France, Provence

How to make the most out of your visit to Gorges du Verdon

The Gorges du Verdon was a site that, as a foreigner, was completely new to me. It’s not the first name that comes to mind when I think of France, or Provence even for that matter! However, if you are planning to visit Provence, you NEED to add the Gorges du Verdon to your itinerary! Even though it was almost a 2.5-hour trip from where we were staying, it was 100% worth the trip! This was something you don’t want to miss!

Since we had to drive such a long way, we didn’t have endless time to spend at the Gorges du Verdon. So we had to find a way to make the most out of the few hours we had to spend. If you are in a similar situation and only have limited time to spend here, this article is for you. Here are my top 5 tips for making the most out of your next visit to the Gorges du Verdon!

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


View overlooking the lake around the Gorges du Verdon

Things to know before visiting:

You’ll want to spend most of the day here. I would account at least one day to spend here. You’ll see in the post below that there are many ways to make your most out of your visit here and I would avoid rushing it!

⛰️ It is the largest canyon in Europe! If you didn’t know already, the Gorges du Verdon is the largest canyon, which is why it attracts so many people. Its located at the edge of the French alps in the Provence and Riviera region of France.

🚗 Having a car is great, if not take a tour! We had our car with us during this trip and I must say that public transit didn’t look super reliable or common in this area. Most people come by car, camper van or tour! If you don’t have access to a car, here are some tour ideas for you to browse below!

Gorges du Verdon tours on VIATOR


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5 tips for visiting the Gorges du Verdon

Tip 1: Visit later in the summer

As I mentioned above, being the largest canyon in Europe means it attracts a lot of people! This means that it can get very crowded in the summer! When I was planning our visit to the Gorges du Verdon, the first thing I kept reading about was how busy the Gorges can get. I was expecting it to be littered with people and finding parking to be a nightmare. However, this was not the case during our visit at the end of August.

We had no issues finding parking at all, we were actually surprised by how easy it was. Don’t get me wrong, there were still lots of people but not nearly as packed as I expected it to be! I would still recommend trying to arrive as early in the day as you can to avoid any potential delays!

To keep in mind: a friend of ours visited 2 weeks after we did, and said it was more or less empty! Moral of the story, avoid the peak summer window unless you are ok with it being crowded.


Tip 2: Come prepared

A girl is walking and admiring the view overlooking the lake beside the Gorges du Verdon

Now, when I say ‘come prepared’, what I mean is make sure you bring your essentials. There weren’t many places nearby; we only could see one restaurant and no shops that we could find. We came with our water bottles full, a packed lunch, some snacks, plenty of sunscreen and our little first-aid essentials on hand.

There were public toilets at the parking lot at the beach that required you to pay coins (50 cents), so have some of those ready as well! I say this because from what we saw, there were mainly camping sites and beaches nearby. If we didn’t come with our supplies we might have had to drive around a bit to find something we needed.

READ MORE: 5 things you should know when you visit Provence 


(HIGHLIGHT) Tip 3: Rent boats

This is a MUST do on your visit to the Gorges. When you arrive at the parking lot for the Plage de Galetas, you’ll notice a few companies offering canoe or kayak rentals; we chose Verdon Canoe.

I believe, renting boats is the best way to experience the Gorges. From this perspective, you get to witness how grand the canyon truly is. There are plenty of spots where you can stop, have a dip in the water (maybe even under some waterfalls!) and just take in the natural beauty of the canyon.

⏰ You have the choice between a 1.5-hour rental or a 2-hour rental. We went with the 2-hour rental to give us as much time as possible in the Gorges.

💰 It cost us 25 euros for a two-person kayak.

🎒 They provide you with a container to put all of your personal belongings in and it sits in your boat with you.

To keep in mind: we had to provide one piece of government ID per party to ensure we returned the boats!

PRO TIP: An important thing to keep in mind is your time management! We were so caught up in exploring the Gorges, we weren’t paying attention to the time. Luckily we had plenty of time to get back. We were a bit rushed to make sure we weren’t late! Even though we were visiting at the end of the summer, there were still plenty of people. Watch out for other boats so there are no collisions (this might have happened to us a few times!).

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 days in Provence itinerary 


Tip 4: Enjoy the beach

Some people will head off right away after exploring the Gorges a little bit. But after kayaking for 2 hours, make sure to give yourselves some time to just enjoy the beach. This is why I recommend spending at least a day here! Its a beautiful place to explore AND relax in.

Bring some beach balls, rackets or frisbees and make the most of your daylight at the Gorges! It really is a magnificent view, with crystal clear blue waters. Take it in, enjoy it!


Tip 5: Make a stop at Moustiers-Ste.-Marie

Moustiers-Ste.-Marie is one of my favourite villages in France. Before heading back on our 2.5-hour journey back to the Airbnb, we wanted to stop for dinner. Moustiers-Ste.-Marie was only 10 minutes away by car, so we figured why not!

The town is built into the mountains with a church sitting at the very top! We didn’t have time to make the hike to the church, but the town was perfect for a little stroll to end our day.

Hanging over the city there is a star. Legend has it, that a Knight from the Crusades was captured and throughout his captivity, he clung to his faith for guidance. Once he was released and returned home, he then placed a star over the church and the town as a symbol of thanks to the Virgin Mary for his survival. There are multiple other legends we learned about to explain the significance of the star to the town!

Our choice for dinner was Restaurant La Treille Muscate. This restaurant offered a gorgeous view overlooking the river running through the town. It was a bit expensive, but the food was delicious. One thing to note about this restaurant was that you should consider making a reservation. We didn’t know we wanted to eat here until we arrived and we were incredibly lucky to be the first customers when it opened. We were able to grab one of their last remaining tables, but for future visitors maybe consider making a reservation!

2024 UPDATE: I have since learned that this restaurant is closed!

You’ll have a memorable experience

And there you have it! All of this to say, you should put the Gorges du Verdon on your France bucket list because it is totally worth the visit! Whether you want to explore the gorges, relax by the beach or visiting a charming village, there is so much to do here! It was one of the best days we spend in Provence and I hope you get to have the same experience!

Be sure to check out my 10 days in Provence itinerary on my Thatch page when planning your holiday in Provence! Visiting other spots in France on your trip? Check out my other France articles for more inspiration!

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Caity Zagar

Travel Planner & Blogger

Welcome to CZ Phones Home! I’m here to help make your travels easier by giving you tips, advice and inspiration to make your trips memorable!

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