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One-day hiking tours in the Verdon Gorge
Europe’s Grand Canyon

 

The Imbut trail: what a scenic hike in the Verdon Gorge!
Half-day or Full day

 

In the midst of Provence hinterland, equidistant from Marseille and Nice, the Gorges du Verdon is the most grandiose canyon in Europe, offering several beautiful day hikes. Following the river as close as possible, the Imbut trail offers spectacular views of the Verdon river’s colored waters, either turquoise or emerald. During the first section of the walk, your local hiking guide takes you down to the bottom of the gorge. The next hour, alongside the river, definitely brings you real joy. Some stretches of the trail may be challenging for inexperienced hikers : a three-foot-wide platform has been cut into the rock over the canyon waters and a cable attached to the rock face to cling to. 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
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

 

 

 

 Pretty Basses Gorges du Verdon
Half-day

 

Though a little bit less dramatic than the Grand Canyon of Verdon, located 15 miles upstream, the Basses Gorges du Verdon (Lower Verdon Gorge) offers no less wild and beautiful landscapes. And its access is easier : only a good hour drive from Aix-en-Provence.
All along the trail, under the leadership of your local guide, you can enjoy a lot of superb views over the emerald waters of the river : this splendid route, running alongside the river thanks to footbridges and passages carved in the rock, leads to the Chapelle Sainte-Maxime. This chapel stands up on a rocky spur overlooking the gorge.
A really lovely walk in the heart of Haute Provence.


Walking time
: 3 hours
Rating : leisurely
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 9am – 12am only)

 

 

 

 

The Blanc-Martel trail in the Verdon Gorge
Full Day

 

Sentier Blanc-Martel is the most prestigious trail 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 300 meters (1,000 feet) down the deepest gorge. Hikers are offered the chance to explore the bed of the river for more than 5 hours.

Sticking to the bottom of the canyon during most of the walk, the trail follows the Verdon river very closely. It provides beautiful views of the emerald-green waters then, contrasting with the grey rocks, especially in the narrows. Throughout this fabulous hike, you discover an amazing biodiversity, from the most common to the rarest species of wildflowers. Your local guide will be glad to tell you about them. You also get opportunities to observe several of the 400 large griffon vultures nesting in the Gorges du Verdon. This raptor species has been back for 20 years now, thanks to the reintroduction of several dozens of individuals between 1999 and 2005.

The Blanc-Martel trail is a must for someone walking in Provence !

 

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : difficult
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

 

 

 

As the Grand Canyon of Verdon is located right in the middle of Provence hinterland, its two major hiking trails, the Imbut and the Blanc-Martel, can be considered as attractive day trips both from the cities of the French Riviera, Nice and Cannes (a 2.5 hour drive) and from those of Western Provence, Aix and Marseille (2 hours).