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The Gorges du Verdon in France: things to do

Last update : 6 May 2024
The Gorges du Verdon in France... A magical place to visit at least once (or even several times 😉 ) in your life! Do you dream of wide open spaces, nature, adventure and breathtaking scenery?

The Gorges du Verdon in France… A magical place to visit at least once (or even several times 😉 ) in your life! Dreaming of wide open spaces, nature, adventure and breathtaking scenery all while staying in France? You’ve clearly come to the right place! In this article, we bring you all our must-see or must-do items when you visit the Gordes du Verdon. What are the must-see lookouts, villages and hikes? We tell you everything!

Our itinerary to discover the Gorges du Verdon

We stayed 3 days in the Gorges du Verdon, and the area being quite large, we tried to optimize our program as much as possible so we could discover as many landscapes as possible. We alternated between beautiful driving routes to access the belvederes and their incredible views, short hikes and activities. Follow our itinerary! 😎

Carte Gorges du Verdon itineraire gorges du verdon

What to do in the Gorges du Verdon in France? Must-sees

The must-see lookouts in the Gorges du Verdon

The great thing about the Gorges du Verdon is that to get to the most beautiful viewpoints, all you have to do is take the roads and stop at the designated areas. Then, in a matter of moments, you’ll be on your way to the superb viewpoints. So there’s little walking involved, and a fairly straightforward itinerary for discovering the most beautiful viewpoints by car.

itineraire gorges du verdon

The right bank of the Gorges du Verdon

The “Route des Crètes” (D23) is mythical and is undoubtedly the best known! It forms a 24-kilometer loop and lets you admire the Verdon from 14 incredible lookouts, among our favorites:

  • Belvédère de Trescaïre: one of the most impressive, notice to those with vertigo, the cliff sits 400 meters from the Verdon!
  • Belvédère de la Carelle: known as a vantage point from which to admire climbing enthusiasts, an activity unique to the Gorges du Verdon.
  • Belvédère de la dent d’Aire: particularly well known for watching the flight of vultures! We were lucky enough to see one in full flight, and it’s well worth the detour…

Allow around 1h30 to 2h to complete the entire circuit (including stops and photos). The route des Crètes (D23) starts from the D925 road. Please note: if you wish to complete the entire loop, be sure to follow the road clockwise. Indeed, part of the circuit is one-way.

gorges du verdon canyons

The left bank of the Gorges du Verdon (D71)

Just as nice as the right bank, the left bank also offers breathtaking panoramas. Depart via Aiguines, necessarily passing the Col d’Illoire at the Pont de l’Artuby. You don’t need to do anything in particular, apart from admire the scenery and park in the designated areas. Enjoy!

routes lac sainte croix route des cretes


  • The Col d’Illoire is one of the lookouts not to be missed! It’s been recently redeveloped and stretches out into the void. The perfect place to immortalize your trip to the Gorges du Verdon. And we say this, we say nothing, but it was at this very spot that we saw a vulture take flight… A magical moment engraved in our memories!
col d'illoire
  • La corniche sublime: this is one of the Gorges’ narrow roads, allowing you a 20km drive to admire canyons, stretches of water and greenery. This road is very popular with tourists in summer, so it may take you longer than us to drive it.
  • The Artuby Bridge: perched  182 meters above the ground, it’s well worth a look, and you can cross it on foot or by car. I’ve heard it’s also a place for bungee jumping, but we passed…
pont de l'artuby

Must-see villages in the Gorges du Verdon in France


The village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is so charming, it’s a must-see on your visit to the Gorges du Verdon! You can get there easily by car and plan to have lunch or dinner in one of its small restaurants.

It’s known as the city of earthenware, ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. In its narrow streets you’ll find artisans, café terraces, Musée de la Faïence, ice-cream parlors… We went at the end of the day and the light was superb.  Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is to be added to your list of things not to miss in the Gorges du Verdon!

moustiers sainte marie village moustiers sainte marie


This small village lies between Lac de Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. It’s worth the detour in part for its superb views, at an altitude of over 800 meters. You can stop here to stroll through its narrow streets and enjoy one of its small terraces.

pont du galetas


Must-do hikes in the Gorges du Verdon

Hiking in the Saint Maurin estate

We were lucky enough to spend a whole morning with Julien, a mid-mountain guide, who took us hiking for a few hours. On the right bank of the Verdon, the domaine de Saint Maurin hike is ideal because you’ll come across very few tourists.

randonnée itineraire

We still recommend that you go with a guide, to give meaning to this walk and to the region. He’ll take you along the right paths, discover a hidden waterfall, watch the vultures take flight… And he’ll explain the history of the region and the natural surroundings of the Gorges du Verdon. We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a chamois and some vultures – once again, magical moments… We highly recommend our guide Julien, from Reliefs Guiding. You can contact them on their Facebook page to plan your hike!

randonnée gorges du verdon randonnée saint maurin

The most popular hikes

We didn’t have time to go through them all, but here’s our list of must-do hikes on our next trip to the Gorges.

  • Sentier Blanc Martel: the best-known hike in the Gorges du Verdon.  Go with your eyes closed (well, keep them open all the same…😉). Allow 6h30 to cover the 14 km from Couloir Samson to Chalet de la Maline. Please note that the trail does not form a loop! We advise you to plan to hitchhike back to your car, or ask about shuttles before setting off.
  • Sentier de l’Imbut: a 10-kilometer trail, one of the most difficult in the Gorges but also one of the most beautiful! Allow 5 hours round trip.
  • Sentier du Grand Margès : Very beautiful circuit with a slightly difficult climb at the start, it takes you up to the summit of the Margès at over 1500m high. Allow 6 hrs round trip.
  • Sentier du Bastidon: starting from La Palud sur Verdon, allow 4hr 30mins each way.
gorges du verdon

Must-see watering holes in the Gorges du Verdon

Lac Sainte Croix

Lac Sainte Croix was created by man in the 1970s to distribute water throughout the region. It is the fourth largest water reservoir in France, with 767 million cubic meters of water… And that’s just the beginning! 😳

For tourists, this immense expanse of clear water is also the perfect place for water sports activities. We opted for a Catamaran tour, hired from the Centre Nautique de Bauduen. We were accompanied by Alex, a top young nautical competitor. You can rent paddles, canoes/kayaks, catamarans or windsurf boards.

We really recommend you come here for your water sports activities, as it’s much less crowded than the Pont du Galetas area. You’ll also be able to pass through the pretty town of Bauduen!

lac sainte croix

Pont du galetas

Pont du Galetas is THE place you see everywhere on Instagram, so it’s where you’ll find the most tourists. But it’s true that from here you’ll have a beautiful view of the Gorges, the turquoise blue water and the canoe departure point. It’s worth stopping by for a quick photo!

pont du galetas

This is also the place where you can rent canoes/kayaks for a little water activity. We were there in August, and the rental companies were going crazy… Huge queues in bright sunshine to finally rent a boat. On the water, it can’t be much happier. 😂 If this activity is close to your heart, we advise you to get there as soon as it opens, to be among the first on the water! Off-season, it’s bound to be quieter.

gorges du verdon pont


Gorges du Verdon, where to sleep?

Hotel Les Cavalets

During our stay in the Gorges du Verdon, we stayed at the Hôtel Les Cavalets. The hotel boasts an ideal location overlooking Lac Sainte Croix. Rooms with small balconies are perfect for a stay of several days in the Gorges du Verdon. The hotel is fairly simple, but you’ll find everything you need for a few days, including breakfast served on site. There’s also a large swimming pool, that little “extra” to cool off during your vacation.

hotel les cavalets restaurant gorges du verdon

Gorges du Verdon, where to eat?

  • Le Styx: super French and Mediterranean brasserie located in La Palud sur Verdon. We had lunch on the terrace and loved it. A very good restaurant address in the Gorges du Verdon, to do at the beginning or end of your Route des Crêtes tour.
Restaurant gorges du verdon
  • Le Relai des Balcons: our favorite address for lunch at Gorges du Verdon. This restaurant won us over with its prime location! You can eat on the terrace or inside, facing the immensity of the Gorges, right next to the Artuby Bridge. We came across this restaurant by chance, and what a surprise! The food is delicious and homemade, with carefully selected local produce. The service is very pleasant. You’ll also find a small “stall” with handmade products to take home as souvenirs. We advise you to book in advance or to come very early to guarantee you one of the most beautiful tables.
restaurant gorges du verdon
Thank you for reading

We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you plan your next stay in the Gorges du Verdon in France!

You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex

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