A Guide to Rock Climbing in Verdon Gorge

Andrew AstonDecember 20, 2018

There are several reasons why Verdon Gorge in Southeast France has become such an iconic and internationally renowned area for rock climbing. Situated in close proximity to the glamorous French Riviera, Verdon Gorge has long been a popular destination for people wanting to see the striking and raw beauty it is known for, especially in the gorgeous Summer months.

The most breathtaking and well-known section of the gorge is located between the two villages of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the ravine plummets 700m through limestone rock. Throughout the gorge runs the Verdon River, a stunning waterway containing some of the richest and most vivacious colours possible.

Stretching for approximately 25km long, the gorge contains more than 1000 climbing routes ranging from sport routes to long and hard multi-pitch routes. Surveiller et Punir, Pichenibule, Trous Secs and Adieu Zidane are some of Verdon’s most legendary routes.

 

Verdon Gorge
The majestic Verdon Gorge.

What makes Verdon Gorge such a legendary rock climbing area?

So what is it exactly that makes this beautiful area such an epic rock climbing spot?

1 |The scenery. It is hard to overstate how attractive, pretty, captivating and alluring Verdon Gorge is, as not only do the sheer cliff faces drop down hundreds of metres, often lined with magnificent greenery, but the Verdon river which snakes its way through the gorge is a magnificent and unique shade of turquoise/green, making for an extremely pleasing aesthetic.

2| The conditions. The brilliant weather that is a common feature of this part of France makes it very conducive to rock climbing, as the perfect limestone rock surfaces and varying levels of difficulty make it a veritable paradise for rock climbers of all abilities.

3| The region. The nearby villages of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie are considered to be some of the most beautiful in all of France, which is saying something, with their picture-perfect quaint buildings and relaxed vibes making for marvelous places to base yourself when taking on Verdon Gorge.

Verdon Gorge
There are numerous areas to rock climb on the gorge. Photo courtesy of Simon Montmory.

Best rock climbing trips in Verdon Gorge

The wide array of areas to rock climb in and around Verdon Gorge is immense, enabling people of all levels of ability to enjoy rock climbing there.

These are some of our favorite guided trips:

  • 1+ day Multi-pitch Climbing: A fantastic introduction to both multi-pitch climbing and the gorge itself, this 1+ day expedition entails heading off to a wide array of multi-pitch routes, and it caters to people of all levels of ability, hence why it is a great first-time trip. Try this trip with BEES-certified guide Simon!
  • Rock climbing week course: A more challenging and advanced trip, this week-long course will cover all skills, techniques and difficulties associated with rock climbing, including mental aspects, breathing and rest techniques and lead climbing. The enormousness of the gorge means there are plentiful routes to tackle, and the trip focuses mainly on single-pitch and multi-pitch skills. Book this trip with BEES-certified guide Simon!
  • 3-day “Best of Provence” Rock Climbing Course: For those looking for a more intermediate challenge, this is the ideal course. Mainly focusing on top-rope climbing, over the course of the 3 days you will build on the basics of rock climbing by looking at things such as climbing movement and the mental aspect, giving you more confidence to climb the more difficult routes. This all takes place of course in the truly awesome Verdon Gorge. Join BEES-certified guide Simon for this trip!
Rock climbing at Verdon Gorge, France
There climbs for people of all abilities. Photo courtesy of Simon Montmory.

What is the best time to go there?

Due to the amazing weather that this part of France endures for most of the year, rock climbing is available for a large majority of the year. The best time to go rock climbing at Verdon Gorge is from April to October.

Please bear in mind that June-August is the peak season for trips to Verdon Gorge, so the other months will more than likely be less crowded and thus more peaceful.

Rock climbing at Verdon Gorge, France
The views and conditions are sublime. Photo courtesy of Simon Montmory.

How much does it cost?

Like most trips of this kind there are a myriad of factors that determine how much they will cost, such as length of time and size of your group. Please note carefully if your trip includes equipment in the payment, or if you will need to bring yourself.

Some of our programs start at as little as 18 EUR for larger groups, increasing to around 50 EUR for smaller groups.

Rock climbing at Verdon Gorge, France
Limestone rock frames the gorge everywhere. Photo courtesy of Simon Montmory.

How to get there?

Verdon Gorge is located in the middle of the region of Provence, and is easily accessible from the French Riviera, meaning Nice is the closest big city to base yourself from, being just 120km from the gorge.

Rock climbing at Verdon Gorge, France
People flock to the area for its unique scenery. Photo courtesy of France Mountain-Guides.

What else to do in Verdon Gorge?

Rock climbing is not the only outdoor activity people like to indulge in at Verdon Gorge, with hiking also exponentially popular due to the interesting variety of trails and scenery to hike amongst. Check out some of the great hiking trips and tours we offer at Verdon Gorge, here!

Explore one of the prettiest regions of France whilst experiencing the exhilarating thrill of rock climbing – book now so you don’t miss out!

Want to know more
about Rock Climbing in France?

Share this article on your network:

Other users viewed:

Join our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures!