Located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
department of southeastern France, an area known for its alpine vistas, limestone mountains, and fields of lavender, is the town of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
. Regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in the country, it sits at the edge of a rocky peak from which a spring flows, creating a waterfall that provides hydropower to the town. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is also noteworthy because it's located at the western entrance to the Verdon Gorges.
This spectacular canyon runs 31 miles (50 km) and reaches 2,296 feet (700 meters) in depth in places. This canyon is the largest in Europe and was formed over millennia from erosion of limestone plateaus by the Verdon River
After a hands-on ceramics lesson in town (Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has been a center of the pottery trade for generations), it's time to head into the Verdon Gorges. There are several active excursions to choose from, be it hiking, canyoning, or rock climbing. It's also possible to take off down the Verdon River on a kayaking or canoe trip. This is an unforgettable experience as the waters of the Verdon are famous for their electric turquoise color. Another option is to head out on Lake Sainte Croix
, a tranquil artificial lake at the end of the canyon that's perfect for boating.
Discover more unique experiences in and around Aix-en-Provence