Top Menu

Hiking in the Gorges du Verdon

Hiking in the Gorges du Verdon

3 Classic Day Hikes in the Gorges du Verdon

What better way to spend a long weekend than a hike through one of Europe’s most beautiful river canyons, the Gorges du Verdon.

HIKING | ACCOMMODATION | PRACTICAL INFO

This 3 day hike, is packed full of stunning views and will give you a real sense of being right in the middle of the Gorge. You can rearrange the 3 days to suit your trip but the last day of the hike is the famous Blanc-Martel trail, named after the two explorers and their team who discovered the Gorge in wooden canoes!

There aren’t many canyon walks as spectacular as this anywhere in Europe.

The Blanc-Martel trail is one of the most popular hikes in France, and for good reason. There aren’t many canyon walks as spectacular as this anywhere in Europe. Hiking through ancient oak trees, you can see tiny silhouettes of climbers in the crevices of the massive canyon walls and griffon vultures soaring on thermals. With good climbs and steep descents (although these are short!), the route is varied, wild and beautiful.

You can normally hike this loop from April until mid-November if you are smart about where you sleep. We recommend you hike it in the fall when the colours are mind blowing. If you do it in summer, take plenty of water as the canyon gets very hot.

Leave from the quiet village of Rougon. Parking is free and you can abandon your car here with no worries. A little piece of information about Rougon – it claims to have been responsible for the reintroduction of griffon vultures.

You can get to Rougon from the east by Castellane (Digne – Cannes – Nice) and from the west by Moustiers – Sainte Marie (Marseille – Lyon). If you come from neighboring Var, in the south, go through Comps et Trigance.

Rougon to La Palud-sur-Verdon

Hiking near La Palud-sur-Verdon
View from La Route des Crêtes near La Palud-sur-Verdon | © Flickr | ADT 04

The first day’s hike sets the scene – stunning scenery, peaceful and wild. You climb above the tiny village around a rocky point. Then you’ll see the remains of an ancient castle in front. At this point catch a breath to enjoy the views. The area is a vast limestone plateau with lots of ravines and gorges and shallow green water.

The hiking trail signs throughout the Gorges du Verdon have recently been redone, so the trails are all easy to follow. Head west to les Michels et les Chauvets, which is a gîte and restaurant famous for its goats cheese. The path then heads east to the abandoned town of Châteauneuf-lès-Moustiers.

Just before you arrive under the cliff, you’ll see a 16th century chapel nestled in a fortified cave. The story goes that a Templar once took refuge in the chapel when he escaped prison.

Carry on and you’ll be just getting into your stride when you arrive at La Palud by le Col de la Croix.

Start Village of Rougon 1000 m. Finish La Palud-sur-Verdon 930 m.
Climb 600 m. Descent 480 m. Duration 5.5 to 6 hours.

La Palud-sur-Verdon to La Maline

Hiking the Sentier du Bastidon in the Gorges du Verdon
Hiking the Sentier Bastidon in the Gorges du Verdon | © Alexandre Rosset

You begin this hike by climbing high above the village of La Palud. Follow the GR4 to Grinhan ravine which leads to the D 952. 100 m along the tarmac and you’re now on the Sentier Bastidon which overlooks the gorge. Cross over the little dried up streams and the trail becomes a narrow passage carved into the vertical cliff.

Follow the river and the trail begins to climb up to the famous Route des Crêtes and it’s here you’ll get some of the most spectacular views of the canyon. The trail runs alongside the road until it becomes so narrow the trail has to give way to the road. Follow the road for 3 km to the chalet du CAF de la Maline, which looks like it’s suspended over the edge of the gorge. It’s an amazing place to spend the night.

Start La Palud-sur-Verdon 930 m. Finish Chalet de la Maline 900 m.
Climb 650 m. Descent 700 m. Duration 5.5 h to 6 hours.

La Maline to Rougon

Couloir Samson from Point Sublime in the Gorges du Verdon
Couloir Samson from Point Sublime in the Gorges du Verdon | © Flickr – Doggettx

On the final day, you are hiking in paradise. Dense Mediterranean vegetation and lush gardens suspended in the middle of the vertical limestone cliffs.

The Blanc-Martel trail begins with a long descent and you then more or less follow the river.

At the Imbert gap, you’ll be glad of the steps courtesy of the Touring Club de France. Under the Paroi Rouge (Red Wall), follow the while slabs. Next are the famous tunnels. Go through the opening which brings you down into the beautiful baume de Pigeons. The metal staircase looks like it has disappeared.

In summer the heat is immense and the route is incredibly busy but it isn’t hard to see why it is so popular. Over 30,000 visitors each year hike this trail.

When you arrive in the carpark (couloir Samson) it’s just a final push on a small trail to Rougon which takes about one hour.

If you are shattered you can hail a lift in the carpark!

Start Chalet La Maline 900 m. Finish Parking coloir of Samson 610 m then Rougon 1000 m.
Climb 1000 m. Descent 650 m. Duration 6.5 to 7.5 hours.

Accommodation

Here’s a few recommendations for places to stay near the walking trails in the Gorges du Verdon. La Palud-sur-Verdon, Rougon, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Trigance are all ideally located with easy access to the hiking trails.

Hotel des Gorges du Verdon – La Palud

From 160 € per night

Hotel and Spa des Gorges du Verdon

Hotel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon is located in La Palud-sur-Verdon in the heart of the Verdon Gorge and makes an ideal base for a walking holiday. Panoramic views can be enjoyed from the terraces, there’s a heated outdoor swimming pool and a spa to relax those tired limbs after a day’s hiking.

Check availability | Go >

Chambres d’Hôtes l’Enchastre – La Palud

From 80 € per night

Chambres d'Hôtes l'Enchastre in La Palud sur Verdon

A warm welcome awaits you at this rural chambres d’hôtes located 11 km from La Palud. Home from home comforts, an outdoor pool and beautiful surrounding countryside make this the perfect base for a walking holiday. The home cooked meals are delicious and a continental breakfast is served every morning.

Check availability | Go >

A la Ferme de Bourras – La Palud

From 50 € per night

Camping à la Ferme de Bourras in La Palud-sur-Verdon

A serene setting in the beautiful Verdon countryside 700 m from the village of La Palud-sur-Verdon. Rent a chalet with private bathroom and enjoy the open space of a campsite but sleep in a proper bed. The location is superb and makes the perfect base for your walking holiday.

Check availability | Go >

Hotel Château de Trigance – Trigance

From 140 € per night

Chateau de Trigance in the Gorges du Verdon

Located on the GR49 walking trail which runs from the Point Sublime to Saint-Raphael on the Med, this restored medieval chateau is a unique place to stay. Enjoy gastronomic dinners in the excellent quality restaurant and breakfast on the terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside.

Check availability | Go >

Les Restanques de Moustiers – Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

From 80 € per night

Hotel les Restanques de Moustiers

This boutique Provençal hotel is located in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, 5 km from the Lac de Sainte-Croix, where you can canoe, sail and swim. The GR 4 long distance walking trail goes through the village making this an ideal place to stay if you plan to do any hiking.

Check availability | Go >

Le Relais de Moustiers – Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

From 90 € per night

Hotel Le Relais de Moustiers

Le Relais de Moustiers is perfectly situated in the village centre with views of the mountains and the sound of the waterfall in the background. If you enjoy hiking, the GR 4 hiking trail leaves from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and runs through to Castellane through the Verdon Gorges.

Check availability | Go >

Practical information

Maps

We have found the IGN Institut Géographique National tourism maps to be the best for exploring the area:

  1. 1:25 000 Gorges du Verdon 3442 OT
  2. 1:60 000 Parc naturel régional du Verdon

Transport

Summer shuttle buses (Navettes) – La Maline to Castellane and Point Sublime, +33 (0)4 92 34 22 90

Taxi Verdon, 04120 La Palud-sur-Verdon, +33 (0)6 68 18 13 13

Tourist Offices

OFFICE DE TOURISME DE LA PALUD SUR VERDON

Maison des Gorges du Verdon
Mairie – Le Château
04120 La Palud sur Verdon

Website: www.lapalud-verdontourisme.com
Email: mairielapaludsurverdon@wanadoo.fr
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 77 32 02

OFFICE DE TOURISME DE CASTELLANE

Rue Nationale
04120 CASTELLANE

Website: www.castellane-verdontourisme.com
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 83 61 14

Please leave a comment below if you need specific advice for your hiking trip to the Gorges du Verdon, or if you have any recommendations to help us improve this article. Bonnes vacances !

You may also like...

  • Ben Rencz

    this was a very interested read! How would i be able to book a camping site for april?

  • Yifat

    Is the end of October a good time to hike in Gorges Du Verdon?

    • Hi Yifat, thanks for your message!

      Yes, October is perfect – the crowds have gone, the weather is cooler and the water is still warm enough to swim. The only thing is that some campsites and activity providers close at the end of September, but hotels like the Auberge des Salles will be open. You’ll just need to check when booking your trip.

      Hope that helps,

      Matt

  • David Van den Bergh

    Hello we would like to hike the same route. Do we need a map? And if so, where can we buy one?

    • Hi David, thanks for your message!

      Yes, although the trails are waymarked, it’s a good idea to have a map. You can pick up free maps in the tourist offices, or you can purchase IGN maps online or from local sports shops and supermarkets.

      You’ll need: 1 / 60,000 Parc naturel régional du Verdon and 1 / 25,000 Gorges du Verdon

      Hope that helps, have a great trip,

      Matt

  • Debra Rothenberg

    Will it still be open to hike in late November? We are planning a trip around the 21st?

    • Hi Debra, thanks for your message!

      Yes, absolutely, the trails remain open year round. You’ll just need to check with regards to accommodation – the campsites and some smaller hotels will be closed.

      With regards to getting around, the Route des Crêtes in La Palud sur Verdon is closed from the 13 November, but the road to La Maline and Bélvédère de la Carelle remain open throughout the year.

      A little further north, the Gite des Robines in the village of Tartonne is located at the start of a number of great walks around a beautiful mountain escarpment called La Barre des Dourbes. If there’s snow on the ground, you can borrow snowshoes from the Gite.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

      • Debra Rothenberg

        Matt,
        Helps a lot!
        Merci Beaucoup!
        Deb

        • You’re very welcome Deb, best of luck organising the trip!

  • Paul

    Hi Matt! Thanks for the great website and all the info!
    We are planning a 3 day hiking trip through the Gorges du Verdon – are there any day trips you can recommend- so that we can return to our starting point and take the car back to our hotel every night?

    thank you very much!

    Best

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      A great day hike in the canyon is to string together Sentier de l’Imbut and Sentier Vidal. It’s quite technical walking, but stunningly beautiful. Start at the Hotel du Grand Canon du Verdon and hike the Imbut trail all the way to the point where the canyon narrows. The trail leaves the river here and crosses the Vidal trail. You take Vidal at this point and hike back up the canyon to the road. Cross the road and you’ll see a trail through the forest that will take you back to the start.

      There’s another nice half-day hike called Sentier des Pêcheurs. It starts at Colle de l’Olivier on the road between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and La Palud-sur-Verdon. The 3 hour loop will take you through some beautifully varied scenery.

      The Martel trail is a full day hike and is probably the most popular walk in the Gorges du Verdon. As it’s a one way route, most people park their car at Point Sublime, the end of the trail, and take the shuttle bus or taxi to Chalet de la Maline, the start of the trail. It’s a beautiful hike, but at the same time it’s a path well trodden, so you may feel that you miss out on that wilderness experience with this one.

      There’s also some great walking around Saint André les Alpes and from the Gite des Robines in the village of Tartonne.

      I hope that gives you a few ideas. Best of luck planning your trip!

      Matt

  • Callum

    Hi Matt. Do many people walk this route during January? Are there any similar routes that are accessible during that time of the year?

    • Hi Callum, thanks for your message!

      You won’t see many people, but you can certainly walk the route during January. Although La Palud-sur-Verdon is nearly 1000 m in altitude, as you’re so far south it’s quite rare for there to be any significant snowfall.

      You could look at doing the Sentier de l’Imbut and Sentier Vidal walk. Although as the trail is quite steep and technical, you may not want to do it if it was icy.

      From Castellane there’s a great 4 hour hike round the Barre de la Sapée and the Rocher du Castel de Ruel from the Col des Lèques with superb views over the Verdon.

      From Esparron de Verdon there’s a number of nice 3-4 hour hikes including the Sentier de l’Adri and the Esparron de Verdon – St Martin de Brômes circuit.

      Further north, there number of great walks around Saint-André les Alpes, and further north again there’s some good walking around La Barre des Dourbes. You can stay at the gite in Tartonne and if there’s snow on the ground, you can borrow snowshoes from the gite.

      I hope that helps. Best of luck planning your trip!

      Matt

      • Callum

        Thanks Matt! That helps enormously!

        • You’re very welcome Callum!

  • Aline

    Hi Matt,

    thumbs up! just reading your replies to everyone in the comment section here really helped us get an idea of how to spend the upcoming 4 days in Verdon Gorge area, so first of all thanks for that! Now we’re trying to figure out accommodation and while there’s plenty of offers on AirBnB we’re not quite sure which would be the best location in order to not have to drive to trail entries for too long (driving in from Montpellier).. i know this depends on the hikes we’re gonna end up doing but you seem to know the area quite well and maybe you have a suggestions as of where to best choose our “base camp”? 🙂 thanks in advance! Aline

    • Hi Aline, thanks for your message!

      La Palud-sur-Verdon is a good central location to base yourself for hiking. Aiguines is a lovely village and another good option with its hilltop location between the lake and the gorge. There’s easy access to Les Cavaliers which is an access point to the Sentier Martel.

      Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, despite being on the GR4, is a little bit further away from the walking trails in the gorge itself, but it’s the largest town and the first place you’ll reach when driving from Montpellier. It’s only a 30 minute drive from here to La Palud-sur-Verdon and L’Imbut.

      Hopefully, these options will help you narrow down where to stay. Have a great trip!

      Matt

      • Aline

        thanks! we ended up staying in régusse which was totally fine considering we were planning on taking the car to east and west points of interest of the verdon area. too bad we didn’t find any kajak/canoe rental that was open this time of the year but we did in deed complete a few sunny, satisfying day hikes according to your desciptions. Cheers! Aline

        • That’s great to hear Aline! Glad you had a good time.

          Enjoy the rest of your trip!

          Matt

  • Benny Zefas

    hello,
    is there short hiking trails (2-3 hours) near Les Salles-sur-Verdon suitble for a family ?

    • Hi Benny, thanks for your message!

      Yes, there’s lots of shorter walks suitable for the family. Here’s a couple of ideas:

      1. The Véris loop in Bauduen – 7.5 km and 2.5 to 3 hours.
      2. The Belvédère de Tréguier trail in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie – 4.2 km and 1.5 to 2 hours.
      3. Chateau Chiron loop from Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon – 7 km and 2.5 hours

      And of course, there’s nothing stopping you doing shorter sections of the famous walks. For example you could walk a section of the Sentier Martel, have a picnic lunch and then retrace your steps. Walking the other way, the views are entirely different. Also, the tourist office on Place Sainte-Anne in Salles-sur-Verdon is a great source of information with maps and advice specific to your needs.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

      • Benny Zefas

        hi Matt,
        we decide to do part of the Sentier Martel trail,
        if we want to do a 1.5/2 hours track, is it recommended to start at Chalet Maline or Couloir Samson? were to park the car? how tough is the walking?
        thanks,

        • Hi Benny, great to hear your plans are taking shape.

          Yes, starting your hike in La Maline is probably best as you’ll avoid the really steep climb/descent to/from Point Sublime. There’s parking along the road just up from Chalet La Maline. The walking is moderately technical and the walk down from La Maline to the bottom of the canyon is long and steep. It may be that walking down to the river, having a picnic on the beach and then walking back up again will be about right for the family.

          Hope that helps,

          Matt

  • Aditi Khire

    Hello,

    Thank you for the article, it really gave me useful information about the hikes.
    I am going to travel to France with my husband in May 2017. We love hiking and having heard good reviews about the hikes near the gorge, we definitely want to dedicate 1 day to it.
    I believe the article mentions about the three-day hike, is it possible to just do one and return to the place we are staying? If I just want to do Rougon to La Palud-sur-Verdon hike, is there any way of commute to go back to Rougon where our car will be parked? probably?
    If you want to recommend one of the hike, which one it will be? I still have a lot of research to do, search for the places to stay, but just need to confirm if 1 day hike is possible from the ones you mentioned. I also read about the Martel trail, its the third of the day hike mentioned. For that, what are my best options to stay?
    I also saw some pictures of the people(on the hike/trail)overlooking the gorge from the top, not sure which trail/hike it is?!

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Hi Aditi, thanks for your message!

      If you can only do one of the days I would recommend day 3 – La Maline to the Point Sublime (Sentier Blanc Martel). It’s the classic Gorges du Verdon walk and you hike some of the most dramatic sections of the gorge. May is a great time to do it as it’s not too hot and it’s not too busy either. Probably the best place to stay would be Castellane.

      There’s a bus – Autocars Delaye +33 (0)4 92 34 22 90 (I know, not a great name for a bus service!) at the weekends and bank holidays in May between Castellane and La Maline. To get back from Point Sublime to Castellane, you would need to organise a taxi. You can try Taxi Verdon in La Palud +33 (0)6 68 18 13 13.

      If you wanted to stay in Rougon, you could walk a section of the GR49 to Entreverges and loop back round to Rougon via Trigance. Or, stay at the Chateau in Trigance https://www.activeazur.com/go/hotels-chateau-de-trigance and do the loop the other way around. It’s a good day’s walking (about 20 km). You could ask at the tourist office in La Palud or Castellane for maps.

      Hope that helps, best of luck planning your trip!

      Matt

      • Aditi Khire

        HI Matt,

        Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Few questions –

        Is the trail safe?
        Is the trail marked?

        We being non French speakers, want to make sure before deciding to go for the trail!
        Thank you in advance 🙂

        • Hi Aditi,

          The Sentier Blanc Martel trail is moderately technical and the climb up to Point Sublime from the river is long and steep. It is well marked and because you follow the river, navigation is straighforward. There are some tunnels and it is recommended that you have a torch (flashlight) with you for those sections.

          Hope that helps you decide, good luck!

          Matt

        • Roshni Sharma

          Hi Aditi, I myself is an Indian and looking for 3 days hike to “Gorges du Verdon”. When are you planning exactly? If out schedule matches, I may join you guys. Please share the details with me once you are done with the trek. It will be really helpful. Thanks in advance.

  • Bea

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for this great article! I’m planning a 4 day hike along these trails however I don’t have a car. Can you give me some suggestions on how to plan the trip without a car? I’m going to arrive in Nice ~9:30am next Tuesday, and according to the timetable of LER 31 I can be in Castellane no sooner than 16:30. Are there other options to get there? Is it doable to walk from Castellane to Rougon in a day? Or can I take a taxi?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Bea, thanks for your message!

      Unfortunately, you’re right about the bus. It’s going to be your best option. You’ll miss the earlier bus, so you’ll have to get the 14:10 which arrives in Castellane at 16:30. The only other thing you could try is a car share through a site like blablacar.fr, but unless you’re lucky it can be quite hard to find a ride to smaller towns like Castellane.

      If you take a bus from Castellane to La Maline, you can walk from there to Rougon in a day. There should be a bus service during the Easter holidays from Castellane to Le Chalet de La Maline and the start of the walk. I can’t find an up to date timetable on line, so you’ll have to give them a call to check times – Autocars Delaye +33 (0)4 92 34 22 90. From Point Sublime to Rougon it’s just a further 1.5 km walk.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Cam

    Hi Matt,

    Are there any free or cheap camping spots along the way?

    Cheers,
    Cam

    • Hi Cam,

      Your best bet will be the Camping Municipal le Grand Canyon in La Palud sur Verdon. It’s 3 euros for a tent plus 4 euros per person. It’s right on the hiking trail on Route de Castellane.

      http://www.camping.lapaludsurverdon.com/

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Alice

    Hi!
    Thanks for a great article. Me and my boyfriend are planning a hike here next week and unfortunately we only got two days. Do you have any recommendations for a nice trail with one night stay somewhere? It might be nice to rent a canoe for some hours one of the days.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Alice, thanks for your message!

      I would recommend Rougon to La Palud on day one and La Palud to Castellane on day two. The second day’s trek will take about 5 hours, and if you start early you’ll have enough time to go for a canoe-raft down the Verdon rapids from Castellane in the aftenoon. Ride The Verdon organise super fun canoe trips: https://www.activeazur.com/directory/listing/ride-the-verdon-canyoning-kayaking-castellane

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Tamar Schwartzbard

    Hello Matt,

    Thank you so much for this article.

    My husband and I are planning a 1 or 2 days trip to Gorges du Verdon.
    We are in good shape and would like to hike in a scenic route for max. 4 hours.

    Do you have any recomendetion on which route should we choose?

    I prefer a hike that combines the beautiful views the canyon has to offer, nice places to have a picnic and a route which takes aprox. 4 hours while traveling slowley and peacfully.

    Thank you in advance,
    Tamar

    • Hi Tamar, thank you for your message !

      I would have liked to suggest that you do the Sentier des Pecheurs, a 3.5 hour loop from Col de l’Olivier near La Palud-sur-Verdon, but unfortunately, unless the situation has changed in the last few weeks, access is closed due to a dispute with local land owners. It may be worth checking at the tourist office as this hike would tick all your boxes.

      The next best alternative is probably a there-and-back walk, of whatever length you want, along the Sentier Blanc Martel. Start from the Chalet de La Maline and hike down to the river for a picnic and then walk back up in the afternoon.

      Another option is the Sentier du Lézard from Point Sublime. You can get a discovery brochure from the tourist office in Castellane or La Palud and choose from a number of loops up to 4 hours.

      I hope that gives you a few ideas. Have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Anne Helene Jørgensen

    Hi, this trip sounds amazing.
    I am planning a one day trip without guide. And we are arriving from Nice. Where Would you reccomend us to Take the best hike?
    Best wishes, Anne Helene

    • Hi Anne, thanks for your message!

      I would recommend you stay in Castellane and do the final day of this walk – La Maline to Rougon. It’s a full day’s walk and probably the most spectacular and varied section. You can take a packed lunch with you and picnic by the river before you climb up to Point Sublime.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Alex Horne

    Hi Matt,

    Great article looks lovely around there. Which is the reason my girlfriend and I have just booked to go there in October… We are staying for 3 nights at the A la Ferme de Bourras – La Palud. We love our hiking and the 3 stage walk looks great but we have booked all 3 nights in La Palud. What would you recommend we do hiking wise, do you know if there are any buses back at that time of year, if we were to do some of the legs and then return home via bus at the end. We are keen walkers and can get through some good miles in a day. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Alex, thanks for your message! Great to hear you have 3 nights in the Verdon – you’re in for a treat.

      I think you’re going to struggle with buses in October. You may find a regional bus to take you to Moustiers, but to get to and from your hikes I think you’re going to need to organise a taxi. You can try Taxi Verdon in La Palud +33 (0)6 68 18 13 13. Try and give them some notice to save you from hanging around waiting for too long.

      Here’s some ideas for walks:

      If you can get to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, you could follow the GR4 from there back to La Palud. And the following day continue to La Maline (day 2 of the itinerary on this page).

      The 15 km Chemin du Bastidon loops out from La Palud to the Gorges and back via the GR4.

      From Hôtel du Grand Canyon du Verdon, follow the Sentier de l’imbut and back up to the road via the sentier Vidal. This is one of the most spectacular and technical walks in the Verdon.

      From Rougon (an 8 km walk from La Palud), you could walk a section of the GR49 to Entreverges and loop back round to Rougon via Trigance.

      These would give you a few good day’s of walking. The tourist office in La Palud should be able to provide maps.

      Hope that helps, best of luck planning your trip!

      Matt

  • Anindita Bhattacharjee

    Bonjour!

    Firstly, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for providing all this incredible information which has gotten me so excited about travelling to the Gorges du Verdon! My family and I are going to be travelling here next week and staying at a camping in Castellane called Camping les Sirenes for 4 days. In that time I really want to hike around the area and do some other activities as well such canyoning or rafting 🙂 I really love the routes you explained above and was wondering whether it is possible to go from and return back to our camping before and after starting the hike with public transport or even with our car? Otherwise could you suggest what would be best for us to do? Also, like I mentioned, I really want to do some adventurous activities but after researching a little I found some of them quite expensive and was wondering if you could suggest something more budget friendly but still quite adventurous and fun. Also is it worth to book activities in advance or could I do that when I get there. Thanks again for helping out and looking forward to your reply 🙂
    Cordialement,
    Anindita

  • Anneloes

    Hi Matt,

    My boyfriend and I are planning to go to this region in September and would like to do the three day hikes after each other.

    Before planning the trip we have a few questions:

    We are wondering what level of fitness is needed for this 3 day hike and is there some climbing involved?

    Is there a detailed map available with the routes and start- and endpoints?

    How much time in advance do we need to book accommodation and is it easy to find accommodation near the hiking paths?

    Thanks in advance,
    Anneloes

    • Hi Anneloes, thanks for your message!

      You’ll average 6 hours of walking per day and although there isn’t the sustained altitude gain that you would get in the Alps, there are some steep ascents. An example is the hike up from the river to Point Sublime on the third day. There’s no actual climbing involved, but some of the steeper paths have hand rails to help you.

      The best maps are the Cartes IGN – 1 / 60,000 Parc naturel régional du Verdon and 1 / 25,000 Gorges du Verdon 3442 OT: http://amzn.to/2uV7iN6

      September is great time to visit the Gorges du Verdon – the walking trails are a lot quieter, the water’s still nice and warm for swimming and it’s easier to find accommodation. I would still recommend you book at least 2 weeks in advance though. For accommodation near the hiking trails in this article, try La Palud sur Verdon, Rougon and Castellane.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Jake McGee

    Hello Matt,

    Thanks for all he information on here. Myself and a couple of friends are thinking of doing this 3 day hike at the end of September but our schedule is a bit tight. We won’t actually arrive in Rougon until about 4pm on the first day and we’d only have 2 days after that. Can you suggest a way we can get to La Palud that first evening, taking in some of the first stage before sunset? I’m thinking we’d have about 3 hours.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jake

    • Hi Jake, thanks for your message!

      Given your schedule, I would be tempted to switch the days round a little bit. You could stay in Castellane on your first night and hike La Maline to Rougon on your first full day and Rougon to La Palud on day 2. Then, on your first afternoon, you could do a hike around Castellane, or organise an activity such as a via cordata, an aqua rando or a rafting trip.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip!

      Matt

      • Jake McGee

        Fantastic! Thanks very much Matt.

        • You’re very welcome Jake, good luck with the trip planning!

  • Marjolijn

    Hi,

    We are planning a trip to the Verdon from the 31st of October until the 2nd of November. We probably will try to do the last walk from La Maline to Rougon that has been explained at https://www.activeazur.com/hiking/south-france/gorges-du-verdon But I have a few questions:
    – is it still possible to do that walk at the beginning of November? And what if it rained the days before: is the trail still accessible?
    – how ‘dangerous’ is the trail? Narrow paths with cliffs?
    – I see that the duration is between 6.5 and 7.5h: is that wiithout stops? Just to be sure that we are back before dark (as it’s dark around 17h in that week I think)

    Thanks in advance for your information!

    • Hi Marjolijn, thanks for your message!

      The trail is open year round. It does have steep sections, but it’s not dangerous. You hike from the road, down the canyon to the river and back up to the road. There are steps built into the trail and the steepest sections are equipped with handrails. It’s still accessible in wet weather.

      Yes, 6.5 hours is walking at a good pace without stops. You should probably allow 7.5 to 8 hours with stops.

      Hope that helps, have a great trip,

      Matt

  • Elyse

    Hello,
    My friend and I would like to do the 3 day hike and stay do do some of the activities listed. We will arrive November 4th and stay until the 12th. What activities are still available at this time? We are also wondering the best/ cheapest place to sleep both during the hike and for the rest of our stay?
    My friend is flying from Birmingham, is Nice the best airport to land at?
    I will be leaving g from Moulins, what train direction would you suggest?

    Thank you for your time!!

    • Hi Elyse, thanks for your message!

      In November, the hiking trails will be open, but many of the activity providers will be closed. Your best bet will be climbing or via ferrata. Try contacting Lionel and Eric at the Bureau des Guides in Castellane. Here’s a link: https://www.activeazur.com/directory/listing/bureau-des-guides-de-canyon

      Accommodation options are thin on the ground in November as well. Try Les Framboiseilles in Castellane, a farmstay with shared kitchen facilities for about 30 euros per person per night. Here’s a link: https://www.activeazur.com/go/hotels-les-framboiseilles

      Nice or Marseille airports are both good for the Gorges du Verdon. From Nice, you can take the Digne-les-Bains train and get off at Saint-André-les-Alpes. From Marseille, there’s a bus direct to Castellane.

      I hope that gives you what you need. Have a great trip!

      Matt

  • Sarah Adleman

    Hi Matt –

    What a great resource! My husband and I will be visiting France in April and would love to include some hiking and possible bike riding in Gorges du Verdon if possible. We will be in Marseille on a Thursday and would like to return to either Aix-en-Provence or Avignon by Saturday afternoon. We are in excellent shape, runners, avid hikers, though if all goes well I will be 6 months pregnant. I’m wondering which hiking path you recommend in order to see the canyon and the beautiful water, for a full day of hiking returning to a village at night. Maybe rent bicycles Thursday afternoon and hike all day Friday? Any information you can provide is appreciated!
    Thank you-

    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your message!

      I would recommend you stay in La Palud-sur-Verdon and hike the Blanc-Martel trail. The route from Chalet de la Maline is considered to be less strenuous than the other way. The buses should be running in April, so you can park your car at Point Sublime and catch the bus to Chalet de la Maline. The hike is 14 km long and you should allow 7 hours. From Chalet de la Maline you hike down to the river where you can stop for a picnic and you finish with a steep trek up to Point Sublime.

      I hope that helps, best of luck planning the trip!

      Matt

  • KK

    Hello!
    Thank you for all this great information! We will travel to France first week of March. Is it possible/safe to hike the trails that time? Are there buses in March?