Hiking the Imbut trail, the magic of Verdon

Hiking the imbut trail, one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Verdon. This route is modeled (or vice versa) on the Day Water Hike route. Indeed, for this activity, we use the same access (the descent of the Cavaliers) and the same exit (the Vidal path). Between the two, you will enjoy a magnificent path offering you spectacular views of the Verdon. In July-August, choose the days except Tuesday and Friday which are the days of water releases. Indeed the water is less beautiful on these days and it is particularly not recommended to take a small swim.

Departures of the Imbut trail hike

In general, everyone leaves from the parking lot of the Hotel du Grand Canyon (Auberge des Cavaliers) on the D71, about 20 minutes from Aiguines. From there, you access the GR 99 about 100 meters below which goes down to the Verdon. Another departure can be made from the Chalet de la Maline located opposite on the Route des Crètes. Small inconvenience, the ascent at the end of the afternoon will be done in full sun.


Progress along the Verdon

The progression is done in the direction of the current, on the left bank. Coming from the latter, turn left when you arrive at the water’s edge. Coming from the right bank, cross the Estellié footbridge then continue on your right. The path can be slippery, be careful. After a progression in the forest, we arrive on the first handrails. A little dizzying passage that leads you to the thousand-year-old juniper. The path goes down to the water’s edge, it is often the perfect place for a lunch break. Continuing, we arrive on the passage of the Styx. A magnificent canyon inside the grand canyon.

We start again on handrails in a passage cut by the force of the man, the Maugué (bad ford). Then we go back towards Chemin Vidal. At the crossroads, turn right, direction Imbut trail. You arrive on Imbut beach, a magnificent pebble beach. The sun is there until around 3:30 p.m. in the best season. You might as well wait with him and regain strength for the ascent. We do not recommend that you venture into the chaos of the Imbut to reach Baou Beni. You can easily fall several meters.


Ascent of the Imbut trail

Retrace your steps to the crossroads of Chemin Vidal. The hardest part of the day then arises. A path sometimes on the side of a cliff but which is always equipped with handrails. Go quietly at your own pace, each step takes you to new heights. Allow about an hour to join the D71. Once at the top, you can either enter through the forest after crossing the road or walk along the latter to still enjoy great views of the canyon.



Aqua Trekking – XXL – Verdon Gorges – 2 Days

The Big Must of Verdon! Reserved for the most athletic athletes. An XXL Aqua Trekking in the Gorges du Verdon. Swim in the wildest Grand Canyon du Verdon. Over two days which will take you from the Estellier to the Col de l’Olivier. Following on from the Aquatic Day Hike. After the passage of the Imbut, you will discover the very mysterious Verdon Secret!

Detailed description of the XXL Aqua Trekking

Day 1; We meet at La Colle de l’Olivier on the S952. After trying the equipment, we take the vehicles back to the Chalet de la Maline on the dizzying Route des Crêtes from La Pallud-sur-Verdon. 1 hour walk is necessary to reach the edge of the Verdon. Once equipped at the water’s edge, there are magnificent passages, from the Pont de l’Estellier to the Imbut. Almost 4 hours spent in the water and then 1 hour 30 minutes of walking up. We take the time during the day to enjoy a meal (at the expense of each). Shipped in a waterproof container loaned by Verdon Xp.

Day 2; 1h30 walk then we go into the water at the Imbut. Then, we explore the most secret part of the Grand Canyon. No access path possible since the two cliffs fall directly into the Verdon. We end at the Col de l’Olivier.


Night and meal

The main idea was to bivouac in the canyon, at the edge of the water, like real adventurers. Only here, everywhere inside the PNRV, it is forbidden to bivouac in the gorges and at the edge of the lakes. It is therefore imperative to leave the canyon at the end of the first day. To return there on the morning of the second day.

3 solutions proposed for accommodation (evening meal + night + breakfast + picnic the next day) – Not included in the service, to be paid directly;
-Hotel du Grand Canyon from 165 € for 2 people
-Chalet de la Maline from € 60 per person
-The client has their own solution

Prerequisites for the XXL Aqua Trekking

Be in excellent physical shape and very comfortable in the water. Swim shorts + Light T-shirt + Mid-mountain shoes in good condition + 1 bottle of water per person + picnic of day 1.

Tariff and Reservation

For further information on the XXL Aqua Trekking course, go directly to THE Aqua Trekking PAGE on our site.

Verdon Gorges, the essential road trip

The road trip of the Verdon gorges is particularly appreciated. Indeed, many vehicles travel on these roads in summer. We will see here two courses which complement each other and even form a loop. There is no real order to follow, it is up to you.
On these narrow and winding roads, the traffic is generally quite slow, if not very slow. Everything you need to enjoy the scenery! At least, for the passenger or passengers because the driver will always keep both eyes open on the road. Motorcyclists, campers, cars, cyclists and herds of goats, you can be surprised at every turn.

From Castellane to Aiguines by the D71

Allow around 1 hour 20 minutes by car to cover less than 60 km of road. From Castellane, you take the direction of La Pallud on the D952. Shortly before the Taloire bridge, you already go along the Verdon. At the place of Clue St Jean, the road becomes narrower. A quick feature of the Raft and Kayak routes. You pass two campsites then arrive at the junction of the Pont de Soleil. You have to turn left towards Soleils and La Rive Gauche des Gorges du Verdon (D955). The Soleils bakery is a compulsory stop for gourmets.

You cross Soleils then take a right towards Trigance (D90). The village deserves to be seen. A few bends further, you join the departemental road D71 and take on the right. You then cross a desert plateau. In the distance, the Canjuers military camp. You will soon join the Verdon at the Mescla viewpoint, a compulsory stop! Then the Artuby bridge from where you can bungee jump. The road winds through the forest and then passes through the Fayet tunnel dug in 1950. We then arrive at the Hotel du Grand Canyon, our departure for the Aqua Trekking Day course. Another 15 minutes before arriving at Aiguines. Small village of wood turners. From there you join Moustiers which is also worth the detour.


From Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Castellane by the D952

Allow around 1 hour by car to cover 45 km of road. You retrace your steps towards Aiguines then take a left at the roundabout towards La Pallud-sur-verdon on the D952. The road rises little by little and offers magnificent views of the largest of the Verdon lakes, Lac Sainte-Croix. This very winding road then crosses the site of Saint Maurin. We arrive a little further at the Col de Olivier from where a few hiking routes depart.

A little further; La Pallud from where the Route des Crêtes leaves, the icing on the cake for this day. You continue towards Castellane and pass by Point Sublime. Above is Rougon and below is the Samson Corridor. You continue and descend on the Verdon which you join at the Carajuan Bridge, park, it’s the beach! You will soon arrive at the Pont de Soleils and the circle is complete. Hoping that this road trip made you have a good day.


Rafting in the Aude Gorges, Pyrénées Orientales

Aude, a varied destination

The Aude is a river located in the Occitanie region. It rises in the Pyrenees Orientales, at 1700 meters above sea level. It flows two hundred kilometers further into the Mediterranean Sea, at the Fleur huts, not far from Narbonne. All along its route, wild parts ideal for fishing will follow one another. But also tumultuous parts, ideal for white water sports. Then quieter parts, ideal for canoeing.

White water sports

Between Axat and Quillan is the Haute Vallée de l’Aude. A must-see destination for whitewater activities such as rafting, hydrospeed (also called whitewater swimming) or canoraft (hot dog). Nearly fourteen kilometers of wild river are adapted to these practices. They are possible from April to September, for everyone from 6 years old.

Une rivière au débit régulé par l’hydro-électricité

Les lacs de montagne (retenue de Puivalador et de Matemale) servent de réservoir aux différentes usines hydro-électriques présentes le long de l’Aude. Ces derniers régulent le débit de la rivière qui reste suffisant même en été pour la pratique du rafting. En effet, ces lacs ont été construits au départ pour augmenter le débit de l’Aude en période de sécheresse car la rivière est aussi utilisée pour l’irrigation et l’alimentation du canal du midi.


Rafting with Oxygen Aventure

From spring, rafting activities on the Aude are possible until the end of September.

Oxygen Aventure is a group of independent instructors whose base is located in Belvianes and Cavirac, near Quillan, at the arrival of the rafting course, along the river. During the rafting descent, it will be possible to descend the gorges of Saint Georges (upstream of Axat) but also the gorges of Pierre Lys (between Saint Martin Lys and Belvianes and Cavirac).


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Verdon and its marvelous lavender landscapes

The Verdon is surrounded by lavender landscapes. It has existed for more than 2000 years on the shores of the Mediterranean. In France, it is cultivated only in the south-east. In the three departments of the Alpes de Haute Provence, the Drôme and the Vaucluse. It normally flowers from mid-June to mid-July on the Valensole plateau but can last until mid-August in the Dignois and Haut-Verdon regions.



It was already praised for its medicinal properties in Antiquity. Lavender essence was also used to maintain the body. His first name; “Lavandula” is then synonymous with body care and cleansing. This plant which particularly appeals to the aristocracy will gradually become popular thanks to cosmetics. It distilled in quantity from the 16th century and gave birth to luxury perfumery from the 19th century.


Lavender and lavandin

“True” or “fine” lavender is more noble than lavandin. It grows between 500 and 1000 meters above sea level and has a long branch with a single flower spike. The fine lavender essential oil from Haute Provence has been classified AOC since 1981.

Lavandin is a hybrid of fine lavender and aspic lavender. The result is a branched branch with three ears larger than fine lavender. Lavandin therefore has a higher yield but has a lighter fragrance than fine lavender. It is harvested every year from the second half of July. A more productive process that allowed the era to meet the high demand from perfumers in Grasse.


Lavender landscape; The Valensole plateau and its blue golden sea

The clay-limestone plateau of Valensole is an ideal place for the cultivation of lavender. It also combines other advantages such as altitude and climate. The Valensole plateau is considered to be the largest lavandin production center in France. Come admire these expanses of lavender which undulate like little oceans. Local bees gather mainly blue flowers and thus make lavender honey. A product widely used on the shelf.


lavender landscapes gave rise to lavender festivals. They have sometimes existed for several centuries. This is where all the players in the lavender world met once a year. These festivals therefore had as much an economic as a social interest. They still exist today, not to be missed if you are in the region. Old stills, essential oils, honey … the world of lavender is yours!

The Lavender Corso in Digne. A party that lasts 5 days and has existed since 1939.

Lavender festival in Barême at the end of July

The lavender fair at the end of August in Digne


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Saint Maurin, the regional nature reserve

The regional natural reserve of Saint Maurin

The reserve measures over 25 hectares. It overlooks the right bank of the Verdon, just a few kilometers from the second largest artificial lake in France; Sainte Croix. A site formed on the slopes of several terraces of natural meadows and tuff deposits. Finally, many resurgences emerge from the cliff in spring or in rainy weather. From departmental 952, you can see an imposing fall. You will find there ready the only place for automobile, such as a garage cut in the rock. Another solution is to park your vehicle at the Col de l’Olivier. Then come on foot via the fishermen’s path.


The Riches of Saint Maurin

Geological riches (tuffs, resurgences …), flora (priority habitats of community interest) but also fauna (insect, avifauna, bat), allow an interesting educational approach both overhanging and below the road. Water, plants and animals; A perfect ecosystem for humans. With its dominant position, the site also presents an important defensive asset.


A centuries-old human settlement

In the middle of the Gorges du Verdon, Saint Maurin offers a refreshing and welcoming atmosphere where people came to settle a long time ago. Indeed, the occupation of these places could date back to the 5th century with a religious installation based at the Abbey of LERINS. Later, Saint Maurin appears in the 9th century in acts of the Abbey of St VICTOR. Finally, the troglodyte arrangements of several caves are still visible. They confirm the use of this site until recent times and participate in the magic already present.


Visit The Saint Maurin reserve

Being accompanied by a professional will help you appreciate the riches of this very secret site.
The guides or guides in the middle mountains who operate on the site are approved by the Maison des Gorges du Verdon. Also, they must be declared to the PNRV.
Since October 2009, the Saint Maurin site has been classified as a Regional Nature Reserve and co-managed by the municipality of La Palud sur Verdon and the C.E.E.P (Conservatoire, Etudes des Ecosystèmes de Provence)
Access to the public is free but regulated: Pedestrian traffic is only authorized on marked trails, picking, swimming, bivouac and fire are strictly prohibited.





Rougon village and Isidore Blanc, the stage manager

The village of Rougon, perched on its rocky outcrop, was the place where Isidore Blanc taught at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rougon Village

Coming from Castellane, the village of Rougon is located about ten kilometers before La Pallud, on the D952. An Eagle’s nest perched at an altitude of 930 m. Allow approximately 5 km to drive above Point Sublime, the majestic gate of the Grand Canyon. Be careful, some portions do not allow two vehicles to pass each other.

Rougon heritage

The village appears in a writing in 814. However, the stone remains which dominate the village attest to the human presence for several centuries before. Even millennia.

Today, Rougon is no longer a passage, the road that leads there is no way out. Formerly, a Roman road relayed Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Castellane via Chasteuil. Indeed, the Romans preferred to build in height, which gave more safety to the users.

The castle spur, a listed site, dominates the village. No one can say if a castle was ever built there. Maybe just a watchtower. A legend tells that a lord of Rougon undertook work to actually build a castle there. With each progress of the work, lightning invited itself, wiping out the last walls. The work was finally abandoned.

The St Christophe chapel which is located at the entrance of the village was restored with great taste and attention in 2010. This chapel, whose origins date back to the 12th-13th century, was already rebuilt between the 16th and 17th centuries.

Rougon population

Some 110 inhabitants currently populate the village. A population which never exceeded 600 souls even in the golden age of the village, in the middle of the 18th century. The rural exoduses which occurred after each world war were fateful in the village. Indeed, the population went from 331 inhabitants in 1906 to 180 inhabitants came years later. Then from 93 inhabitants in 1946 to 41 inhabitants in 1968. The population emigrated mainly to the cities of Provence (Nice, Cannes, Fréjus, Toulon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence …) to find a better life. Thus many Provencal descendants of Rougonais today populate the remains of their ancestors during the summer period and weekends.

Rougon shops

There is a crêperie-stopover; The Bee Wall which offers a magnificent view from its terrace. There is also a grocery store-bar-restaurant; La Terrasse at the entrance to the village is open all year round. From this small square where you can also play pétanque, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Samson Corridor. As for the town hall, it also acts as a Post Office. Stroll through the alleys of the village, you will meet the resident artists. Sculptors, potters and painters.


Isidore Blanc

“The manager of the Gorges” as he liked to call himself. A teacher in Rougon in the 1900s, this man was one of the first explorers of the Gorges. Martel having heard of him, invited him to go and see to organize the famous 1905 expedition which crossed the whole of the Gorges. Later, he was appointed official delegate of the Touring Club de France and participated very actively in the tourism development of the Verdon. For example, we owe him the first arrangements such as that of point Sublime as we still know it today. He also worked a lot at the opening of the Blanc-Martel road which runs the 15 km of canyon that connects Point-Sublime to the Maline chalet.

The Touring Club de France was the main financier of tourism development in the Verdon in the years 1920-1930. A plaque affixed by the TCF at the end of the Baou footbridge down to the Samson corridor pays homage to Isidore Blanc. A man in multiple hats who died in a sidecar accident in 1933, on his birthday.

The redevelopment of Point-Sublime will be completed in 2021. Visitors will be able to discover in the reception area, a permanent exhibition on the manager of the Gorges. Isidore Blanc will remain the key and emblematic character of the village for a long time to come.

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The Route des Cretes, Verdon Gorges

A route des Cretes generally offers magnificent views in a mountainous tourist region. The route des cretes des Gorges du Verdon – D23 is one of these and will not leave you indifferent.

The route des Cretes, Verdon Gorges (D23)

It was built and moved in large part by the inhabitants of La Pallud between 1948 and 1972. This road which follows an old mule track at a length of 23 km and a 100% tourist vocation. It has 14 lookouts that overlook the Verdon over a height that can exceed 700 meters above the river. A perfectly safe route but one that remains impressive even for those who are used to grandiose landscapes and alpine roads.

It travels clockwise in a camping-car, car, motorbike, or even bicycle. Although the electric bike is also a great alternative. Verdon E-Bike offers bikes very well adapted to the elevation encountered. It takes between 1:30 and 3:00 to travel the entire route. It is one way on 15 of the 23 km that make it up. From Jas d’Aire to Chalet de la Maline exactly. We will therefore pay close attention to the indications.

From the Escales and Carelle belvederes, you can admire climbers in climbing routes over 300 meters. Rougon scavengers generally spend the afternoon enjoying the rising winds created along the cliffs. We sometimes have the impression that they pass a few meters from us. At the very bottom you may see the “Aqua-Randonneurs” on the half-day route of the Samson corridor. From the Imbut belvedere, you will dominate the impressive chaos or rush into the Verdon and end the Aquatic Day Hike course

Access the D23 from the Alpes de Haute Provence

It is located in the municipality of La Pallud-sur-verdon. From Moustiers-Sainte-Marie; Follow the D952 towards Castellane and allow around 40 minutes for 20 km of road. From Castellane; Also follow the D952 towards Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and allow around 45 minutes for 25 km of road. About 800 meters after leaving La Pallud-sur-Verdon from Moustiers is the start; The Auberge des Crêtes.

It ends 23 km further on at the Hotel de Provence, still in the municipality of La Pallud-sur-Verdon. Please note, because of the risk of ice, the road is only open from April to the end of November. Only access to the Chalet de la Maline and access to the Carelle belvedere remain open all year round.

The Belvederes of the Route des Cretes

You might want to stop at each Belvedere, the view is so splendid. The Belvédère are equipped with barriers but we always pay attention to children. Remember that there may be people downstairs, it is strictly forbidden to throw stones. It is also not recommended to try to jump on the backs of vultures that pass by.

Belvédère de Trescaire – Belvédère de la Carelle – Belvédère de l’Escales – Belvédère de la dent d’Aire – Belvédère du Pas de la Baou – Belvédère – Belvédère du Tilleul – Belvédère de la gorge de Guegues – Belvédère des Glacières – Belvédère d ‘ Eycharme – Belvédère de Guegues – Chalet de la Maline – Belvédère de Maugué – Belvédère de l’Imbut – Belvédère Armanet – Belvédère de Baou Beni

Getaway to Castellane: outdoor sports to be favored

Travel to Castellane: outdoor sports to try

Want to experience new things for the next vacation, direction Castellane. This peaceful town has the distinction of being the least populated sub-prefecture in France. It is part of the PACA or Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur region. It has received the label “village and city of character”. Being in the regional natural park of Verdon, Castellane invites you to participate in different activities on the Verdon. Discover in this section the outdoor sports to do absolutely on this river.

Trip to Castellane: indulge in rafting on the Verdon

Indeed, located at the northeast end of the Gorges du Verdon, Castellane is a destination to be privileged for living a new adventure. In the heart of this locality, you can do many outdoor sports on the Verdon. One of the most unmissable of them is rafting. This activity will allow you to know all the joys of white water. However, before participating in this adventure and thrill sport, a few criteria must be met. To be able to fully enjoy this hobby, you must be in good physical condition. Knowing how to swim is also imperative. This is one of the most important criteria to be met.

Also, a minimum age must be respected. Participants must be at least eight years old. Equipment allowing to raft in all serenity is also to envisage. Take with you a swimsuit as well as closed shoes like sneakers for example. As for the life jackets and helmets, they are generally provided by the agencies offering the activity. Also, don’t forget to bring a towel and bag with a change of clothes for the return.

Getaway to Castellane: go for an aqua-hike on the Verdon

We don’t just raft on the Verdon. You can also practice aqua-hiking. This fun activity is a way to fully admire the beautiful landscapes of the Gorges du Verdon. It will allow anyone not afraid of white water to discover a river more horizontal than vertical. Lying on your back, lifted by a life jacket, follow the course of the water while swimming or floating. The course on the Verdon can be punctuated by several jumps which are not compulsory. To practice aqua-hiking safely, it is advisable to be accompanied by a guide. The latter will show you the way to go and show you the most remote corners of the Verdon. The guide will not fail to inform you of the fragility of the site’s environment and will ask you to respect it.

Circuit in Castellane: indulge in airboat kayaking on the Verdon

In the range of outdoor sports that can be done on the Verdon, we find the airboat kayaking. The latter is particularly recommended during a trip to Costa Rica. This activity is much more sporty than rafting. Alone or in pairs, discover the river aboard your inflatable boat. The airboat is generally operated with a double paddle. Its inflated structure and its self-draining bottom give it great stability. This will allow novices to easily cross the river. On the Verdon, you can follow different routes. Your guide will not fail to point them out to you. It should be noted that to be able to do this activity, you must absolutely know how to swim.

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Hiking and legends; Robion Mountain

Hiking and legends

Robion, one of the most characteristic mountains of Verdon. It rises to 1,660 meters, 950 meters above Castellane. A characteristic massif since rafting and canoe route from Castellane and ending at Pont de Soleil. Practically goes around the mountain of Robion on the right. In other thermal baths, one could say that the mountain of Robion is located on the left bank of the course … From Castellane, behind the swimming pool, you take the small departmental road in the direction of Bourguet. You quickly come across the small yellow signs that mark the path to the summit of Robion. Allow around 4 hours to make the round trip.

In summer, it is recommended to start early to climb before the heat. From the summit a bright day, you can see the Mediterranean! Personally, I have never had this chance. It is also possible to make a loop by borrowing the ascent or the descent, the route known as “Tour de Robion”. From the village of Robion, on the route du Bourguet, you will also discover the chapel of Saint Trophime. An 18th century troglodyte chapel hanging on the mountain and dedicated to the first bishop of Arles.

Robion and the Knights Templar

Unless the legend has endured over the centuries in some secret circles. It was at the beginning of the twentieth century that the discovery of a parchment in Siberia awakened curiosity about the past “Templar” of the Verdon. Nevertheless, you can read this article on the legend of the treasure of the Knights Templar in the Verdon. The persecuted Templars carried their treasure from the east to the Verdon and hid it in the greatest secrecy. We then searched in the subfields of the castle of Valcros without success. It is also believed that the treasure can be found in an immense underground lake contained in Robion Mountain also called The Island of the Watchers.

Stop at the Moulin de Soleils Bakery on the road to Draguignan, the boss, passionate about this story is inexhaustible on the subject.


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