Villa HippoCampo

Verdon Gorge

Spend a Day at the Impressive Verdon Ravine

When you stay at Villa Hippocampo in Vllefranche-sur-Mer, you have the unique opportunity to visit the French Riviera. Moreover, you have the chance to visit and explore the stunning vistas of Provence, and one of the places worth mentioning is the incredible Verdon Gorge.

Verdon Gorge is about 132 km northwest of Villefranche-sur-Mer, and it is effortless to reach by car. It will take you nearly three hours of driving through the incredible Provencal landscapes to reach this place. You will pass near postcard-perfect hilltop villages and seemingly endless lavender fields.

The Verdon Gorge is a natural formation – a canyon that the river Verdon carved through the limestone mountains over thousands of years. It is close to 25 km long and is one of the largest canyons in Europe. The ravine has a depth between 400 and 700 meters and is among the prime tourist locations in the region.

Once you see the beautiful blue waters, you’ll feel the need to visit and explore the gorge. The recognizable turquoise-blue color of the water is due to the unique composition of glacial sources, limestone minerals, and rock flour suspended in the water.

The area offers many activities for everyone; people looking for easy hikes and hard-core extreme sports lovers will find it very satisfying here. Some possibilities include driving along the edge, taking in the spectacular viewpoints, and visiting small and medieval villages.

The gorge features hiking paths but is also a favorite place for multi-pitch climbing enthusiasts, with about 1,500 routes from 20 meters to well over 400 meters. The Verdon River leaves the gorge and flows into the artificial Lake of Sainte Croix, where you can laze and relax on its beautiful shores or partake in water and extreme sports. The entire area is also a favorite for fly fishing, and nature lovers will be delighted to know the gorge is a vulture habitat, and some will be lucky to observe the black vultures lazing at the peaks of the ravine.

Still, kayaking and pedal boarding are some of the most appealing activities that will bring you to the heart of the gorgeous river. If you are up to an adventure, you can also book a whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.

One of the most photographed views of the Gorge is the Pont du Galetas Bridge; it overlooks the entry of the gorge from the lakeside, and you can observe the boats as they leave the lake and go upstream towards the river.

Another must-see section of the gorge is the Styx du Verdon, associated with the mythical river Styx from Greek mythology. The Styx du Verdon is a small sub-canyon within the gorge, and it is a narrow passage with impressive rock formations, deep underwater coves, and more. Apart from this, you can also find many beautiful coves. One of the most famous is the Baume-Aux-Pigeones and the Échelles Imbert, featuring six stairways and 252 steps along the steep gorge walls, nonetheless offering unforgettable views.

You must also use the rest-stops and take in the views of the Verdon Gorge; don’t forget to take photos along the way, like the Point Sublime, the Belvédère de L’Escalés, the Belvédère de Mayreste, the Corniche Sublime, Cavaliers cliffs, the Artuby bridge, the Balcons de la Mescla, and more.

If you wish to see more of the Verdon Gorge and explore the region, then you’ll definitely need more than a day, so we suggest you plan a weekend away from your stay at Villa Hippocampo in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Some of the beautiful places you can stay at are Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, among others. You will be sleeping in some of the most beautiful villages in France, overlooking the beautiful limestone cliffs and enjoying local delicacies and so much more.