Les Gorges du Verdon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carrying on from exploring the UK, I set about exploring France when I went back home to Nice. About 1h30 drive from Nice, just above St-Tropez is the national Park of Verdon. Mom and I decided to go explore it but rather than just a day trip we thought to make a weekend of it, and swing by Avignon first.

Famous for well.... It's nursery rhyme (Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse on y danse), Avignon was a very pleasant surprise. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb and spent most of Friday exploring the streets and the Papal Palace. Avignon has lots of cute little bistros, with organic and healthy foods as well as local wine. This was quite refreshing, it isn't common to be able to eat healthy whilst on holiday.... Especially in the middle of wine country!

The next day we made our way towards the Gorges.... Not forgetting to stop by Chateauneuf du Pape first. Because it would be rude not to!

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After visiting a few vineyards we thought it best to stop for lunch before making our way to our hotel for the night. 

The "hotel" if you can call it that, is quite the family inside joke. It is in fact an old 12th century castle that was renovated into a pretty fancy hotel. My family, in fact, visited the castle many years ago when I wasn't much older than 2. Here is when the joke comes in. 2 year old me was quite fond of her pacifiers, whilst mom thought it well time for me to give them up already. So.... At our last visit to the castle, a perfectly timed ghost just *happened* to swing by our room and *happened* to steal all my pacifiers (all the ones at home too! Crazy right?). Living me with a rather bittersweet taste of Chateau de Trigance... I'm happy to report that no ghosts came to taunt me this time round!! Pay them a visit here.

All joking aside, it is a beautiful hotel owned and run by a lovely family for generations! So if you're in the area, definitely consider it.... But sleep with one eye open!

After a good night's sleep and a great breakfast in the old swords room... Mom and I made our way to the Gorges for a bit of hiking!

Les Gorges du Verdon are famous for its gut-renchingly steep cliffs that dive into a turquoise river 500m below... The windy road is separated from the cliff by little stone walls or.... nothing at all! This makes for a rather exciting drive (Mommy less than agrees) and even more breathtaking hikes!

The most famous hike is called Le Sentier Blanc Martel, which is a difficulty 4 and 6hrs one way. Mom and I thought that was a bit much so we settled for Le Sentier du Pécheur, a more sensible 3hr hike. It is labelled as a family hike, you start at the top of the gorges, walk down, along the turquoise waters and all the way back up again. It was just enough to walk off the wine tasting from the day before...

If hiking is not your thing, I would still recommend paying the gorges a visit, you can rent kayaks and pedalos near the Lac de Ste Croix and make your way into the gorge that way. In the summer you may even be brave enough to jump in for a dip!

I really enjoyed this weekend, and I'd recommend it to anyone spending a bit of time in the south of France, especially in the cooler Autumn months.

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