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Half-day and Full Day hiking tours in the Verdon Gorge
Europe’s Grand Canyon 

 

 The Imbut trail : the most scenic hike in the Verdon Gorge
Half-day or Full day

 

In the midst of Provence hinterland, equidistant from Marseille and Nice, the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is the most grandiose canyon in Europe, offering several beautiful day hikes. Mostly following the river as close as possible, the Imbut trail offers spectacular views of the Verdon river’s colored waters, 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 stretches 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
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

 

 

 Basses Gorges du Verdon
Half-day
 

Though a little bit less dramatic than the Grand Canyon of Verdon, which is located 15 miles upstream, the site of Basses Gorges du Verdon (the Lower Verdon Gorge) offers no less wild and beautiful landscapes. And its access is easier : only a good hour drive from Aix-en-Provence.
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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11:30am only)

 

 

 

The Blanc-Martel trail in the Verdon Gorge
Full Day

 

Sentier Blanc-Martel (the 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 300 meters (1,000 feet) down the deepest gorge, offering hikers the chance to discover the bed of the river for more than 5 hours. During most of the walk at the bottom of the canyon, the trail follows the Verdon river 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
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

 

 

As the Grand Canyon of Verdon is located right in the middle of the eastern half of the south of France, its two beautiful hikes, the Imbut and the Blanc-Martel trails, can be considered as attractive day trips from Nice and Cannes : the Riviera cities are less than a 2.5 hour drive from their starting point.