Guided hiking in the Verdon Gorge,
Europe’s Grand Canyon
The Imbut trail : the most scenic hike in the Verdon Gorge
In the midst of Provence hinterland, equidistant between Marseille and Nice, the Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Gorge) is Europe’s most grandiose canyon. As it mostly follows the river very close, the Imbut trail offers spectacular views of the Verdon river, either turquoise or emerald. Your hiking guide will take you down to the bottom of the gorge during the first section of the walk. The next hour, along the river, will bring you the sensation of pure joy. Some sections of the second half of the Imbut trail may be challenging for inexperienced hikers. But, as our route is a return trip, we can decide the moment when we start retracing our steps.
Walking time : from 3 to 4.5 hours (round trip)
Rating : from moderate to challenging
The Basses Gorges du Verdon
Certainly less dramatic than the Grand Canyon of Verdon, located 15 miles upstream, the site of the Basses Gorges du Verdon (Lower Verdon Gorge) offers wild and beautiful landscapes, as well ; and it is quite easier to access.
This splendid trail, running along the river thanks to footbridges and passages carved in the rock, leads to the Chapel of Sainte-Maxime that stands up on a rocky spur overlooking the gorge. All along the route, you can enjoy a lot of superb views over the emerald waters of the river.
A really lovely walk in the heart of Haute Provence.
Walking time : 3.5 hours
Rating : leisurely
The Blanc-Martel trail
in the Verdon Gorge
The Sentier Blanc-Martel (Blanc-Martel Trail) is the most prestigious hiking route among all those running through the Verdon Gorge and one of France’s most popular ones. That’s probably because it descends from the rim of the canyon down the deepest gorge, offering hikers the chance to discover the bed of the river for more than 5 hours. Most often, the trail follows the Verdon more closely, providing beautiful views of the emerald-green waters, contrasting with the grey rocks, especially in the narrows. Throughout this fabulous hike, you will discover an amazing biodiversity, from the most common to the rarest species of plants and will probably have many opportunities to observe large griffon vultures, a species from which several individuals were reintroduced in 1999. A must for someone walking in Provence !
Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : difficult
The two hikes in the Grand Canyon of Verdon can be considered as attractive day trips from Nice, the city being less than a 2.5 hrs drive from their starting point.