Gorges du Verdon

We’ve been very busy with a number of different things this week, involving staying at Courmettes and going to Monaco – of which more in the next couple of weeks when we get time to write it up. So in the meantime, here are some scenic pictures of the spectacular Gorges du Verdon about an hour to the north of us. We posted some winter ones last year, but curiously we don’t ever seem to have blogged about France’s answer to the Grand Canyon, and the deepest gorge in Europe.

You can just see someone walking along the path

 

The start of the walk down steps and across a tributary of the Verdon

The start of the walk down steps and across a tributary of the Verdon

 

We took a couple of volunteers from Courmettes there at the end of May and did a small part of the epic walk along the bottom of the gorge which has unlit tunnels and winding steel stairways. It is tricky enough for there to be that rarest of things in France: a warning sign.

We then drove up to the viewpoints where we looked down on where we’d walked, nearly 600 m (2,000ft) below.

It’s an awe-inspiring place but if you are thinking of visiting be warned that the narrow and winding roads with their minimal (or non existent) crash barriers can be challenging.  This is specially so in high summer when the roads are clogged by lumbering camper vans and fast-moving motorcyclists. Drivers need to ignore the views and the vultures and keep their eyes on the road.

Near the start of the gorge

Near the start of the gorge

Some of the path goes through beautiful woods

Some of the path goes through beautiful woods: the cliffs are high above but we’re still about 50 m above the river level

The tunnels were originally for a hydro-electric project.

The tunnels were originally for a hydro-electric project.

And here's one of the viewpoints at the edge of a tunnel

And here’s one of the viewpoints at the edge of a tunnel

That's a warning sign to the left.

That’s a warning sign to the left.

Looking back to the start of the gorge from one of the panoramic viewpoints.

Looking back to the start of the gorge from one of the panoramic viewpoints.

The end of the gorge as the river flows into Lac Ste Croix. The water really is this colour.

The end of the gorge as the river flows into Lac Ste Croix. The water really is this colour and note the boat for scale…

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And finally, the Verdon Gorge is the place to see Griffon vultures, from below or from above!

 

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One Response to Gorges du Verdon

  1. Hilary Newman says:

    Wonderful pictures! We have driven around the gorge many times and up it on pedalos too, but never walked along the bottom. We also watched the vultures, but despite taking lots of photos we only managed to catch them on one as they swooped around so fast! Love your blog as we stay at Aups for a couple of months each year and know the area well.

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