Starting point and approach walk
Aqua trekking and day hike in the Verdon gorges. Many guides (canyon and river) agree that the most beautiful aquatic trekking in the Verdon is the one we are going to talk about in this article; the “day”. Everything happens on the left bank of the Verdon, the departure as well as the arrival. The parking of the Auberge des Cavaliers is the meeting point for all those who want to participate in the adventure. This place is located in a no man’s land between Aiguines and the Pont de Chaulière also known as Pont de l’Artuby, on the D71.
You usually have an appointment with our guide around 9 am on the parking of the inn. Indeed, the schedule changes according to the season and its sunshine. After trying on the equipment (neoprene suit, life jacket and helmet), the picnic is locked in a waterproof container. Each one loads his pack in a bag of canyoning specially adapted to the activity and we leave for forty minutes of walk on a “technical” way which takes us to near 400 meters lower, at the edge of the Verdon.
Progression along the water in aqua trekking day
A short break and we already put on the equipment. Let’s go for an hour and a half – two hours of swimming in the river bed. We learn to use the current to orient ourselves on one side or the other, we test ourselves on small jumps in a breathtaking scenery; turquoise water, very high cliffs. Arrives the lunch break, generally on a small sunny beach. Then we leave for an hour and a half – two hours in the water.
Then will follow higher and more impressive jumps in always more fabulous sceneries. The corridor then the rapid of the Stix. And finally; L’Imbut (the funnel in Provençale). The river has found its way in a chaos of huge rocks and gives the impression of becoming underground. It is at the bottom of this fairy cave that the most reckless will go for the final big jump. We dismantle ourselves on the beach of Imbut by taking advantage of the last rays of sun (it leaves much earlier at the bottom of the canyon).
Rise of the aqua trekking day
The bag on the back, let’s go for the ascent! 400 meters of difference in level, one hour of walk in a path made very difficult by the use of time but currently in renovation at the time of writing this article. A good final walk, some passages a little dizzy and we find the D71. It is by truck that we reach the Auberge des Cavaliers where your favorite guide will invite you to have a drink on the panoramic terrace of the Hotel. Exhausted but happy, you will remember this day!
State of the route in the summer of 2022
At the beginning of July 2022, the GR (long distance hiking trail) of the Imbut was closed by the authorities. Indeed, there are many landslides in the Canyon. In winter in particular, due to the phenomenon of gelifraction. The humidity inside some cracks freezes and separates an element of rock in two. The next day, the action of the sun melting this ice, the “glue” disappears and the rock falls.
Thus, the Imbut trail deserves restoration again. Safety nets must be changed. Neither the department of Var nor the commune of Aiguines want to assume the cost. The battle of who will break first is engaged. We don’t know what will happen in 2023.