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Sport in the Gorges du Verdon

​Verdon passions, Verdon chills

hiking is the oldest outdoor activity in the Gorges of the Verdon. Although the conquest of Gorges and Canyon in the boat dates back to the month of August, 1905, it was at the time of a challenge, an adventure, a first world.Since that date it is obvious that multiple leisure activities are born and grown, the Gorges du Verdon representing a land home and fulfillment for all sports likely to be practiced in these reliefs, depending on existing infrastructure.
Castellane passing by La Palud-sur-Verdon, Comps-sur-Artuby, Aiguines, Moustiers-Ste-Marie or Riez professionals and organizations offer visitors a full activity all kinds range: canyoning, Rafting, rado-rodeo, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, together with hiking hiking, horseback riding with an instructor, speleology, hang-gliding, paragliding, ultra light motorised (ULM), mountain bike (MTB), the all-terrain bike (MTT)...Besides recreation aquatic and nautical tested on major artificial lakes with the pedal boat, the boat (with electric motor), canoeing, windsurfing, or fishing.
The adage that may apply to sporting activities in the Gorges of the Verdon like this close:
«The Verdon: the feet in the water, the body on the summits, the head in the air!


Climbing, or climbing, has acquired its letters of nobility on the tremendously smooth and vertical of l ' Escalès cliffs that elders still called L'escalet. Dedicated in August 1968 by five climbers French (Blake, Cordier, Lothárd, Moch and Richard) in the way of the Duke (about 300 metres), Bernard Gorgeon and Patrick Edlinger raised to the rank of the most famous walls of the world.
The cliffs of the Verdon were baptized 'the Mecca for climbers'. Since then, so-called men-spiders, have given themselves for qualifiers of the climbers, rock climbers by climbers. Their passion is climbing, the climbing, climbing. Beating the words climbers, or montagnards, and mountaineering, reserved for the race to the highest peaks of our land. But tend to mountaineers share that deserve them, because before being mountaineers, hikers have been, by the force of things, and although often these last opened hiking trails to access the departure of their mountain climbing attempts.
There are nearly 2,000 lanes open on limestone cliffs said the stopovers. About 400 of them are equipped with, i.e., that they do not require to have planting pitons in the rock to find the passage of progression.
Some are curious not to say strange relation to laymen. Baptism of a rare commonplace names: Miskatonik, Massacre chainsaw, Pichnibul, Epericoloso, Interlope, Tectoflip, Mescalito, Pitonconthrope, lbujourjame, Mangostin Scathophaga, Luna Bong, Dingomaniaque...
Security and ensure, that is connected by a rope which provides its own progression, is strongly recommended.
Let's even it is vital to make sure. Everyone is not called Edlinger, and there are many accidents occurring by negligence in trying without security in these pathways. 450 to 500 metres from absolute vacuum do forgive any error, no free style, no challenge to the most basic laws of weightlessness...

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Whitewater rafting

This activity was popularized by Roger Verdegen in the years 1970/75. Although there are many who engaged in water, it is the case to say, after Martel, and swam down the Gorges and the Canyon du Verdon, Verdegen was the first to organize different varieties of this activity: descent in lifejackets, liferaft fitted with black socks, rafting, canyoning, kayaking course. Whether it's in the Verdon, and even the Artuby, where simply the descent of Glues, walk, swimming, abseiling, to use a contemporary expression.
The descent of the Canyon by raft-rodeo occurs only through professional organizations, as well as the exploration by the Fords fitted with lifebelts. The practice of these activities remains bound and constrained by the rate imposed on the Emerald torrent.
The flow of the waters is not natural since 1948, the EDF manages power supply of the course of the Verdon, and any individual attempt that may be unfortunate, without perfect knowledge of the sites and access.
About kayaking, the practice of this discipline is conditioned by regular training and a good knowledge of the sport. There are few kayakers who have less than 4-5 years behind them, experience in this activity, before launching into the exploration by the waters of the Verdon. Quotations for passages levels are among the highest of the world. During competitions, they occur between the Carrejuan bridge and the Pas du Galetas. An annual meeting is normally held at the end of first week of July.

In the air

Paragliding and hang gliding are popular since the 1990s. A launch pad is located on the heights of Moustiers Ste. Marie, to Venascle or the Travers. Some throw themselves in the vacuum above the Pas du Galetas, from the top of view full. THE U.L.M. practice is more westerly Valensole or Southwest near Vinon-sur-Verdon. Gliding (gliders) world-famous Center is located more to the Southeast, in the Var, in Fayence. The practice of this discipline here is little current, even if opportunities are available at Vinon-sur-Verdon and Puimoisson.
What is certain, however, is that it is dangerous to fly over Gorges and the Canyon du Verdon, paragliding, hang gliding or even in ULM. Indeed, contrary, ascending, descending, multidirectional winds formed between the cliffs. Depressions are created, wind circulates between the cliffs, ascends, descends, and plaque against the walls of the rock any attempt to approach by air.
The alternation of warm and cold currents in perpetual mutations are at the origin of these depressions. The only attempts to approach by air of the Gorges and Canyon are the helicopter and the plane.
The overview is regulated, first by the flight conditions themselves, then, the proximity of the Canjuers military camp does not allow an overview of the prohibited area which borders the region of the gorges. Of the reasons for this: the shots to the canon, training of fire, drives A helicopter batteries.L.A.T. (Army light Aviation), and then, the existence of a vast perimeter under high surveillance, classified secret, which is quite logical.

Other sports activities

Growing summer attendance has resulted in the development and practice of multiple outdoor outside rock climbing and canyoning activities. Associations, organizations, and professionals offer a varied choice of accompaniments in many fields. Equestrian centers offer hikes-discoveries including around La Palud-sur-Verdon, but St. Croix to Bauduen, Valensole, Quinson, Riez, Esparron-de-Verdon also, near the Lake. And if the equestrian adventure you try more, it will be easy to rent a donkey for the pedestro riding.
There is no need to be accompanied to practice aquatic activities from the artificial lakes of the Verdon, where nautical bases are available for visitors (for rental) boats, pedal boats, windsurfing, canoe or motor boat. Vehicles powered by an engine explosions (in gasoline or other fuel-polluting) are prohibited on water bodies.
As for the bowling, if you know nothing, its practice and its rules are easy, you will find no trouble finding partners or opponents. But if you are novice, distrust, "Fanny" might well sue you long!

ATV and off-road motorcycle

Mountain biking is a bel craze in mountains and massifs. This discipline here deserves to be regulated regarding routes, routes and tracks devoted to this activity, because on the one hand there is little markup on the ground, and on the other hand, some bikers", ignoring sites, can venture into areas at risk. Moreover, this lack of sites, sometimes total ignorance thereof, take on unknown territories these cyclists on areas of broods or reproductions of protected species.
Or even, in places of floral sites species protected or endangered. Wheels and the successive passages which may lead a disappearance of natural species.
It does not exist at the moment of true circuit and the practice of the off-road motorcycle is still wild area is not controlled and more regulated. More importantly within a CRA Regional nature aimed at the protection of sites and species (flora and fauna) it would be a shame to leave this hell ride itself!
Other sports disciplines still include the aquatic hike carried out accompanied by a professional guide, golf, trapshooting, sightseeing cruises on the Lakes. And if the heart tells you, you can still perform the "Route of the lavender route" of Grasse in Moustiers Ste. Marie, married Castellane, St-André-les-Alpes, Aiguines and the Gorges du Verdon. 333 km of cycling routes that lovers of the petite Queen borrow sportingly to conquer the land of lavender.
In May 1995 (20 and 21), took place the first edition of a cycling competition entitled "The VIRENQUE du Verdon», including the Godfather, but also participating, was Richard Virenque, the well known to the French varois cyclist. He was succeeded in 1997, the first edition "the loops of the Verdon".
This sporting event takes place mainly in the region of the Gorges du Verdon. "The loops of the Verdon" are generally held the last Sunday of May.


If, on the other hand, you still doubt the sensations, you will be able to make a big jump in the vacuum above the deck of the Artuby and try "benji". This activity occurs in the presence of professionals for framing, the conditions of jumps, equipment, etc...
Last major chills emerged recently, sport of a new kind, to the limit of the absurd and unconsciousness: 'the fall of the extreme ". Discipline that comes from overseas - once again... - and that is to throw himself into the void from the top of a cliff, with nevertheless a parachute, but without driving force... American Michele KNUTSON, made the sad experience in August 1999, by darting from the top of the stopovers.
His parachute, but especially the prevailing winds, have folded it on the rock wall. Seriously injured, it had to wait nearly 3 hours before be rescued. Not because of the relief that is not arrived before, but simply because it was attached to a branch, in a place difficult of access, not to say inaccessible. So it took, to these same relief, take all necessary precautions so that this accident is not known a tragic denouement. This is a glaring example of unconscious (e) which, contrary to any human consideration, can trigger accidents involving, not only their own lives (but after all, this look!) but, and especially, those who come to the rescue.


Formerly very practiced caving is more topical in the region of the Gorges of the Verdon. The sinkholes are relatively rare, paradoxes from a country of the karst joints (surface or buried in the sedimentary rock - limestone, sandstone - vertical cracks) and the lapiazs (shallow carvings of the rock's surface caused by water, also means the entry of a sinkhole), but it is so. Few wells lie on the Plateau of Barbin, North of La Palud-sur-Verdon, including the aven of the Grand Duke, known for many years.
The major Speleological access are located the field of military of Canjuers, Ross, abalone Plan aven aven, aven Roumegas (in the hamlet of les Bessons), and those of the Clos de tanoun, Nouguiere, Petit Aven of the Nouguiere Grand Aven, and aven Sardon (near the canyon of the Artuby), to mention just a few.
Not to mention a great sporting event in the mountains and massifs of this vast territory, "the great race the Verdon Trail".
Finally, there is no need to be a specialist or an experienced photographer to indulge at leisure to the joys of video or photography. There is not yet, for the moment and to my knowledge, "Safari Photos Verdon. Perhaps this will come one day, but for now, this discipline of the image is completely free of all constraint, if the weather and conditions.

Hiking in the footsteps of Martel

Walking is one of the outdoor sports that requires less equipment individual and very simple to practice remains to condition, however, to follow the elementary basics of security and equipment.
The discovery of the Gorges du Verdon by trails and hiking routes remains paramount and dominant of this vast land activity. The 1998 year celebrated 70 years of the creation of the Martel Trail, between the corridor Samson and the cottage of the Maline, made available for hikers by the Touring Club of France.
Trails and their signage maintenance is done by members of the French Federation of hiking (F.F.R.P.), by local associations, or well supporters again, with regard to the development of the course in the forest environment, by the O.N.C. (National Forestry Office) which also makes its contribution.
It is difficult to leave to the discovery of one of the most fabulous mineral sites in the world without having first informed on the same conditions in which this activity takes place. There are few flat land, and the 'ground' is not part of this region. The reliefs are steep, sometimes clear, stiff and strong. Let us not forget that this country is located in the medium-mountain zone and therefore, aspects of the landscape following the contour lines. Some areas appear to be green and welcoming, others however, are barren and sometimes hostile.
Climatology also plays an important role. Little many activities (including hiking) that occur in winter period between the months of November and March, or April, depending on the year. Most importantly, road access are closed to traffic, the Route des Crêtes, between November 15 (sometimes as early as the October) and March 15.
A fortiori, access at the start of the trails is not conceivable. The main rules to be observed are the good conduct of the hikers and the safety of persons and property. Three essential points are to be considered: the crossing of the Emerald torrent, the water of the Verdon, animals.

Recommendations for hiking in the gorges du Verdon

•    Be equipped with a well suited material: bag backpack, mountain shoes, warm clothes and spare (regardless of the season), waterproof, windbreaker, hat or CAP, sunglasses, a flashlight, rope (eventually), axe or walking stick, cream solar;
•    Prepare your itinerary: locate the point of departure and arrival of your trip and know measure the efforts you will need to provide on the choice of the route;
•    Preferably go early in the morning; avoid the hottest hours of the day between 10: 00 and 14:00 during the summer;
•    Avoid hiking alone, tell your departure, your destination and the approximate time of your return;
•    Never overestimate your physical abilities;
•    Always beware of the dangers of the mountain: gullies, cornices, falls stones, and the weather (rain, storms). Know when to stop before an unexpected obstacle or too difficult. With young children, be aware to adjust your pace to their own;
•    Bring maps, compass, plans, guides, whistle of alarm, altimeter and other effects for hiking;
•    You still need a first aid kit (there are some ready-made found easily in pharmacies or supermarkets), coverage of survival (aluminum); Sun creams, ointment against insect bites, to the small bobos arnica ointment.
•    Bring food and drinks in sufficient quantities (water preferably: count 1.5 l to 2 l per person). Remember to take water for your pet if it follows you hike. If you fear running out of water and you are forced to take in a source or a torrent, you can get pellets of purification of water in all pharmacies.
•    Beware of the many reptiles in this region (scree slopes, dry and calcareous trays, rocks and ruins), watch where you put your feet and where you sit during breaks;
•    The Wild camping and campfires are strictly prohibited within the perimeter of the P.N.R du Verdon; If you are smoker, after turning off your cigarette, slide the butt cooled in a pouch that you'll take in a container for the return of the hike;
•    Never take shortcuts and paths not listed.
•    Do throw stones from the corniche trails. Stay close to the trails; do not destroy the kairns, if necessary replace them;
•    Respect nature, leave no trace of your passage, win your trash;
•    Locate your mobile phone. In case of extreme emergency: accident or serious injury making your impossible return (you can be penalised in the event of abuse or inconsiderate calls in the direction of relief). -Always follow and in all places, nature and animals, men and their homes, fields and private properties crossed;
•    Don't pick flowers without actually knowing. Some varieties are protected, others are endangered and other species, can be toxic; same instructions for mushrooms;
•    Finally: don't forget your camera, films, your video camera and films prior to departure, as you may regret do not fix your memory. A great show of nature, the game of colors, panoramas and imposing sites await offered spontaneously by the Verdon and gorges, mountains and massive where you hike.
All high performance athletes succeed one day or the other at the top of their discipline. The best win cups and medals. For walkers from around the world, browse the Gorges du Verdon is the supreme consecration of the hiker. In fact, they can proudly say: "-I have hiking in Verdon...". This single sentence imposes the respect!
(Note: the advice and recommendations that are given here apply perfectly for trips made outside the sites of the Verdon.) The true hiker puts into practice these tips, and follows them, in any place where it is located).

Interpretation of the routes

Routes that are exposed to present the vast choice of hikes that exist. Visitors will be able to conduct an overview of the possibilities to discover one of the most beautiful sites in the world. The major pathways, such as those of the Imbut, still called the trail of Gorges, the most famous of all, the Martel trail.
"The guide to hiking in the Gorges du Verdon" offers and develops more than 25 routes for all hikers of all levels. All suggested here walks are fully described one as well as other routes of hiking with other beautiful destinations. The journey time, on each route is given indicatively (exceeding not an hour plus for the longest), based on a normal operation hiking with Backpack stops photos, rest stops and meals under conventional conditions. The description and the time required for each ride are fixed at the trailheads. You have to set the time.
Know appreciate these sites of great diversity and do not like some who come here to beat records and who ultimately don't know even what they saw on the way!
The difficulties are mentioned and each route is classified according to its nature and its criteria:
•    I: easy trail representing no major difficulty, accessible to the greatest number, including children (from 6 years),
•    II: a higher level of a moderate level trail, with some difficulties on the ground, (children from 8 to 10 years),
•    III: trail reserved for seasoned hikers, considered to be of a high level crossing of cornices, passages in balcony, individuals in need of sport as well as to children under 15 years.
In all destinations, caution is the mother of safety. People who suffer from Vertigo, a total lack of training, or heart problems should avoid the mentioned routes III.
It will even if we hiking with young children or a dog regardless of its size. With regard to children: it is difficult to determine the actual age from which they may accompany adults in hiking. Routes shall be under the authority and responsibility of their parents or the persons responsible for their management. Mentioned here, ages in relation to children, are given as purely indicative, it belongs to the parents (or concerned adults) to judge if presented walks are accessible to their children.
Accidents happen quickly in the mountains and no one can prevent a false step. Given reliefs, distances, and the difficulties that may arise, it will take a certain time to relief for you help and get out you of a sticky situation.

The Parc Naturel régional du Verdon

Trails developed in this chapter unfold within the confines of the P.N.R of the Verdon. Therefore, should scrupulously respect the regulations in force issued by the administration of this geographical entity, particularly with regard to wild camp, the ban on lighting fires, (smoking, to pick floral protected species, degrade the sites, the collection of fossils, etc...
Any offence may be severely reprimanded. Minutes are likely to be drawn towards offenders.

Rules of good conduct, safety and equipment

•    The first of the rules to be observed is the good conduct and propriety. Any person responsible for his actions or to respect the Nature as a whole. Never forget that you are the host of a region that welcomes you with all its riches. In accordance with the goods and people, the inhabitants of this country you will be that more grateful.
•    Physical preparation plays an important role. The mountains and massifs of the Verdon range from 500 to 1930 meters, know enjoy the seasons and the distances for the smooth running of your excursion. -Be equipped with a suitable material: water, food and equipment. A good hike is also function of the material the Walker needs to advance: good walking shoes or mountain, ice axe or baton, hat or CAP, backpack... Style mesh pants, are preferable to the "shorts" for the passage in the garrigues, Brambles or scree slopes. Plan a hot clothing and a windbreaker style rain effect.
•    For the food, it is fashionable to carry energy foods, dried fruit, sugar, fruit, vitamin, the pulp of fruit bars, salads of rice or white meat cooked but cold. As for liquids, always consider that only water is necessary for life. What does not slide into the backpack (which shall not exceed 12 to 15 kg for an adult), energy drinks or effort, avoid artificially too sweet, soft drinks and tea or coffee.
•    First aid kit: it is better to own one in the backpack. As the serum anti-venom, better is worth get pharmacy a "Aspi venom" style pump. There are more accidents caused as a result of injection of the serum by the bite itself.
•    It is preferable to avoid hiking with children low ages and make them suffer routes that will seem them endless. Forget the trails of a too high level for them, and markets more than 5 hours round trip. Comb them always a hat or a CAP and think often give them drinking water preferably, or with a slight dose of syrup.
•    In case of accident, do not play doctors apprentices if you are ignorant of the first care. Prefer to wait until a hiker competent in this area, or better, the arrival of the rescue. It is also best to cover a casualty for not taking cold, and to speak quietly to avoid panic. Protect it from the Sun, and be reassuring.Never leave a rugged alone or in an isolated area as much as possible.
•    With a dog, be laying down with him, do not let it die of thirst, take water for him, treats for the snack, a lanyard of 4 to 5 meters so it evolves freely on the trail without impeding the progress of other hikers, and be aware of the approach of a herd, or close to private property. Whatever happens you are responsible for your pet's actions.
Miles do not count in the mountains, the only reference unit is time to market necessary to accomplish any particular trail.
•    Weather: the weather is paramount here. Thunderstorms are violent and significant lightning-related risks of depression through the nature of the rock (iron, manganese), sudden temperature changes. Trails are slippery with rain and it is appropriate to wait for a storm to turn back, or continue, if it is committed on a route.
•    Trees: when present avoid shelter you under their antlers. Avoid softwoods high conducive to lightning. If you have no other solution than to get to shelter under a tree, prefer in a good perennial, leafy deciduous and on the trunk from which the rain trickles.
•    Electrical towers: they exist, they are there, do not touch fallen same cables. Lines high voltage that criss-cross North of the massifs of this region carry respectively 150 and 225.00 kW. They serve as benchmarks for reading a map.
•    Progress: do not impose a too rapid pace. If you are in a group, prefer to match your speed to the slowest team. Know when to stop before an obstacle difficult, steep, or dangerous. Follow the signs. For people suffering from heart problems it is best to avoid hiking considered too high level, to shelter from the effects of the Sun, take the time to pause and drink frequently, avoid the extreme heat of the day. For all hikers, do not get too close to the cliffs and rocky.
During your walks you will have the opportunity to see and hear from 'Robert' (or cairn). The origin comes from the Celtic which means rabbit Hutch, signal, mark. The kairns are a pile of stones and pebbles of pyramidal shape, and are there to guide the way. The shepherds were the first to develop a kairns to help navigate the mountain. Today, in the absence of a trail marking, they are your guide on the path. The use wants that each hiker, where it crosses one of these clusters of pebbles, file in turn a small stone to decorate the kairn.
•    Markup: implemented by institutional or local organizations, markup marks are usually represented by rectangles (approximately 3 cm x 10 cm) of red and white colors superimposed (for the great hiking trails), or a dash of white, yellow, green, or red (walking country). The French Federation of the hiking trail (F.F.R.P.) awarded to the hiking trails of the distinguishing marks, such as "GR 4" for hiking; "GRP" for country trails, etc...

The basic instructions on hiking in Verdon

•    The crossing of the Verdon: vigilance and prudence are de rigueur. Electrical plants do not release of dams and the turbinages, preventing flow upstream water can climb at any time. If you're engaged on an opposite shore and should you cross the Verdon to regain the path, you may be swept away by the current crossing the torrent. If by mistake you're ventured beyond the Chaos of the Imbut, rising waters prohibits you any return back. In the area of Fords after the Imbut there is more no trails, only Verdon bed serves as a path.
•    The water of the Verdon: Although analyses on quality Emerald torrent water and lakes are consistent with standards and regulations, certain points are still polluted and the consumption of water from the Verdon is discouraged, like streams of altitude from which graze herds. Some so-called vauclusian sources, they quite drinkable. Sources and water points are on the surface, sometimes drained between June and September. The only ones who are fed continuously are the Verdon, the stream of the leases, and the Cascade of St-Maurin. Apart from these three points of water, the possibility to find is low.
•    Animals: it does not exist at the moment of regulation concerning them, and they are welcome in the Verdon. Nevertheless some routes their are prohibited.Access to dogs as well as other domestic animals is prohibited on the Martel trail and the Baume aux pigeons by bylaw; strongly discouraged from L'imbut and Vidal access: ladders, corniche, trail studded with pitfalls and narrow passages... Finally, for the safety of people and animals, only a medium to large size dog can follow you on the routes that exist (I and II only).
•    Hunting: during the period of the Hunt (of its opening, i.e., late September - early October generally and for the duration thereof), certain routes are to be avoided because of battered by wild boars (or other game) is organized by local hunting organisations. The beats are generally held at the sunrise and end around noon.
This recommendation concerns especially the routes located in land and forested massifs such trails the Robion, Cirque de Vaumale, of Encastel towers, by large margins, the view full Signal and Signal, the trails to the Aire Jas (Route des Crêtes, La Palud-sur-Verdon) and Baker forest (North of La Palud-sur-Verdon, Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers).
•    Warning: Trail Vidal (Verdon, left bank) known also as the "Vidal-access of relief" is prohibited on the descent. Only its ascent is allowed because it is perilous, strewn with obstacles, traps and a very physical level. Its route is very steep, nearly inaccessible to children and pets. We recommend you refrain from borrow even if it appears on some topos guides currently for sale in trade or if it is mentioned elsewhere as hiking circuit. This trail is dangerous.
Just right now not to make that one for say "-I did the Verdon» and that is you awarded the laudatory title of"hiker in the Verdon "...

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