located between the villages of Allos and Saint-André-les-Alpes, it flows over forty kilometers. Spring is the best time to discover it by rafting, a unique wild and sporting experience!

The Moyen-Verdon section

It breaks down itself into two parts: the pre-gorges of Castellane , and the famous Verdon Canyon , known for its 21 kilometers of deep and wild gorges.

In the part of the Gorges du Verdon, rafting and canoeing are legion since many rapids follow one another. You may have the opportunity to hear their names: at barre-Saint-Jean, la Dégoulinante, the Tourniquet, Imbut , the solitary…

Book your family discovery rafting activity now.

Five lakes to discover

By following the Verdon river, you can discover the five artificial lakes which also offer exceptional landscapes in the region. These are the lakes of Castillon and Chaudanne upstream of the Gorges du Verdon and the lakes of Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Gréoux-les-Bains , which are located downstream. The practice of nautical activities is authorized there, with the exception of the lake of Chaudanne.

The five dams of the same name play a major role in the region since they allow the production of electricity thanks to the force of the retained water. They are also essential for the organization of whitewater sports.

Book your activity on the Verdon lakes now.

Haute Provence Outdoor also offers other activities while staying dry! You have the choice between the Deval’Bike or the all-terrain electric scooter .

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