The Verdon

The Verdon PNR

The Verdon Regional Nature Park: a recognized territory

Created in 1997, the Verdon Regional Natural Park protects and enhances the territory by ensuring that economic development is consistent with the preservation of its natural heritage.

The Verdon Regional Natural Park is one of the 53 regional natural parks in France . This recognition is based on many assets of the territory : a diversity of landscapes, nature, picturesque villages and of course a river with a unique color … which make it a remarkable natural space. The existence of such a label promotes the emergence of collective projects within the territory as well as the implementation of global valuation or development initiatives.

The Verdon plateaus

A geological, archaeological and geographical wealth

Between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, the Verdon is a very diverse territory. The Verdon Regional Nature Park identifies 7 landscapes built around the Verdon river : the Plateau de Valensole, the lakes and mountains, the Lake of Sainte-Croix, the hills of Haut-Var, the Gorges du Verdon, the Basses-gorges and the Artuby. 2,200 species of plants are listed, with many remarkable species. A chart implemented by the Park sets the main guidelines aimed at organizing and preserving the wealth of the territory.

Notre Dame du Roc - Castellane Alpes de haute Provence
Sunset on the lake of holy cross

About forty municipalities concerned

The Verdon Regional Natural Park is based on a Mixed Syndicate bringing together 46 municipalities, the departmental councils of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regional council. Functioning as a local authority, it is in charge of defining and implementing the charter.

Haute Provence Outdoor guides join in the challenges of the Verdon Regional Natural Park to make its customers aware of the ecological issues of the territory during whitewater activities.

To find out more about the Verdon Regional Natural Park:

The Verdon

The Grand Canyon du Verdon

The Grand Canyon, a breathtaking place not to be missed!

Digged for millennia by the Verdon river, the Grand Canyon is one of the largest and highest canyons in Europe.

Up to 700 meters high

The Grand Canyon du Verdon attracts a crowd of tourists every year, and for good reason: in places it reaches up to 700 meters high , which makes it one of the largest canyons in Europe! It is the erosion of limestone by the Verdon river which has shaped such a landscape over time. A narrow corridor, whose maximum width reaches 12 meters , leads there, it is the Samson corridor . During your ride in Aqua hike , you will also encounter a huge boulder: “ the solitary “. Stranded in the middle of this corridor, it weighs several tons.

The Grand Canyon du Verdon - PACA region
Sunrise on the Verdon plateaus

The three parts of the Gorges du Verdon

The Grand Canyon du Verdon is located after the Tusset Bridge, between the villages of Rougon and of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie . This is the place where the Gorges du Verdon tighten and the cliffs take height.

The zoned called the Gorges du Verdon is located Between Castellane and the lake of Sainte-Croix .

They are themselves divided into three parts:

● the pre-gorges, which stretch from Castellane to Pont de Soleils

● the gorges, from Pont de Soleils to Imbut

● and finally the Grand Canyon, which goes from the Imbut to the Pont de Galetas.

The Gorges du Verdon reach between 250 and 700 meters high , at the level of the Grand Canyon. The Verdon river, for its part, occupies a width of 6 to 100 meters.

How to see the Grand Canyon du Verdon?

For the discover , several options are available to you. You can follow the course of the Verdon by reserving a session of water hike . You will gradually see the cliffs close in on you and you will be blown away by their height! There are also great circuits of hiking such as Martel trail where the Imbut trail .

The Verdon

The Sublime Point

Le Point Sublime, an unmissable panorama of the Gorges du Verdon

The most famous viewpoint in the area, Point Sublime is one of the region’s must-sees. It offers a magnificent panorama of the Gorges du Verdon.

Le Point Sublime is located on the right bank of the Gorges du Verdon, below the village of Rougon . The lovers of natural landscapes and photography will not fail to go there: it is one of the most remarkable sites of the Gorges du Verdon. You will find a breathtaking view of the Samson corridor , entry point of Grand canyon of Verdon . On your left you will see the wall of the Duke and on your right the cliffs of Escalès. Simply breathtaking!

The Samson Corridor - Belvédère

To get there, follow the direction of Rougon by taking the departmental road 952. Arrived at the parking lot, a short walk of about ten minutes will take you to the Point Sublime belvedere .

Le Point Sublime is also the starting point of a popular hiking trail , the Blanc-Martel trail . About fifteen kilometers away, it links the Point Sublime to the Chalet de la Maline.

The Verdon

The 5 lakes of the Verdon

The 5 lakes of the Verdon to discover

With their green waters surrounded by superb landscapes, the Verdon lakes will seduce you! In addition to being popular places for walking and swimming, they lend themselves readily to the practice of nautical activities.

Castillon du Verdon lake

By following the course of the Verdon , you will meet a first lake , that of Castillon. Located at 800 meters above sea level , we find it between the village of Saint-André-les-Alpes and the dam of Castillon-Demandolx. It is the second lake of the Verdon on the surface after the lake of Sainte-Croix with an area of 500 hectares spread over 8 kilometers .

If its first mission is to irrigate agricultural fields, it is nonetheless appreciated by tourists with its green and restful environment and a beautiful turquoise water . You can practice all kinds of nautical activities such as paddle , the kayak , the pedal boat or even hiking and of course swimming.

The lake of Sainte-Croix du Verdon

Spread over 22 km², Lake Sainte-Croix is the largest lake crossed by the Verdon and the third largest artificial lake in France ! Located in the heart of Verdon Regional Natural Park , this Verdon lake is located between the Pont de Galetas and the Sainte-Croix dam. A hotspot for nautical activities, it is very popular with tourists in summer and also plays a major role in the production of electrical energy. You will also find equipped beaches and of very beautiful hiking trails. And to enjoy a sublime view of the lake, go to the Galetas belvedere!

Galetas Bridge - Lake of Sainte-Croix

Quinson lake

Less frequented than the lakes of Sainte-Croix and the lake of Esparron, the lake of Quinson enjoys a calmer and more savage character . It is located between the Quinson dam and Lac d’Esparron. Before being put in water, it used to be a canyon and keeps traces of it such as small gorges and isolated bays. You can practice nautical activities and relax on the beach for a nap or a picnic while savoring the beautiful landscapes Around.

Esparron lake

Following the course of the Verdon, Lake Esparron is the last artificial lake you will find on your route before the river flows into the Durance. Like Lake Quinson, it is one of the wildest lakes with beautiful creeks and cliffs and turquoise water, just like the other lakes in the Verdon. The equipment allows the practice of nautical activities. To appreciate a superb panorama on the lake and the valley, do not hesitate to go to village of Esparron de Verdon.