An Insider’s Guide to Verdon Gorge

Sometimes known as the “Grand Canyon of Europe”, Verdon Gorge (or Gorges du Verdon) in the South of France is undoubtedly one of the most striking, beautiful, and distinguishing features of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.


Formed over countless millennia by the stunning turquoise-green Verdon River, Verdon Gorge cuts up to 700 m deep through 25 km of the limestone landscape between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, ending in the artificial Lake of Sainte-Croix. 


No trip to the South of France could ever be complete without visiting Verdon Gorge. Its famed turquoise colour looks radiant in a photograph – but it’s truly breath-taking when seen with your own eyes. So, we’ve put together this insider’s guide to Verdon Gorge to help you discover the best viewpoints, trails, and activities on offer.


Gorge Du Verdon – South of France
Discover Verdon Gorges by Land, Water or Air


For the best experience of the bright blue-green hue of the water, summer is the time to visit. This is also true if you want to hire a boat, raft or kayak and explore this splendid setting on the water. Boat rentals are nearly always open from June through to August – though it can get busy at this time of year. If you want to avoid the crowds yet still experience the dazzling aquamarine river shimmering in almost-full glory beneath the bright sun, May or September are also great months to visit. Be aware, however, that boat rentals may be closed at this time of year – but there’s nothing to stop you from diving in for a swim!


If you’re happy to keep your feet firmly on dry land, Verdon Gorge has countless hiking trails to explore. The Blanc-Martel trail is one of the most popular. Formerly known as the Martel Trail (named after Alfred-Edouard Martel and Isidore Blanc, the first known explorers to have traversed the whole canyon), this 14 km trail is not too hard on the legs – though not for the faint-hearted. The trail takes you through tunnels, across bridges (look down if you dare!), and eventually to the Sublime Point – arguably the best and most beautiful viewpoint of Verdon Gorge.


Verdon Canyon – South of France


Alternatively, you can take the Road of the Peaks by car, bicycle, or electric bike (which you can hire nearby). This 23 km route takes you on a breath-taking loop of Verdon Gorge, along which you can stop many times to soak in unique views of the canyon. Look out for vultures, peregrine falcons, and – if you’re lucky – golden eagles gliding through the ravine.  


You can even join them. For a truly unforgettable experience, head over to Cannes, where you can board a helicopter and be taken on a flight over Verdon Gorge and the stunning Cannes coastline to admire this beautiful location from the sky – a real, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

Charles Mackintosh South of France Property Surveyor

Whether by land, air or water, Verdon Gorge must be seen to be believed – there’s simply nothing quite like it anywhere else in Europe. If you’re considering a permanent move to this glorious part of the world, South of France property surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service. With more than 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region, Charles provides highly regarded English Language property surveys and advice to British buyers. Get in touch for more information.