Gorges du Verdon, Provence

Until my family and I visited Provence’s Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Canyons), we had no idea that these were the largest gorges in Europe. We associated Provence with idyllic hilltowns, rolling landscapes and beautiful coastlines. However we knew nothing about this stunning, rugged landscape to be found right in central Provence.

Since we wanted a little break from all those idyllic hilltowns and lavender fields, we decided to squeeze a day trip to the Gorges du Verdon into our travel plans. We’re very happy that we did and we can’t wait to stop off again and spend more time in this interesting region. My European travel tip would be to schedule a visit to this fascinating area when you’re in Provence.

The drive through the gorges is lovely and dramatic, although you do have to be quite concentrated on some of the narrower stretches of road. There are lots of pleasant towns along the route. We especially enjoyed wandering around the stalls in the town of Riez on market day.

We were visiting in summer and we loved cooling off in the tempting, turquoise waters of the artificial Lac de Ste Croix, so beautiful and dramatic nestled just along the edge of the gorges.

Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled with all the options in this beautiful, natural setting : horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and canyoning can all be arranged quite easily. Since we were at the canyons for just one day, we only managed to drive along the canyons to enjoy the different panoramic points and to do a little walking and lots of swimming, but we would love to come back for a longer visit to this beautiful corner of Provence.