Lake Sainte Croix, Lake Castillon… The five lakes of Verdon

The five lakes of Verdon

Castillon Lake, Chaudanne Lake, Sainte Croix du Verdon Lake, Quinson Lake and Esparron Lake. These are all artificial lakes built in the 20th century for the production of electricity and various human needs.


Lake Castillon

With an area of ​​500 hectares, it stretches for almost 8 kilometers. Work began in 1924 and ended in 1948. It was the first dam encountered on the course of the Verdon. It includes a small sector reserved for the army where it is said that sonar tests are carried out for submarines … If its main vocations are electricity production and irrigation in the agricultural sector, it attracts also many tourists. They take advantage of its beaches and the nautical bases of Saint-Julien du Verdon and Saint André les Alpes.


Lake Chaudanne

Built between 1950 and 1953, lake chaudanne is located just downstream from Lake Castillon. It is wilder than the other lakes that line the course of the Verdon. Indeed, its access to water is more difficult because of its steep surroundings. Even if swimming is prohibited, it is the ideal place to spend a “relaxed” afternoon when staying in Castellane. it has an area of ​​70 hectares, for a volume of water of 16 million cubic meters. The objective of this dam, in addition to producing electricity (EDF), is to control variations in flow. Precisely at the entrance to the gorges that start in Castellane. Electricity is produced in the power plant. It is fully automated and scheduled each evening for the next day. It is therefore this dam that regulates the water level on the “classic” course.


Lake Sainte Croix

Lake Sainte Croix is the second artificial lake in France. It has an area of ​​2,200 hectares over 12 km long and two kilometers wide. Work began in 1970. The 767 million cubic meters it contains are used primarily for energy production. They are also used to supply drinking water to major cities on the coast such as Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. Finally, the Canadairs particularly appreciate it for recharging water when forest fires are raging in the region. Many campsites that attract tourists of all nationalities every summer spread out around the lake. It is the main tourist area of ​​the Verdon. In order to set up this body of water, a large fertile valley was sacrificed. In addition, we will operate the displacement of a large population. We drowned the village of Salles-sur-Verdon to rebuild it by the lake.


Lake Quinson

The low gorges are narrow and wild. The dam of quinson has been operating since 1967. It creates a lake that stretches over 11 kilometers for an area of ​​160 hectares. It is located in the south of the Alpes-de-haute-Provence department, it is practically inaccessible except for a few gentle slopes which group together near the villages of Montagnac-Montpezat and Saint-Laurent du Verdon.


Lake Esparron

It is the last of the five lakes, it is the most downstream, on an area of ​​328 hectares. The dam has also been operating since 1967, creating a particularly Mediterranean and wild lake. Indeed, it sports turquoise waters, numerous creeks and cliffs. It directly supplies 116 municipalities with drinking water. It is dominated by the village of Esparron-de-Verdon. Nearby are also the very tourist town of Greoux-les-Bains and the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.