La Provence – one of France’s most popular regions. Quickly, one thinks of lavender fields, herbs, great food and a beautiful landscape. All true.
Castellane is the base camp for many outdoor activities. From there, you can start many rafting tours, hiking trips or similar as the Verdon river leading to the Lac de Sainte-Croix flows right through the village. Many agencies offer different tours and you will generally see many outdoor people. Sometimes, a nice open market is held on the main square of the village where you can buy local food specialties and other neat stuff.
Gorges du Verdon
The Gorges du Verdon are also nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Europe. They certainly does not compare all the way with the original, but they do have their wild charm. One of the most popular entry points is Point Sublime close to Rougon. It might be a bit difficult to find a parking spot, especially with a camper. From the parking site, you can first have a magnificent outlook from the view point located in extension of the inner parking lot.
Then, you can choose two hiking trails. To the right of the parking lot and view point, you can descend all the way down to a little entry to the canyon (about a 30-40 min hike). But from there, you cannot pass to the main canyon, it’s too dangerous. To the left of the parking lot, you can descend all the way down to the entry of the canyon. You can also take this route by car. From the entry point you can do a very long hike for the whole day or just an hour – just prepare yourself. There’s a fairly long, dark and wet tunnel at at the beginning. You might want to bring a flashlight and definitely robust shoes or shoes you don’t care much about.
Moustiers Saint Marie
Moustiers Saint Marie is a neat, little village. As in most villages in the Provence, it offers many little stores especially for handmade pottery. The veggies among you have to skip this sentence, but the French also have all kinds of interesting specialties made of meat. The village is very steep as it is located on a little hill, be prepared to hike up a bit.
Driving from Moustiers Saint Marie in the direction of Manosque, then via Apt and Sault to Carpentras the full beauty of the landscape unfolds. Many of the famous lavender fields line the roads and after you stopped at one to take photos you find the next one that you like more. But I don’t want to take photos all the time – I rather enjoy the view as no photo can ever replace the real thing!