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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.