The medieval villages of the Gorges du Verdon
Castellane is one of the little villages dotted all over the mountain side, the majority of which have less than one hundred inhabitants. They are trailheads for fabulous hikes where the quality of the air rivals the views over the Gorges du Verdon, Lake Castillon and the French Pre-Alps.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie : an emblematic village of the Verdon
About an hour from Castellane, this splendid village is officially listed as one of the France’s ‘Most Beautiful Villages’. On the bank of the Sainte-Croix Lake, Moustiers has a long history of making pottery. Wandering through the narrow streets, shaded by old Provençal houses, you will most probably come across some pottery workshops…
Saint-Julien du Verdon : a charming village on a peninsula
In these small villages, like Saint-Julien du Verdon, set on the banks of Lake Castillon, you will find a touch of coolness after a day at the beach or walking. The little streets meander through the Provençal houses. You won’t find any supermarkets here, just little restaurants serving local produce.
Rougon : a beautiful medieval village in the Verdon Gorges
On your way back from Sainte-Croix Lake, stop off in the little village of Rougon. You will find an ancient Roman road and a spectacular view over the Gorges du Verdon. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars, as Rougon is home to different species of vultures, reintroduced to the Gorges du Verdon at the start of the 21st century. Linger on Point Sublime, a celebrated viewing point offering you fine views over Couloir Samson (Samson’s Corridor), where the sheer rock faces are only a few metres away.
La Palud sur Verdon : a famous village in the Verdon
In La Palud sur Verdon, you can climb up to the rocky peak where the XVIIth Century castle now houses the Maison des Gorges du Verdon. Sport lovers will find excellent climbing spots there.
Entrevaux : a medieval village in the Verdon
The village of Entrevaux was fortified by Vauban at the end of the 17th century and has managed to preserve an exceptional heritage. Like the local Provençal people, stop at the little squares flanked by ancient fountains, where the narrow streets intersect and visit the 17th century cathedral before taking on the climb up to the Citadelle Vauban, reached by a steep path that wends its way up the hillside.
Finally, the village of Demandolx with its colourful walks takes you to the ruins; Trigance and its castle; Colmar, with its waterfall and fortifications add to the Verdon’s impressive list of little villages.
Located above the mythical Lake of Sainte-Croix, you can take a small detour to the village of Aiguines during your stay. You can see the magnificent castle dating from the Renaissance period. This village perched on the rocks offers a magnificent view of the lake of Sainte-Croix below, which is worth the stop! And if you look out in the distance, you may even be able to see the Valensole Plateau and Mont Ventoux. The Museum of Woodturners, located in the village, teaches you more about this craft.
Enjoy getting lost in the small charming streets and discover the handicrafts in the village shops where you may find a small souvenir to bring back in your luggage. For rock climbing enthusiasts, Aiguines, the regional capital of rock climbing, is THE ideal destination!