The Verdon Gorge (How to get the best from your visit)
The Verdon is the deepest gorge in Europe and together with the adjoining artificial St Croix lake forms an outdoor paradise for everything from pedalos, fishing to canyoning and white water rafting.
Its landscapes are arrestingly beautiful, the gorge is riven with hiking routes and dotted with incredible views. It has National Park status (Parc Naturel Regional Du Verdon).
This guide is designed to help you get the best from your Verdon adventure. The area is very busy throughout the summer therefore the best times to visit are May and October, however it makes a fantastic summer day out with a little planning. It’s takes roughly 1 hour to reach the lake from Maison Lambot. Follow signs to Cotignac, then Aups, then the Galetas bridge.
There is simply so much on offer that you have to start somewhere. My advice for a day trip is to rent a pedalo, kayak or electric motorboat and explore the canyon as early as you can in the morning, then spend the afternoon driving around the top of the gorge’s breathtaking viewpoints, or taking a hike.
In high summer, aim to be the first boat on the water (you need to be parked by 830 (by 1015 the gorge is like a motorway of boats). Cross the amazing 20 meter high Galetas Bridge (Pont du Galetas) and park in the large car park just after it.
Head down to the water below the car park and rent your pedalo or motorized dinghy. Ignore the lake (because it’s huge, the sun will burn you and the wind will make it harder) and head straight under the bridge into the spectacular, shady gorge.
Navigation is allowed a few kilometers up the gorge up until the big yellow buoy, and its all waterfalls, caves, blue water and unspoiled nature – camera at the ready!
If you have timed it right, as you leave the gorge, you should see the mass of latecomers paddling, pedaling, and cruising towards you.
Smile, wave and get back in the car either to Bauduen or to la Palud Sur Verdon. Both offer decent selections of restaurants and you will have your pick because you are early.
After lunch you can pick a spot by the lake near Bauduen for another quick swim, or take the Route Des Cretes scenic drive with viewpoints and incredible views, including the photogenic ´Point Sublime’.