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Hiking UNESCO’s Most Beautiful River Canyon in Provence

Guide(s)
Emma Jack, Charlie Boscoe, Becki Penrose, Cloud 9 Adventure
Trip options

Booking for a group?
Reserve spots for 5 or more people, and get $43 off for each

Add-ons

During your Verdon Gorge trekking trip, you can share a room with another hiker or reserve a single room for an additional fee.

People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
7 day
Guide(s)
Emma Jack, Charlie Boscoe, Becki Penrose, Cloud 9 Adventure
Reserve deposit (30%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • 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.
    • 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!

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