The beauty of France’s rugged Gorges du Verdon

Gorges du Verdon, FranceUntil my family and I visited Provence’s Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Canyons), we had no idea that these were the largest gorges in Europe.

We associated Provence’s interior with idyllic hilltowns, rolling landscapes and beautiful coastlines, but we knew nothing about this stunning, rugged landscape to be found right in central Provence.

Since we wanted a little break from all those idyllic hilltowns and lavender fields, we decided to squeeze a day trip to the Gorges du Verdon into our travel plans.

It was a great discovery, and we can’t wait to stop off again and spend more time in this interesting region.

Gorges du Verdon, FranceThe drive through the gorges is lovely and dramatic, although you do have to be quite concentrated on some of the narrower stretches of road. There are lots of pleasant towns along the route. We especially enjoyed wandering around the stalls in the town of Riez on market day.

We were visiting in summer and we loved cooling off in the tempting, turquoise waters of the man-made Lac de Ste Croix, so beautiful and dramatic nestled just along the edge of the gorges.

Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled with all the options in this beautiful, natural setting : horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and canyoning can all be arranged quite easily.

Since we were at the canyons for just one day, we only managed to drive along the canyons to enjoy the different panoramic points and to do a little walking and lots of swimming, but we’d love to come back for a longer visit to this beautiful corner of Provence.


  1. Claire 'Word by Word' on July 2, 2013 at 9:08 am

    This is such a gorgeous area and the village of Moustiers Saintes Marie is a must as is the pre-historic museum at Quinson.

    • kimberlysullivan on July 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

      That’s right, Claire. This is your ‘backyard’. I didn’t see the prehistoric museum – next trip! Thanks for the tip. It’s a beautiful place…

  2. […] Until my family and I visited Provence’s Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Canyons), we had no idea that thessource […]

  3. ledrakenoir on July 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Wonderful area, I visit it a couple of times every year… 😉

  4. Catherine on July 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I had no idea! I have a feeling that one day southern France and I are going to become much better acquainted with one another. Such an irresistible part of the world!

    • kimberlysullivan on July 4, 2013 at 8:40 am

      You’ll love it, Catherine. I’m sure. It’s one of my fantasy locations for a writing retreat. *Sigh*

  5. […] in this gorgeous reason, see my earlier posts on visiting Les Beaux de Provence, hiking in the Gorges du Verdon or exploring the coastal city of Nice, and its markets and seafood restaurants, or neighboring, […]

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