Europe’s finest canyon: the Gorges du Verdon in the hinterland of the Côte d’Azur. Read on to see what the French Riviera can offer.

If you are lucky enough to own Côte d’Azur property or have the opportunity to come to the French Riviera on holiday, then make sure that you don’t miss Europe’s finest canyon, the Gorges du Verdon.

The Gorges du Verdon, so named for its turquoise-blue colour, is just a short distance from most French Riviera cities. The Gorges are a must see in the South of France and is often acclaimed to be the most beautiful in Europe., stretching over 25 km and up to 700m deep.

Les Gorges du Verdon in France
The limestone cliffs are several hundred meters high. This natural landscape attracts mountain climbers, paragliders, bungee jumpers, hikers and more to this area. Additionally, the Gorges’ water supplies were once lifelines to local townsmen, and thus there lie numerous medieval mountain villages and feudal towns, which now appear to be trapped in time, attracting many tourists.

The winding roads that climb into the mountains offer breath-taking views. Whilst enjoying a pleasant ride, before you get to the Saint Croix du Verdon lake (pictured above in lead image), we advise a small detour toward the site of Trigance, an attractive medieval village with a feudal castle perched on top of the hill. Here, as you explore the narrow streets, imagine knights on horses riding past; perhaps follow them up to the castle where you have panoramic views of the mountain plateau.

Water activities on Lac Saint-Croiz in Les Gorges du Verdon in France
Make your way back down and refresh in the tiny square. Here you can buy local produce from the little boulangerie, including lavender honey and fig and honey bread which is “cuit au feu de bois”. Next-door is the local pub, where you can taste the fruity, locally brewed cider.

The townlands around Gorges du Verdon in France
Half an hour later you will find that you’re open-jawed, gazing in awe at the turquoise waters of the Gorges du Verdon. The Canyon flows at the foot of open-faced rock and it eventually leads into an expansive, blue lake. Various rental centres for kayaks, canoes and pedalos, situate themselves around the lake, providing you with an ample selection to choose from. Indeed, getting into and traveling a bit upstream into the Gorges itself is essential, as the magic of the Gorges can only be realised through experience.

From inside the Gorges, you shall feel the temperature drop a few degrees as the large cliffs help protect the area from out side heat. Birds chirp from all directions, and the echoes of their song bounce off of the canyon walls. Facilitated by nature’s voice, you are filled with a sense of serenity and calmness.

Allow the soft current to gently pull you back towards the lake. After returning, take the time to find a nice spot along the bank, lie, enjoy a picnic and soak up the last few rays of afternoon sun.

The beauty of Les Gorges du Verdon in France
The Grand Canyon of Europe - Les Gorges du Verdon in France
The South-East of France has so much to offer; the landscape provides both mountains and Mediterranean Sea. If you are looking for South of France real estate then visit Eurofrance’s website to browse their listings.

 

Lead image “Gorges du Verdon Gateway” by Joseph PlotzOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons; all other photos courtesy Emma Brassington

 

 

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