The Grand Canyon of France
Available as a custom/self-guided tour
Best in June, early July, September, early October
Le Gorge du Verdon or ”Grand canyon du Verdon” in south-eastern France, is a river canyon that is considered by many to be Europe‘s most beautiful. It is the world’s second largest gorge, at about 20 kilometers in length and more than 300 metres deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named after its startling turquoise–green colour, one of the canyon’s most distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Ste-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine more than 300 metres down through the limestone mass. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon river flows into the artificial lake, Lac de Sainte-Croix.
The area of Le Gorge du Verdon provides days of adventure and beauty for walkers, hikers, alpinists, kayakers, cyclists, photographers as well as the casual tourist.
Because of its proximity to the French Riviera, the canyon is very popular with tourists, who can drive around its rim, rent kayaks or hike. The limestone walls, which are several hundreds of meters high, attract many rock climbers. It is considered an outstanding destination for multi-pitch climbing. There are routes encompassing cracks, pillars and seemingly endless walls. The climbing is generally of a technical nature, and there are over 1,500 routes, ranging from 20m to over 400m.