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The Verdon Gorge
The Verdon Gorge is Europe's largest canyon being 700m deep in places. It is within easy driving distance (about 1 hour) from Les Basses Beaumettes and offers an enormous variety of walking, cycling, canoeing, rafting, aqua-rando and rock-climbing in a spectacular setting. Please look at the pages about these sports for more information.
Our self catering apartment offers an excellent base from which to explore the Verdon Gorge. To find out about availability at our self catering apartment, please click here to contact us.
Walking in the gorge
For a recommended, and somewhat sporting, walking day out along the bottom of the gorge on the South side, see day seven on our walking itinerary.
The walking guide which is provided with our gite includes a full guide to walks in and around the Gorge and we are always happy to give help and advice if needed.
On the North side, the famous Sentier Martel can be done from either Samson's Couloir or Chalet de la Maline. You can get a taxi back to your car (cost approx 30€), but make sure you phone in advance, and don’t leave it until the end of your walk to contact them. Tel. 04 92 77 14 20 or 06 07 65 19 49.
On weekends and bank holidays from mid April to mid September and throughout July and August there is a shuttle which runs between Point Sublime, La Palud and Chalet de la Maline. The shuttle bus timetable below is to give you a rough idea of the service, it may vary so please phone in advance to check the times. Tel. 04 92 34 22 90. Normally it runs as follows:
Everyday during the Easter holidays.
Every day in July and August.
From the 1st of April to 30th of June and 1st of Sept - 15th Sept on weekends and bank holidays.
8.45 17.15 Pt Sublime 10.00 18.30
9.00 17.30 La Palud 9.50 18.20
9.20 17.50 La Maline 9.30 18.00
Here is another useful walking in the Verdon Gorge website.
Climbing in the Gorge.
The Verdon Gorge needs no introduction to rock climbers, exposed and vertiginous being the first two words that spring to mind when one thinks of climbing in the Verdon Gorge.
Car and bicycle touring in the Gorge.
The gorge can be enjoyed from behind the wheel of a car too, or more energetically, by bike. There is an excellent road circuit, requiring a full day, which goes out along the south rim of the gorge, and returns along the north rim, taking in the village of Moustieres Ste-Marie. All along the way, there is a plethora of balconies, belvederes and viewpoints (see left), which give fantastic, and often vertiginous views of the gorge. Some of these are not recommended for sufferers of vertigo!
The magnificent Route des Cretes, the line of which you can see cutting across the top of the hill in the middle of this panorama photo and the Point Sublime view-point are both well worth visiting.
Water-sports in the Gorge
You can also go rafting or canyoning in the area. For water-sports, the Verdon Gorge has the unusual advantage that being damned higher up, water is released several times a week, in liaison with the local water-sports companies, so although the area is very hot and dry in the summer, there is no shortage of water in the river for water-sports. Check out our water-sports or canyoning page for more details, and for information on companies that specialise in these activities.
Wildlife in the Gorge
For those more interested in wildlife, this is one of the areas that has been chosen for the re-introduction of Griffon Vultures into the country. The vultures are concentrated around the village of Rougon, but can invariably be also seen soaring very close to the viewpoints of the Route des Crêtes. It is fascinating to watch these huge birds soaring the thermal currents around the spectacular cliffs of the gorge. More information about the vultures can be found on the Rougon village website by clicking on the word Vautours.
Further information about the Gorge
For further information have a look at these links