The lakes of Castillon and Sainte Croix
Haute provence Outdoor is located between the two main lakes of the verdon, the lake of Castillon and Sainte Croix .
Lake Castillon , the little
Of the 5 lakes of the verdon, it is the second lake in surface after the Lac of Sainte Croix. It extends from the Village of Saint André les Alpes to the village of Castellane. They are powered by the Verdon river and are created through dams . The Castillon dam flows into the Chaudanne lake which flows into the gorges until the Sainte Croix lake.
A military zone was established in the middle of the lake, where the navigation as well as bathing are strictly forbidden .
In order to allow the construction of the dam and therefore to achieve the creation of this lake, the old village of Castillon was dynamited . However this village was rebuilt on higher ground. The remains are currently underwater about 25-30 meters below lake level. The old RN212 road has also been covered by the reservoir. When the water level of Lake Castillon drops, we can see the old Julien Bridge of this national road. You will also be able to observe a world peculiarity on this dam: the sundial . According to its designer Denis Savoie, it is “ the biggest sundial of the world ”. Indeed it is on a support 100 meters high and 200 meters wide. During the summer, thanks to the shadow of the cornice and a bit of mathematical calculation, this dial can tell the time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At the time of the construction of the dam, the main function was the land irrigation . This region having suffered from drought, it was vital to create water reservoirs. In addition, the Castillon dam now produces a quantity of energy sufficient to supply twice the population of Dignes les Bains annually.
Subsequently, thanks to the beauty of the place and the development of tourism , the gorges du verdon have become a very popular destination for holidays and for whitewater activities.
Our activities are dependent on the Chaudanne lake dam, it is the latter that will allow us to go canoeing , rafting or aquatic hiking and its magnificent course of the Imbut following the opening or closing and the water flow generated.
Lake Castillon offers many activities , but remains quieter and less crowded than the Lac of sainte Croix. It also offers activities on the water, you will find boat rental, canoe, paddle, pedal boat, to navigate in all serenity on the lake.
You will find a large choice of hikings all around this lake from the various villages of Saint André les Alpes, Saint julien du verdon and Castellane . These hikes suitable for all levels are rich in breathtaking views, passing through picturesque villages, to pretty hamlets lost in the mountains, from green forests to more arid mountainous terrain. By taking height you will be amazed by the magnificent views on the verdon and on the lakes . The blue colors of the lake and the river contrast with the green of nature and the gray of the rocks to create colorful landscapes .
The Gorges du Verdon have a lot of charm and secrets just waiting for you to be discovered.
Take advantage of being around the lake of Castillon to go to Annot and discover the Deval’Bike .
The famous, the lake of Saint Croix
The lake of Sainte Croix is the largest lake in the Gorges du Verdon with 2200 hectares, this lake is also the 3rd largest artificial reservoir in France. This lake is very popular and many activities are offered there, such as at Lac de Castillon you will find canoeing, stand up paddle , pedal boat, but also sailing when the wind is there. Using one of these boats you will be able to discover all the lake of Sainte-Croix as well as the end of Grand Canyon du Verdon . Depending on the weather conditions, you will be able to navigate for about 2 km inside the gorges. The bathing is also authorized on this lake, you will find supervised beaches at the level of the village of Sainte-Croix.
If you come from Castellane, don’t forget to make a short stop in the village of Trigance, where you can learn about Trott’Elec !
The Lake of Sainte Croix is surrounded by several picturesque villages such as:
Bauduen , its typical houses backing onto the hill, the Marina and the development of a beach make it a pretty resort .
Les Salles-sur-Verdon offers a beautiful panorama of the lake and the island of Coste Belle. As for the Lake of Castillon, in order to allow the impoundment of this lake, and therefore of the electrical dam, the village of Salles sur Verdon was swallowed up. But it was rebuilt on the heights.
Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon , which gives its name to the lake, where you can admire the surrounding fields of lavender and olive tree . According to the legend, the name of the village comes from a relic of the cross of Christ which was kept in the church.
Aiguines, a village of architectural and historical Heritage, you can observe the fountain with four cannons and the squared belfry. Also known for its medieval castle which overlooks the lake of Sainte-Croix. Not far from this village is the Galetas Bridge, it is the perfect place to discover the lake and the end of the gorges. You can rent Canoes, pedal boats, paddles and other boats to relax while discovering the wonders hiding there.
Moustier-Sainte-Marie , classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, you will have to climb 262 steps to reach theroman lombard bell tower and the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. It is a village full of charm and typically Provençal.