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 and the Utelle village and southern French Mediterranean Alps day trek I also lead.
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.
Price per person
|Group of 2||130EUR|
|Group of 3||85EUR|
|Group of 4||65EUR|
|Group of 5||55EUR|
|Group of 6||45EUR|
|Group of 7||40EUR|
|Group of 8||30EUR|
- Guiding fee
Skill level required
Fitness level required
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.
I recommend staying in the villages of Rougon, Castellane, La Palud-sur-Verdon, or Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
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).