What to see in France

Camping in the Verdon Gorges, at the heart of Europe's most beautiful canyon

Les gorges du Verdon
Les gorges du Verdon

Located between Var and Alpes de Haute Provence in the PACA region, the Verdon Gorges form the biggest canyon in Europe, created by the River Verdon, which separates the Castellane Prealps from the Digne Prealps. These narrow but deep gorges are up to 1,500 metres deep and offer a splendid and unique spectacle from the top. Now visited by tourists from all over the world, the canyon has been a protected site since 1990, and also benefits from the Grand Site de France label.

The Verdon Gorges site is an exceptional place, considered to be Europe's most beautiful canyon. You can visit it with family or friends. It's a varied place to explore, with something for everyone, but all visitors need to have just one thing in common to appreciate it fully: a love of nature. In a tent or mobile home, this campsite is an ideal place to spend your holidays.

The Verdon Gorges: a 100% natural landscape
The Verdon Gorges: a 100% natural landscape © Thinkstock

Villages around the gorges

There are several villages to discover around the Verdon Gorges, like Aiguines, which provides access to the canyon and will give you a stunning view of Lake Sainte Croix, especially from the Chapel of St. Peter. The small village of Valensole is a perfect place to enjoy the Verdon Gorges as well as the waters of Lake Esparron, where you can have a family picnic, swim, and go canoeing or pedal boating. Not far from there, you will be won over by the charm of Riez and its Roman ruins along with its main street, which offers many cafés and restaurants. Bauduen's location makes this adorable village particularly attractive as it is situated on the shores of Lake Sainte-Croix, and on a hillside. Castellane is ideal for exploring Lake Castillon, which is also part of the Verdon Gorges. Its high-quality market is an enjoyable place to shop on Saturday mornings. Lastly, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a picturesque elevated village, particularly well located for enjoying the Verdon and Lake Sainte Croix. In this ceramics town, there are shops selling pottery and regional products.

Moustiers Sainte Marie
Moustiers Sainte Marie© Thinkstock

Camping in the Verdon Gorges

To make the most of the extraordinary site that is the Verdon Gorges, and to stay in this atmosphere at the heart of the countryside, camping would appear to be the ideal way to spend time in the Verdon Gorges:

In the municipality of Castellane and at the entrance to the gorges, lies the Domaine du Verdon campsite, with 14 hectares to welcome you on the riverside. Another option is the Terra Verdon **** campsite. Still in Alpes de Haute Provence, the La Farigoulette campsite in St-Laurent-du-Verdon has a five-star rating. In the department of Var, the Le Ruou campsite is located between the Verdon Gorges and Saint-Raphaël, built into the hillside with terraced pitches. Still in Provence, discover L'Oasis du Verdon, located 100 metres from the village of Aups, a traditional village renowned for its truffles and Provençal markets.

Activities in the gorges

Lake of Sainte-Croix
Lake of Sainte-Croix© Frédéric Ruth

The lakes of Esparron and Montmeyan are places where you can enjoy water sports, and are located in the lower gorges, a stunning area. Whitewater sport is certainly the best way to discover the area with family or friends, and everyone will find a sport to suit them here. The number one activity is canyoning, with Verdon being well-known to all its practitioners. Canoeing is a way to discover sublime landscapes at your own pace in a fun way, as is a ride in an electric boat, often seen on the local lakes. In your boat, you won't hear any engine noise, just the lapping of the water and the sound of nature, so you can discover the beauty of the scenery under the best conditions.

Hiking in Provence Verte is a popular activity outside of the summer season. The region is ideal for it since it enjoys 300 days of sun a year. From family walks to trails for experienced hikers, there are rambles to suit every level of ability along the marked paths. You can hike to some exceptional viewpoints and mountain ledges. You can also swim and sunbathe at Lake Sainte-Croix in Bauduen, as well as Cheiron beach in Castellane, and Esparron beach by the lake of the same name. Check the local information as swimming is not allowed in some areas.

© Thinkstock



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