Located in southeastern France in the heart of Provence, the gorgeous Gorges du Verdon took my breath away at first sight. Also known as Verdon Gorge in English, this iconic spot is a dramatic line of limestone cliffs that make up the deepest gorge in France.
Not far from the iconic French Riviera, Gorges du Verdon is popular with tourists, and it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day out.
Ready for the perfect afternoon in the French countryside? Here are my tips for visiting Gorges du Verdon in France.
About Gorges Du Verdon
This area has such a fascinating history. When the region was underwater 250 million years, seashells, coral, and the seafloor built up and were eventually compressed into the limestone rock.
As plates moved, the seafloor rose up and the limestone peaks were formed. When the Ice Age came along, glaciers wore away further at the limestone and created the dramatic cliffs that you see today.
The place got its name from the gorgeous turquoise water that flows through the gorge. “Gorges du Verdon” means “gorges of green” in French.
Les Gorges du Verdon lies right in the center of the Provence region of France, and it is an easy day trip from the French Riviera. However, while you can get there and back in one day, I’d recommend staying in the area for a couple of days rather than rushing back to the Riviera.
The closest town to the lake entrance is Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. When you arrive there, you will want to drive six kilometers out in the direction of Lac de Ste-Croix until you reach the bridge called Pont du Galetas.
To rent a boat, you just have to just get to the bridge. I’d recommend using GPS on your trip to get around easily.
You can find the exact location of the Pont du Galetas bridge on Google Maps to give you an idea of where you will want to go. Once you are at the bridge, you will find a choice of boat rental outlets.
Exploring Gorges du Verdon
I would recommend starting your day early in Gorges du Verdon, especially during the summer. It is a popular spot during the summer months so you will want to beat the crowd.
Not only will you want to have plenty of time to explore Gorges du Verdon and wander around to take photos, but there are endless opportunities for adventures here. If you are ready for a heart-racing afternoon, bring your climbing gear.
There are over 1500 incredible routes for climbers. Just keep in mind that there aren’t many casual paths. You’ll want to have hiking shoes at the very least to explore.
For a more low-key day out, you can rent a paddle boat or kayak. Plan for a couple of hours to make your way around the beautiful Lac de Sainte-Croix.
To rent a boat, get to the bridge called Pont du Galetas. I’d recommend using GPS on your trip if you’re driving in Provence. You can find the exact location of the Pont du Galetas bridge on Google Maps to get an idea of where you will want to go.
Once you are at the bridge, you will just need to find parking then can head to the beach to swim or rent a paddle boat.
I was honestly so surprised to stumble across a place like this in France. I had such a lovely afternoon here hanging on the beach, swimming around, reading a few chapters from a new book and cooling off from the insane summer heat!