Menu Close

Gorges du Verdon - Europe's Grand Canyon

The Gorges du Verdon in France is sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Europe, and it's not hard to see why. This deep canyon is surrounded by dramatically high mountain ridges, and through it flows a bright green shimmering river. A motorway winds along the steep cliffs, where you can enjoy the fascinating views at a slow pace. The Gorges du Verdon in the Alpes-Du-Haute-Provence in south-eastern France is one of the most beautiful natural areas we have seen in Europe.

Tweet
Share
Share
Pin
Share
Share

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

We started our journey in a beautiful and charming village. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where we pulled in with the campervan on the Camping Saint Jean. Then it was time to explore the village, which sits at the foot of a pair of dramatically high mountains. Here the fine stone houses are densely packed, and there are plenty of outdoor cafes and shops selling faience, earthenware covered with tin glaze.

Moustiers-sainte-marie
fresh water is in the centre of the village
Mysiga gränder i Moustiers Sainte Marie
Gorges du Verdon and now we're talking picturesque!

Moustiers, as the town is also known, is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in south-eastern France. Located at the western entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, the village is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. We can only agree and who the heck wants to leave this village?

Moustiers-Saint-Marie
Marie

If you continue through the village towards the mountains, you'll soon come to a long and winding staircase, which takes you up to the small church on the mountain. The steep walk is sweaty, but the view is fantastic. At the foot of the mountains you can also look up at a 225 metre long iron chain, with a ten-pointed star dangling in the middle, hanging between two of the peaks.

Moustiers Sainte Marie

According to legend, a crusader promised the population that he would hang a star between the mountains if he managed to return, which he apparently did. His name was Bozon de Blacas.

Frankrike Verdon
The emerald green Verdon river

The motorway around the Gorges du Verdon

The road twists and turns at high altitudes, sometimes with steep cliffs alongside and no guardrails. You can drive your motorhome just fine, as everyone slows down to five kilometres per hour when necessary, so there are no problems. No one is in a hurry here - everyone is here to enjoy the views!

Gorges du Verdon
What a view! It's like standing in a skyscraper!
Gorges du Verdon
Good thing there isn't a sign with 100 on it! Gorges du Verdon!
Vägar Verdon
How high did you say the motorhome was? A bit of a winding road along the Verdon Gorges
klättring
Hmmm, ehhh... Where are you going?

Castellane

Located at the eastern end of the Verdon National Park in France, Castellane is a lovely old town with narrow, and sometimes steep, alleys. As with many other old towns, the church is located at the top - in this case on a mountain with a rock face that rises 184 metres above the town!

When we arrived at Castellane, we chose to camp next to a babbling river. We were very comfortable here, but afterwards we realised that we should have stood on the other side of the river, where there were designated sites for motorhomes.

Castellane
Who came up with the crazy idea of building a church up there?
Castellane
Castellane is a very charming village and is as old as time.

Roc of Notre Dame is the name of the rock, which can also be called "Our Lady of the rock". Castellane has a lot of history, and the caves around the area are closed because they have found settlements from 6000 years ago. They don't know how to deal with these discoveries but we will go back one day.

Peter vilar ut efter körningen i Castellane
A beer in the sun in a very beautiful landscape
Gorges du Verdon
Idyllic in the Gorges du Verdon

Trigance

When we drove back from Castellane, we drove on the southern side of the river Verdon, and then we stopped, among other things, in the village of Trigance. This is also a charming old village, built around a mountain with a castle on top. Today the castle houses a hotel and restaurant. In the village you can also buy locally produced honey and goat cheese, as in several places in the area. Although the village is very small, there are a few parking spaces for caravans and the possibility of charging electricity and draining waste water.

Trigance

Saint-Victor de Marseille

The monastery located at the top of Mount Biach. This was an important site for more than 1500 years in the south of France. There are sarcophagi that have been in museums and William of Grimoard was elected Pope under the name of Urbain V. The castle is certainly worth a visit on your route around Europe's Grand Canyon.

WIFI.se
Trigance Frankrike
What a cool place! The Gorges du Verdon should be experienced once in a lifetime.

Pont de l'Artuby

After visiting Trigance, we continued along the southern side of the Verdon River, aiming for Aiguines. Even on this side, the road is narrow and the mountain walls are steep. You drive through tunnels, over bridges and here and there you can stop to admire the breathtaking view. At the Pont de l'Artuby bridge, you could even do a bungy jump if you wanted to. Stop at the Balcons de la Mescale and look down 182 metres where the daredevils bungee jump all day.

Bungy
Some have written that this bridge is the tallest in Europe. This is wrong because it is called the Millaubron and is 343 metres high.
Gorges du Verdon - Europas Grand canyon
Tips and advice from the coach! See the Gorges du Verdon for real!
Tunnel Verdon
Yep, we're going down!
Tunnel
Like something out of a James Bond film
Verdon
The beautiful view of the Gorges du Verdon

Aiguines

Finally, we arrived at Aiguine, at the end of the valley where the river flows into the Lac de Sainte Croix, which is connected to the Verdon River. Here we took in the Camping de l'Aigle, which sits on a high hill with stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

frankrike aguines
If you don't go here, you're crazy! We write again... Gorges du Verdon!

The campervan pitches are then located just below the reception. It's quite hilly, so it was a bit of a challenge to find a reasonably flat spot, but in the end it went well. Here we enjoyed the sun and had a really good time. WiFi only worked at the reception building, but otherwise we didn't miss anything.

Aiguines i Frankrike
This is what a campsite should look like ... always!

Since the campsite is high up, it is a long walk down. From here we walked partly to the small village of Aiguines and partly to the lake. It was a tough and slightly sweaty, but nice, walk.

aguines
Close your eyes and think old vineyards and gentlefolk and you see this!
aguines frankrike
A world-class experience!

Lac de Sainte croix

After a few days at camping l'Aigle, we moved downhill, closer to the river and lake Lac de Sainte Croix. We took in the campsite The Galetas, which is right next to the lake. From here we had walking distance to the lake and the Verdon river.

Verdon
Mynningen till Verdon floden

River Verdon

We rented a pedal boat, and pedalled into the green-blue river. What a fantastic experience and end to the tour around the Gorge du Verdon in France! If you want, you can read more about the tour with Pedal boat in the Verdon river.

Vattenfall
The mountains are high and in some places the canyon reaches a depth of 700 metres.
Verdon
Europe's Grand Canyon or Gorges du Verdon
Verdon i Frankrike
The green-blue River Verdon, where you can see people paddling, pedalling or fishing.

Where is the Gorges du Verdon located?

The Gorges du Verdon, or the Grand Canyon of Europe, is located in the south-east of France, north-west of Cannes. At one end is the charming mountain village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where we started our journey around the gorge, and at the other end is the medieval village of Castellane.

Viewpoints and hiking trails are everywhere and we were a little bit everywhere like la Palud, Point Sublime, Route des Cretes, Lac de ste Croix and Col d'Illoire.

Subscribe to our newsletter