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Find your hiking paradise where the airy elegance of Provence meets the staggering panoramas of the Verdon Gorge. You will explore the areas around this verdant 15-mile ravine—where the turquoise Verdon river formed 2,000-foot limestone walls. But your week-long hiking escapade is so much more than exploring Europe’s most beautiful river canyon. It’s a 110-km walk steeped in history, scented by lavender fields, and adorned by medieval villages. It’s waking up to the chime of church bells, getting tired from hiking among mind-boggling natural wonders, and unwinding with a glass of French wine in Provencal cafes—excited for what tomorrow brings. 

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  • Explore Europe’s most beautiful river canyon, protected by UNESCO

  • Walk a section of the G4 route, featuring millennia-old Roman roads

  • Enjoy the history and cuisine of medieval Provencal villages

Itinerary

Join your guide and spend a week exploring the dramatic landscapes of the Verdon Gorge, as well as picturesque Provencal countryside along the way. You will spend your days on hikes in the Verdon Regional Nature Park, part of the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute Provence. After getting beguiled by the river, lakes, towering cliffs, and pine woods, soak in the laid back atmosphere in scenic medieval villages characterized by the irresistible charm of Southeastern France.

  • Meet your Verdon Gorge hiking guide at the hotel in Saint André Les Alpes, a quiet Provencal village resting on a 12th century medieval castle built by the Templar Knights. Join your group for an informal briefing about the days to come, and ask your guide any questions you may have. Get to know your fellow hikers while over dinner.
    Meals: Dinner

    Vineyard, olives, lavender field in Provence, France.
  • Your hiking begins with a steady ascent through beautiful woodland, and on to the high meadows. From here, your group will enjoy fabulous views of Lac de Castillon, as well as the peaks of Haute Provence. You will climb up and over the limestone plateau, the highest point of the trip (1412 m / 4,633 ft). Afterward, you will descend and join the trail used by Napoleon on his return from Elba in 1815. Around an hour later, your group will reach the village of Castellane, where you will stay for the night.
    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 24 km / 15 miles
    Elevation: +750 m (2,460 ft) / -950 m (3,117 ft)

    Turquoise lake Castillon surrounded by woods near the Verdon Gorge river canyon.
  • Your hiking on day 3 begins with joining the famous GR4 trail—used by the Romans to reach Lyon. Continue along the Verdon valley, surrounded by rocky outcrops and peaceful hamlets. You will stop for lunch at the beautiful Chasteuil, where you can also buy some products made with locally-grown lavender. Later it’s time for an ascent to a plateau standing at 1,228 m (4,030 ft), followed by a walk to the village of Rougon, where you can take a break and sample local crêpes while spotting griffon vultures soaring overhead. From here, it’s a short descent to the village of Point Sublime, your base for the night.
    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 23 km / 14 miles
    Elevation: +700 m (2,297 ft) / -650 m (2,133 ft)

    Point Sublime viewpoint near the Verdon Gorge.
  • Today you will enter the gorge itself; arguably the most beautiful river canyon in Europe. The trail on day 4 is a little more challenging. At the Couloir Samson, your group will descend toward the river, along the steep limestone walls of the gorge, and join the ‘Martel Trail’—featuring dramatic cliffs on both sides. Today’s highlights include a 650-meter tunnel (2,133 ft) through the rock and an impressive stairway. After another ascent, you will leave the gorge and stop at the Chalet de la Maline bar (time permitting) to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view. Later, transfer to your hotel in the lovely Provencal village of La Palud.
    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 16 km (10 miles)
    Elevation: +550 m (1,804 ft) / -600 m (1,969 ft)

    Verdon Gorge and Provence Hiking Holidays.
  • The day starts with an ascent through the pine forest of Col de Plein Voir, and up to a viewpoint with spectacular views over the turquoise lake of Sainte-Croix. Continuing past huge limestone crags and rock towers, reach the Crêtes de l’Ourbès (1213 m / 3,980 ft). Afterward, a fairly steep descent takes your group down to the medieval village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie—steeped in the history of the Knights Templar. Relish its Provencal character with typical architecture, lovely cafes, and art galleries—you will be based in this extraordinary village for two nights.
    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: : 19 km / 12 miles
    Elevation: +750 m (2,460 ft) / -1000 m (3,280 ft)

    Aerial view of the medieval Provencal village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie with stone houses with red rooftops and a bell tower.
  • Begin your last day of trekking with a 35-minute transfer to the ancient village of Quinson, where you will start your exploration of the Basses Gorges du Verdon (the lower gorges of the Verdon river). You can visit a museum to learn about the prehistoric human settlement in the caves found in the area. Trek a section of the Verdon Canal and relish the views of aquamarine pools and peaceful little coves before heading up to the ancient chapel of St Maxime. In the evening, transfer to Gréoux-les-Bains, a lively Provencal village brimming with shops and cafes—the perfect place to end your memorable traverse around the Verdon Gorge.
    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 12 km (7.5 miles)
    Elevation: +300 m (984 ft) / -420 m (1,378 ft)

    The Provencal town of Greoux-les-Bains with its surroundings, river, and a bridge.
  • Your Verdon Gorge guided adventure finishes after breakfast. Take a last chance to wander about the lovely Provencal village before heading back to the airport. Say Adieu to your guide, fellow trekkers and Provence—or continue touring on your own.
    Meals: Breakfast

    Town square of a Provencal town with a church, stone houses, and an ancient drinking fountain.
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Meet your guides

Emma Jack
5.00
Emma Jack
International Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Nordic Ski Instructor
International Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Nordic Ski Instructor
Emma has been leading treks and expeditions ever since 2005. She's led trips all over the world, but Corsica, Nepal, and the Alps remain her top three trekking destinations and Tour du Mont Blanc trek her favorite route. In 2009, she made the first ever ski descent of Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world. Emma is fluent in French, Russian, and Spanish.
Charlie Boscoe
5.00
Charlie Boscoe
Charlie is a firm favourite with Cloud 9 Adventure clients and has led trips to Europe, Kilimanjaro, India, Morocco, Bolivia and Nepal in the last few years alone.  Some of you may already be familiar with his popular Chamonix Blog or his regular appearances as a commentator for worldwide climbing competitions. Charlie has a great sense of humour and is guaranteed to make sure that you are having fun. Charlie is a qualified Mountain Leader and certified Wilderness First Responder, and he mostly leads high-altitude climbing trips.
Becki Penrose
5.00
Becki Penrose
International Mountain Leader, BASI ski instructor
International Mountain Leader, BASI ski instructor
Becki is an International Mountain Leader with many years of guiding experience, taking groups in the mountains on walking, climbing, and skiing trips. She is also a qualified BASI ski instructor and she’s led expeditions and treks to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Morocco, Bolivia, and China, as well as guided trekking and trail running in the European Alps.
Cloud 9 Adventure
5.00
Cloud 9 Adventure
Offering a diverse range of trips in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites, Jura and beyond, Cloud 9 Adventure is all about conveying their passion for adventure travel among some of the world’s most magnificent mountain landscapes—and as far away from the crowds as possible.  
5.00 (1 reviews)
One of the best experiences ever!
Soheila Moghaddam (source: Tripadvisor)

The staff are super friendly and helpful and the whole experience was amazing. Highly recommended to everyone!

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 7-day hiking adventure in the Verdon Gorge and Provence (5 days of hiking) 
      • Accommodation in authentic hotels in small villages for 6 nights (double occupancy ensuite rooms — single-room option available for an additional fee)
      • Meals as indicated in the itinerary 
      • Transport during the duration of the adventure 
      • Daily luggage delivery 

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to France (keep in mind that the starting and ending point are different)
      • Lunches, drinks, and snacks
      • Travel insurance — compulsory (covering medical expenses, mountain rescue including helicopter evacuation, and cancellation)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To participate in this Verdon Gorge and Provence guided hiking tour, you need to have a very good level of fitness. The daily hiking will be moderately paced and your group will take many breaks, but you can expect an average of 6 hours spent walking every day, 5 days in a row, crossing between 7 and 15 miles. The elevation gains during the trip are quite moderate (2,460 ft / 750 m on the hardest days), but still require some hiking experience and endurance. Keep in mind that you will always have a guide by your side who can help you with the gear and pacing. They will notice if hikes get too strenuous for you or somebody else in your group and adjust the hike accordingly.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Waterproof pants 
      • Base layers (top and bottom)
      • Mid layer—usually a fleece 
      • Hiking pants (shorts as well if you want)
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 10:1. 
      • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate. 
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 

    Hiking in the Verdon Gorge and Provence can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • To get to the village of Saint André les Alpes, your starting point, most people fly into Marseille International Airport, two hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. Keep in mind that transfers take more time with public transit options. 

    You will meet your Verdon Gorge and Provence hiking guide in your accommodation in the village on day 1—the exact location will be given to you once your trip has been confirmed. 

    Your Verdon Gorge hiking holidays will finish in a different location—Gréoux-les-Bains. There is a bus line connecting the town to Marseille, which is little over 1 hour away. 

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Provence, France, please refer to France Diplomacy’s COVID-19 travel advisory.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Secure your early bird spot with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!

    • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
    • Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by paying another 20% of the total amount.
    • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-89 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 60-89 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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