Kayaking the Gorges Du Verdon of France

Kayak through Provence’s stunning Gorges Du Verdon this summer!

Paddling down a gorge of aqua coloured water beneath cliffs up to 700m high, Gorges Du Verdon is an incredible natural sight to see.

It’s a place that’s been on my must see list ever since moving to France. Just 90minutes drive from Aix en Provence, the gorge extends for 25km and winds its way from Rougon westward to the beautiful blue waters of Lac de Ste-Croix.

One of the best ways to see the gorge is to experience it from within. Hiring a paddle boat or kayak means you can explore at your own pace and also take your camera along for the journey.

Where to Hire Kayaks at the Gorges du Verdon?

At the northern tip of Lac de Ste-Croix are two beaches filled with brightly coloured kayaks. Take your pick and then venture up the Verdon River for up to 2.5km. One of the best views is right at the beginning just as you paddle under the bridge…definitely stop for a photo on the way up and back!

Along the river are lots of little caves to paddle into, a waterfall and small beaches you can pull your kayak up to and even have a picnic if you wish!

If you’re heading to the Cote d’Azur this summer, I highly recommend a day trip to see the Grand Canyon of Europe, take a peek at some photos from my kayak adventure.

Also just a little note, all images in the kayak were taken with a GoPro. I rarely use one because I prefer to have my underwater housing but I got a little worried we might tip our kayak so went with the safe and smaller option!

Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens
Kayaking the Gorges du Verdon in France by The Wandering Lens

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Blog Comments

Do you know If I can use my own Kayak for this trip, instead of hiring?

I can’t see any reason why not, there’s no signage that says otherwise and the main reason you see so many people hiring kayaks/paddle boats is that it’s just probably easier. Lac de Saint-Croix is amazing for kayaking so it’s worth looking into going for a trip!

Hi! just a couple of questions, are there places to park a car near the ‘beach’ at the northern part of the lake where you rent the kayaks from? Also what is the average price to rent a kayak for a few hours? Thanks 🙂

Hi Orla, gosh I’m sorry to take so long replying to your message! There is plenty of parking near the kayak rental areas…either side of the bridge offers parking, it’s just a matter of arriving early enough especially in the summer months. Kayak rental starts from around 20euro 🙂

Hello,

what is the principle of canoe rent on Verdon? How it is going backwards if it is not possible to swim oposite the river float? Is it possible to swim a short distance f.g. two hours? As far as I understand all the beauty is in the river behind the bridge and not in the lake itself. Thank you in advance!

It’s great to hire the kayaks to paddle deeper into the gorge which like you said, is the most photogenic part of the lake. It’s possible to swim but the water can be quite cold so it’s better to have a kayak and then swim a little if you wish.

Hi Lisa, great website. Thank you for the tips. John

Thanks John, I hope they were helpful 🙂

Hi Lisa,

I love ur article! We are planning to go there tomorrow or this weekend. How early we need to be at the lake to be sure to have a kayak?

How exciting you’re heading there soon! Earlier is of course better, I would aim to be there for 10am, but because most people hire the kayaks for 2hrs at a time, there are usually always some being returned throughout the day.
Have fun!

Great thanks Lisa! Just thinking it’s our first time in a kayak would it be safe to enter the gorges from the lake saint croix or there are better place?

Hi Lisa,
We are planning to ride our motorcycles from the uk to here and hire some kayaks to go down the gorge…where would be the best place to hire from which would be safe for our bikes also?

Hi Lisa,
thanks for your wonderful photos of the Verdon! Hope to be there in May/June canoeing right through the whole canyon. Lisa, as I see you´ve settled in southern France, as a fellow Australian francophile I was wondering if you had any tips where I might find a cabin to rent anywhere from the Italian to the Spanish border in the hills/mountains but not too snowy in winter and not more than 150km from the coast? I know it´s a long shot, but even if you could point me in the right direction that would be an invaluable help. As a fit and former cabinet-maker pensioner, something where I even have to provide my own stove would be just the shot.
Wishing you oodles of further success.
cheers,
Stefan

Hi Stefan,
Lovely to hear from you.
There’s plenty of areas to have a peek at that might offer what you’re looking for. Some favourites I’ve personally visited include Barcelonnette/Jausiers and Saint-Veran (the highest village in Europe, so gorgeous!), however they’re a little further than 150km from the coast but still only a 2-3hr drive. Otherwise the area around Gorges du Tarn is a surprising treasure trove of caves, gorges, mountains and beautiful small villages. It’s only 140km or so from Montpellier! I hope that helps give you some ideas. Enjoy your trip to Provence in May!

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