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Kayak the Gorges du Verdon and paddle past soaring limestone cliffs skimming across the water whose colour will completely distract you from paddling in a straight line!
Do you need to be persuaded to kayak through one of Europe’s largest canyons, the Gorges du Verdon France? Here are
Three Reasons To Kayak The Gorges du Verdon France
1. Verdon Gorge | Up Close To Stunning Natural Beauty
The Gorges du Verdon in France is said to be Europe’s most beautiful gorge. Judge for yourself.
It’s one thing (mighty impressive, actually) to observe the Gorges du Verdon from the viewpoints along Hwy D 952 and to stand on the Pont de Galétas (Galetas Bridge) overlooking the water BUT it is another thing to kayak Gorges du Verdon.
Paddling along the canyon with the soaring 700 m (2296 ft) limestone walls reaching skyward is the perfect opportunity to appreciate the natural wonders of our planet.
And did I mention trailing your fingers through turquoise-green water as you rest your paddle across the kayak?
Pro Travel Tip | If kayaking is not your favourite, there are other Gorges du Verdon activities including canoeing, boating, paddle boating and paddle boarding. If you want a view from above, try soaring over Lac de Sainte Croix paragliding.
2. Kayak Gorges du Verdon | Easily Accessible
If you are looking for something to do in Southern France, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var region, look no further than the Gorges du Verdon. It is easily accessible, especially by car. Plan a day trip from Nice or Aix-en-Provence to kayak Gorges du Verdon. Better yet, stay in one of the nearby small villages such as Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
What a great opportunity to slow down and appreciate the natural beauty of the area. And… there are lavender fields west of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
Approaching the Gorges du Verdon from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, follow the D952. The first views of Lac de Sainte Croix, France’s third-largest lake, are spectacular. Try not to be too distracted by the views as you wind along the highway. Find a spot to park in one of the roadside pullouts just before the Pont de Galétas.
In the summer, there is a lot of traffic crossing this bridge so pay attention as you cross the road. Stand on the bridge watching cliff jumpers and kayakers and your decision will be made! “I need to get on that aqua water and kayak Gorges du Verdon.”
3. Kayak Gorges Du Verdon | A Relaxing Day
If you have a full itinerary on your trip through France, spending some time at the Verdon Gorge will add a slice of relaxation to your life!
I adore visiting European cities, like Paris, and towns, like Tropea, with their cobbled streets and impressive churches. I also love a few days spent connecting with nature in the great outdoors. If you are in southern France, add Lac de Sainte Croix to your itinerary and one of the many Gorges du Verdon activities. Rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboat to cruise along the turquoise-green waters.
The Gorges du Verdon kayak route is about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) up the Verdon river. Sit back and enjoy the stunning natural sights! Pull your kayak into a little cove, sit on the rocks and have a picnic. No rush. Ahhh..life is good!
Convinced to add Gorges du Verdon kayaking to your itinerary in southern France?
FAQ: Gorges Du Verdon France
Where Exactly Is The Gorges du Verdon France?
Where Should I Stay To Kayak The Gorges du Verdon?
We chose to stay in the nearby village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Here are suggested hotels in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. It’s great to stay in the centre of town and this hotel is 50 metres from the centre. Another alternative is to do a day trip to the Gorges du Verdon and book a hotel in a city such as Nice or Aix-en-Provence.
Speaking of day trips to kayak the Gorges du Verdon, why not try staying in a homestay? This one in Sainte-Maxime is one hour and forty minutes away. A two-hour drive away you’ll find this lovely apartment in Nice.
What Is The Best Time To Kayak Gorges du Verdon?
The Gorges du Verdon France is very busy in the summer months. If you are there in July or August as we were, head out early in the morning. The river can get very busy, as does the scenic highway route. Next time, I would love to visit in June or September.
Where Can I Rent A Kayak From?
Right by the Pont de Galétas, is the Base Nautique de l’Étoile. Park in the free parking and then make your way down the path to Lac de Sainte Croix. You can’t miss the booth on the shore where you pay for your rental. Go early as the lineups can get quite long.
What Are The Rates To Kayak Gorges du Verdon?
For a double kayak, the rates are €40 for 2 hours. This page also has the rates for single kayaks, paddleboats and canoes.
What Should I Bring To Kayak Gorges du Verdon?
Wear a bathing suit and bring a towel. Bring some snacks or a picnic lunch. After kayaking the Gorges du Verdon, the shores of Lac de Sainte Croix are lovely for swimming and relaxing.
While I Kayak Gorges Du Verdon, What Do I Do With My Stuff?
The rental companies have either a dry bag or a dry barrel in which to place your belongings, such as a day pack. Take this with you as you kayak Gorges du Verdon.
Should I Take A Camera On The Water?
Obviously, this is a personal choice. I decided to bring my camera, a Sony A6000 in a large Ziploc bag and place it in the dry bag. I left it in the dry bag until we were drifting and pulled it out then. The water is calm but a kayak can tip at any time. So ultimately it’s up to you.
My daughter and I both brought our cell phones and placed them in a Stasher Reusable Storage Bag. Yes, we actually travel with these and usually use them for snacks! Less plastic = a happier planet. Not saying they would have saved our phones if we had tipped but the Stashers gave us some peace of mind before kayaking the Gorges du Verdon.
This would be the perfect time to use a GoPro.
What Other Gorges du Verdon Activities Are There?
The Gorges du Verdon is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts. You can kayak Gorges du Verdon or canoe, rent small motorboats, paddle boats, and paddleboards. There are plenty of choices.
If you love heights and adventure, try paragliding over Lac de Sainte Croix. Gorges du Verdon France is also known for its hiking trails. There are hiking trails for every level of hiker. There is also rafting further up the river by Castellane. Rock climbers take note. You will be in heaven in the area.
What If I Am Not Into Kayaking And Other Outdoor Activities?
You can still enjoy the stunning natural sights of the Gorges du Verdon France by simply viewing them and standing in the beautiful landscape. Another idea is to do a road trip to the area. See details here.
More Travel Info…
Travelling In France?
What else have I written about France? Find the full list right here.
If you are interested in Brittany, use Saint-Malo as a base for discovering the region.
The Loire Valley in France is dotted with magnificent châteaux (castles). Chaumont-sur-Loire is a great one to add to your itinerary.
Travelling To Paris?
I have some great tips on Paris, right here. A few of my most popular articles on Paris include Paris streets and the hip area of Canal Saint-Martin. Don’t miss where to find the best croissant in Paris!
Planning Your Paris Trip? Be sure to book in advance for the most popular things to do. Book your one-hour Seine cruise, a timed-entry ticket to the Louvre, and a skip-the-line ticket to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. And don’t forget Versailles and Disneyland!
I hope you enjoy this area of France and kayak Gorges du Verdon!
Until next time,