Verdon Gorge & the Quaint Village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie


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.

Itineraries with Verdon Gorge & the Quaint Village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Pure Provence Road Trip: Marseille, Avignon, Verdon Gorge & More - 12 Days

France is known the world over for its romance, but there might be no other region that encompasses its quintessential beauty—the cities, villages, hills, and beaches—quite like Provence. This is where the countryside meets the coast, where the Alps meet lavender fields, and where the French Riveria runs from Marseilles to the Italian border. Experience it all on this luxurious 12-day driving tour. 

Provence Highlights and Culture Self-Drive Tour - 11 Days

One region that perfectly encapsulates France's rich culture is Provence. On a self-drive tour, you'll stop in historic cities like Marseille and Aix-en-Provence as well as hilltop villages like Uzès and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. As an added treat you'll hike canyons, kayak along the coast, and participate in a cooking class and wine tour.  

Provençal Alps Adventure: Marseille & Verdon - 10 Days

Take every manner of transport on this 10-day adventure trip. You'll cruise along the coast of Marseille, ride horses up to Sainte-Croix Lake, visit lavender fields, and tackle the Verdon Gorge by foot, river raft, and via cordata climb to take in the wild face of Europe's largest gorge.