Martel Verdon Gorge hiking day, in Provence

Explore the stunning Verdon Gorge in a hiking day trip along the Blanc-Martel Trail, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, in southeastern France. Join UIMLA-certified mountain guide Fabrice on this fascinating outing across one of Europe’s most beautiful canyons!

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

1 day

Mountain Range

Alps

People per Guide

12 people

Trip Level

Sustained

Offer Period

Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov

Type of Trip

Private

Highlights

 
  • Explore one of the most beauitul rivers in Europe.

  • Contemplate dazzling views of the canyon.

  • Discover the natural wonders in the Verdon Natural Regional Park.

 

The Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is an impressive 25-kilometer long and 700-meter deep, narrow limestone canyon located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, in the southeast of France. It was formed by the 166-kilometer long Verdon River, which flows southwest between the departments of the Var and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, blending the Mediterranean and alpine ecosystems.

Protected by the Verdon Natural Regional Park (180,000ha), the Verdon Gorge is one of the most scenic river valleys in Europe. The brilliant turquoise-green narrow Verdon River runs between massive, high limestone walls, creating a stunning colourful contrast. The canyon was formed over millions of years, when the river, flowing down the snowy Alps peaks, carved the hills and created the deepest gorge in the country.

Considered “France’s Grand Canyon”, the Verdon Gorge is one of the must-see natural attractions of Provence. Just 2 to 3 hours away from the main cities in the French Riviera (also known as Côte d’Azur or Blue Coast), the gorge is a top touristic destination, especially during the summer.

Our tour’s meeting point will be the village of Rougon, at the heart of the Verdon Gorge. We will take the Blanc-Martel trail (Sentier Blanc-Martel), one of the most popular hiking routes in France, named after the two explorers who discovered the area in 1905, traveling on wooden canoes. The track runs 15 kilometers along the right side of the river, offering probably the most impressive gorge views in Europe. We will trek along ancient oak trees and 1,000-meter (3,000ft) limestone cliffs, where we will glimpse the tiny silhouettes of climbers, as well as griffon vultures soaring over natural thermal baths.

The trail features quite varied and challenging terrain, with good climbs and steep – although short – descents, and a final stretch that requires climbing some ladders and a steel staircase. We will trek for about 5 hours, with a total 450-meter (1,480ft) ascent.

If you suffer from vertigo or would prefer an easier hiking option, we can take the Pecheur Trail (which means the Fishermen Trail). This loop path will also take us along the right bank of the river, without having to climb any ladder or staircase. Along the way, we will visit some cave men ancient farms built close to some hot springs. The hike’s total duration is of 4 hours, involving also a 450-meter (1,480ft) ascent.

I usually hold this tour in April, May and early June, or then from September to mid-November, given that it is too hot during the summer. If you are looking for a summer outing, I recommend the hike in the Mercantour National Park.

Don’t miss this fascinating hiking outing in one of Europe’s most unique natural sites! Send me your booking request now.

If you are looking for other similar activities in the area, check out the Saorge perched village trek and the Calern Plateau hike near Cannes and the French Riviera.

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Price per person

 
Group of 1
250 EUR

Group of 2
130 EUR

Group of 3
85 EUR

Group of 4
65 EUR

Group of 5
55 EUR

Group of 6
45 EUR

Group of 7
40 EUR

Group of 8
30 EUR

 

Price includes

 
  • Guiding fee
 Please note that the price includes a small snack. However, it doesn’t include picnic. This can be provided with an additional charge per person. The program for groups of 10-12 people costs a total of €300/group. For larger groups, please contact me to request conditions and prices.
 

Other details

 
Skill level required

Intermediate

Fitness level required

Occasional

Meeting point

Rougon village. You can get to Rougon from the east via Castellane (Digne – Cannes – Nice) and from the west through Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (Marseille – Lyon). If you travel from the neighboring department of Var, in the south, you can go through Comps-sur-Artuby or via Trigance.

Accommodation

I recommend staying in the villages of Rougon, Castellane, La Palud-sur-Verdon, or Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

More info

I can help you arrange transportation from Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes or any other city in the French Riviera. If interested, please contact us for more information and rates, starting from €60).

Also, a taxi transfer is necessary from Martel Verdon gorge (around 40 €). If you have your own car, no taxi is needed.

Required equipment:

• Light walking boots

• Breathable jacket

• Micro fleece and mountain t-shirts (if possible, avoid cotton t-shirts)

• Cap

• Water bottle (1 liter per person)

• Sunscreen and sunglasses

 

About the Guide

 
 

I am a hiking guide (International Mountain Leader) who has been working all over France (including Provence and the Alps), Italy and Portugal since 2001. I speak fluent English due to my frequent trips to Taos Ski Valley (in New Mexico, USA where my family runs a great hotel and ski school), and my hiking trips in the American Southwest.

I live mainly in Nice (French Riviera), but I also move all over the Alps working in different alpine valleys. I often visit Martinique (French Caribbean island), where I enjoy rainforest and tropical hikes.

When I´m not guiding, I also work as a photographer, and like to climb, ski, play tennis, or kitesurf in my spare time. Additionally, I really enjoy botany and history.

I can guide you for a half day or for as many days as you like. I´ll take you to discover my favourite French Riviera alpine region, and the wild and large Mercantour National Park (counting 8 different valleys) near Nice, Monte Carlo and Cannes.

In my region we can enjoy the Mediterranean landscape at sea level. As we move into higher altitudes, we will discover alpine lakes, larch or pine forests, orchids and alpine flowers, open meadows, spectacular medieval perched villages and old baroque chapels and churches, with great historic value.

We can also discover the hiking hotspots in Provence such as Calanques National Park, Verdon gorges, Sainte Victoire and the Var region, with Saint Tropez a particular highlight.

I also love to hike in Italy in the very famous world heritage Cinque Terre (the amazing national park of the "Five Lands"), or in Liguria near San Remo.

And finally, I always enjoy taking my guests to the northern Alps: to Chamonix and Mont Blanc´s amazingly large panoramas or to the great Vanoise National Park, the largest in the heart of French Alps.

 
 

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What People are Saying

 

The reviewer did not leave a comment
 
Rachel
Thanks again, it was one of our favourite moments from the holiday!
Read review
Angie
 

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