Best time to visit Provence & French Riviera

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon in Provence & French Riviera

The so-called "Grand Canyon of France" is a beautiful river valley with breathtaking views

Best time: mid-April–mid-October

Hiking in Gorges du Verdon
Hiking in Gorges du Verdon
Hiking in Gorges du Verdon

The Gorges du Verdon is also called the "Grand Canyon of France" because of its stunning rocky formations and size. It's a mesmerizingly beautiful river valley between Var and the Alpes of Haute Provence with some unforgettable views of the Verdon river with its bright green waters and steep cliffs. The best way to discover the Gorges du Verdon is on foot, since you'll be able to reach some great places and have time to look around this natural beauty. Even though the middle the path loops away a bit from the deep gorges, the beginning and end views are very picturesque. One of the best routes around the gorges is the route des Crêtes on the north side which is the steepest and narrowest and in some areas even without barriers so be careful.

Practical info

When is the best time of the year to visit Gorges du Verdon in Provence and French Riviera?

The ideal time to explore Gorges du Verdon is between mid-April and mid-October when the temperature is agreeable. During these months, wildflowers can be seen throughout the valley and rocky falls are at a minimum. But, it's important to remember that July and August are the peak tourist season and the summers can be very hot. Show more

Where exactly is Gorges du Verdon located and what is its unique feature?

Gorges du Verdon is located in southeastern France within the Provence and French Riviera region. It's a river valley that follows the Verdon River from Col d'Allos to the Durance River. What makes it a unique natural wonder are the rugged cliffs, vivid blue-green waters, and unparalleled panoramic views, leading many to call it the 'Grand Canyon of France'. Show more

What are some recommended hiking trails in Gorges du Verdon?

Hikers of all levels will enjoy the many trails throughout Gorges du Verdon. Sentier Martel is a favorite choice as it offers the valley's trademark cliffs and spectacular water views—it's a full-day hike, so hikers should wear appropriate shoes and carry plenty of water. In addition to stunning flora and fauna, Trescaire Circuit, Blanc-Martel Trail, and Imbut Trail are all noteworthy hikes for nature enthusiasts. Show more

What kind of wildlife can be encountered in the area?

Gorges du Verdon is full of diverse wildlife such as the Bonelli's eagle and Hermann's tortoise, both rare species. The Ibex, deer, chamois, foxes, and wild boars are other animals that visitors may see. The area is a natural reserve, and visitors are reminded to respect wildlife environments by refraining from disturbing the region or leaving any waste or trash. Show more

Are there any restrictions or permits required for hiking in Gorges du Verdon?

Hiking enthusiasts won't require permits or have to pay fees to hike through Gorges du Verdon. Visitors should check the weather forecast and come prepared for some trails that may be closed off during high-risk conditions or winter months. It's also recommended to walk only on designated paths, park in allowed parking regions, put on appropriate hiking shoes and clothes, and stay cautious while hiking along steep cliffs. Show more

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