The Gorges du Verdon is one of the most beautiful regions I have ever visited. Shaped out of an emerald green river and raw mountains this canyon amazes everyone. I have been coming here my summers since I was little and no matter where I went, these mountains kept attracting and amusing me. No summer in the Gorges du Verdon was boring. With this guide I’d like to help you have a wonderful vacation in this amazing region.
Where to stay
Camping Domaine Chasteuil Provence. Nearly all my summers I stayed at Camping Domaine Chasteuil Provence. A “small” family camping that has it’s respect for service, nature and ecological living very high. The camping is build up(1959) and owned by a local family who knows all the ins and outs of the region. The camping is located beneath an old and small village called Chasteuil, 8 kilometres from the village Castellane and laying alongside the river it offers the perfect escape to go camping in nature. Another great extra is that the owners speak Dutch, English and French. Following by that 6 days per week animation is organised by the 2 passionated animators. However, the high season is quickly completely reserved. If you are still looking for a place there are many campings in the neighbourhood.
Hôtel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon. If you’d rather want to stay in a hotel there are several from different levels and prices. One that always spoke out to me is Hôtel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon. Located in a little village called La Palud sur Verdon with one of the most beautiful views you could wish for. With a heated outdoor swimming pool, a jacuzzi, hammer, spa and gym this hotel will offer you a luxury escape in nature.
Auberge des Cretes. If you are looking for a smaller price there is a hostel with a stunning garden which is beautifully located underneath the Route des Cretes.
Where to eat
Snack du Lac. This snack is located alongside the lac de Castillion in the village Saint André les Alpes. The restaurant has great food for a fair price, and the nicest thing for me, there are often concerts which makes the ambiance even better!
Restaurant lac de Castillion. This restaurant is located very close to the lac de Castillion, close to Castellane. They have great modern/creative French dishes, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with an amazing view and the staff is very friendly! The staff here speaks Dutch, English and French as it is owned by originally Dutch people.
Hotel du Levant. Hotel du Levant is located in the centre of Castellane, has a nice terrace and offers delicious traditional French and regional dishes.
Crêperie le Mur d’Abeilles. This is one of my favourites, the best crêperie of the region. Located in a little village called Rougon which is situated on a rock it offers you the most incredible views through the canyon while eating fantastic crêpes. A must do if you are in the gorges! As for lunch or diner!
Where to go
Route des Crêtes. This route is if you ask me the most beautiful route in the region. It takes about 2 hours (including some stops). This route goes alongside the canyon and offers many ‘belvederes’ to look out on the canyon. If you wait a bit (30min/1hour) on the first 4 belvederes you have the chance to see the vultures from up close.
Lac de Sainte Croix. This is one of the most popular lakes of France, or maybe even Europe. The Verdon flows into this lake and there are many possibilities to hire electric boats, paddle boats and kayaks with which you can sail into the canyon.
Couloir Samson is a must do if you love nature and you would like to explore more of the region. These caves are 600m long and normally children love it too! Don’t forget to bring lanterns!
Gorges de Daluis. This canyon is called the Colorado of the Alpes. Shaped by it’s deep and small red canyons it is a unique one of its kind. It shows still the geological marbles which date back to the paleozoic era and a huge ecological diversity.
Valensole. If you are in the region and in the right period (end of June to mid July) it is a Must-do to visit Valensole. Valensole is a plateau which is known for its enormous and beautiful lavender- and sunflower fields
Many activities are proposed in the Gorges du Verdon, with water and without. There is for everyone something.
There are many organisations who do rafting, rando-aqua, canyoning and kayaking on the Verdon, some organisations like these are Raft Session and Raoul Rafting. On the Pont de l’Artuby (Route des Crêtes) a bungeejump is proposed of 182 meters high. In the Gorges de Daluis a smaller one of 80 meters is proposed. In Saint André paragliding can be done and in the region of Castellane also horse riding hikes are proposed.
If you are staying on a camping or in a hotel in the area they have often more information about the organisations such as telephone numbers.
A little summary of Summer 2017 in the Gorges du Verdon