The Verdon

The PACA region

The Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is located in the south-east of France and shares the border with Italy. And is bordered to the south by the Mediterranean sea. It is a region which has a diversity of landscapes. With the Southern Alps, the Camargue, the vineyards and its valleys, the olive groves and the famous fields of lavender.

The Rhône forms the regional boundary, and it ranks as the seventh most densely populated region in France.

The region is made up of 6 departments :

  • Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)
  • Hautes-Alpes (05)
  • Bouches-du-Rhône (13)
  • Var (83)
  • Vaucluse (84)
  • Alpes-Maritimes (06) .

A Mediterranean climate characterizes the coastal areas of this region. And a mountain climate inland which becomes colder and colder at altitude. The region benefits from 2,700 to 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Winters in the mountains are cold and snowy but milder on the contrary on the coast. Some areas also suffer from mistral which is a cold wind. It comes from the north like the Rhone valley and part of the coast.

The Alpes Maritimes

The Alpes-Maritimes are part of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. They bear the number 06 and the prefecture is Nice . This department is surrounded by the departments of Var in the southwest and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the northwest. In the east by Italy and the Mediterranean Sea in the south.

This department was born around 1793 to 1814 under the French Revolution and the first empire. Composed of the county of Nice, in 1814, it returned to the kingdom of Sardinia and Monaco regained its independence. A second department of the Alpes-Maritimes was created in 1860.

One of the main goals of the department is to succeed in reconciling the preservation of environments and the strong tourism-related attendance. In order to be able to offer visitors magnificent sites .

Natural Parks

We find in this department 19 natural parks land and maritime park. One of the first missions of the department is the identification of natural heritage to help locate high-stakes areas and thus protect plant and animal species as well as their living environment.

Being in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, the Alpes-Maritimes have everything to please everyone, we go from one Architectural Heritage to an ideal sea for swimming and rest, then move into the hinterland, where the ubiquitous mountains create a favorable landscape to sports and hiking .

The exceptional landscapes, culture, heritage and mild climate even in winter, makes it a fascinating department which makes every effort to offer the most varied discovery itineraries and circuits.

You can find renowned natural sites such as the Mercantour park. Or, the Préalpes d’Azur regional park, the Var valley and the Vésubie valley. There is the hilltop village of Coaraze or the prehistoric engravings of the Valley of Wonders at the foot of Mont Bégo. Large tourist cities such as Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Menton, Grasse, which are victims of their own success, welcome many tourists during the summer. You can enjoy beautiful markets in the small villages , where you can taste local products .

At Haute Provence Outdoor, come and discover part of the region in the Gorges du Verdon with our various activities! Such as aqua hiking, rafting, Deval’Bike or even Trott’Elec by Trott’in Verdon.

maritime alps
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 Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon (PNRV) 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. There are 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 also 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 Sainte-Croix

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 community . He is in charge of defining and implementing the charter.

The guides of Haute Provence Outdoor join forces with the stakes of the Verdon Regional Nature Park to make their customers aware of the ecological issues of the territory during whitewater activities and in particular the Aquatic Hike in the Samson Corridor . Also find other activities such as Rafting , Canyoning or Trott’Elec , a new ecological and super fun activity.

To find out more about the Verdon Regional Natural Park:

The Verdon

The Grand Canyon du Verdon

Don’t miss the Grand Canyon, a breathtaking place!

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
  • 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 an aquatic hiking session such as that of the Imbut in the heart of the Grand Canyon. You will gradually see the cliffs close in on you and be amazed by their heights! There are also superb hiking trails such as the Martel trail or the Imbut trail as well as a brand new activity located at the crossroads of the Gorges du Verdon, in the village of Trigance: the Trott’Elec !

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 , the entry point to the Grand Canyon du 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.

Want to discover the canyon in depth? Book your aqua hiking activity in the Samson corridor, the Tusset / Samson aqua hike combo or the Imbut aqua hike in the heart of the Verdon Grand Canyon.

Want to know more about the creation of the Canyon? Book the Trott’Elec activity in the village of Trigance, a passionate guide who will tell you the story of the Gorges du Verdon .

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 in the Verdon on the surface after the Sainte-Croix lake 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.

Are you looking for unusual places? Go in a group with a guide from HPO. Book your activity on the lakes now, such as Jumps Paddle. This activity lets you discover the secret spots of Lac de Castillon!

Chaudanne lake

Less known because swimming and all nautical activities are prohibited there, Lake Chaudanne is wilder with its surrounding cliffs.

It is located upstream of Castellane and is the second reservoir of water on the Verdon after Lake Castillon.

Dating from 1953, this artificial lake extends over nearly 70 hectares and can reach up to 74 meters deep.

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 the Verdon Regional Natural Park , this Verdon lake is 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 to eat 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.

Are you looking for another way to discover the region?

Book our brand new activity T rott’Elec by Trott’in Verdon with an all-terrain electric scooter in the village of Trigance!

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