Gorge du Verdon, France’s own Grand Canyon, plunges 1,000ft to the river below. The deepest gorge in France, les Gorges du Verdon, is one of the must-see natural wonders of central Provence. While there is no road up the gorge, there is a breathtaking circular “corniche” route around the rim of the gorge, and plenty of opportunities for boat and kayak hire on the lower end of the gorge. Its about 40 minutes drive north from Lorgues. Its possible to hire a canoe or pedalo on Lac St Croix (east end where it joins the gorges) and get a little way up – which is where this picture was taken – before you are stopped by the first set of rapids.
Here is an interesting Daily Telegraph article on the Gorge and various other places nearby.
The route from Lorgues takes you through Villecroze, Aups along the D619 to Aiguines to join the “Corniche Sublime”. There is a large car park on the southern shore of Lake St Croix where the river joins the lake, here, pedalos and canoes can be hired to use either on the lake or more adventurously to explore the Gorge. Two hours is needed for a fit pedalo crew to reach the upper limit of navigation and have some time to explore, though, as the flow of water is usually gentle, the pace is entirely at one’s discretion.