The "Grand Canyon of France" and place of Instagram and Pinterest fame (you know what I'm talking about...see it here), the Gorges du Verdon was a must-see for me on our French road trip. I was really looking forward to our time in the gorge and debated different ways of seeing it (rafting, kayaking, hiking, etc) but when it came down to it, we decided to wait and see how much time we had the next morning and what we could fit in. We found one good pull off where some people were getting out and walking a bit, so we did just that, but - broken record alert! - due to time constraints, we couldn't do a kayak or raft trip on the aquamarine waters of France's deepest gorge and just stuck with driving.
The overlooks were, by and large, really poorly marked/not marked at all and some of them didn't even have parking at them, just a bit of gravel and space for one or two cars on the side of the road. This wasn't totally unexpected after visiting the Gorges du Tarn, but I suppose the Gorges de l'Ardeche just set the bar so high with nice roads and infrastructure that all the others had a lot to live up to. Of course, the Gorges du Tarn are still worth visiting - that aquamarine water is really something! Plus, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie at the start of the gorge and Castellane at the end are both pretty special and not to be missed. We had a cloudy day when visiting the Gorges du Verdon, and a clear, sunny day may have improved our visit, too, it's hard telling. Regardless, the landscape is still stunning and makes my ignorant American-self say again, "France! Who knew?!"
D - The thing that I remember most clearly about the Gorges du Verdon is the incredible turquoise river that cuts the gorge in half far below. I'm a real sucker for turquoise water and pretty much want to go anywhere where it's a feature. When we first pulled over and looked over the edge of the cliff I was truly just flabbergasted by the vivid color. Flabbergasted!
See more from our road trip around southern France: our day in Toulouse here, and all of our stops on our first day: Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Bouzies, Rocamadour, Padirac Cave, Loubressac, and Figeac. We began our second day in Marcillac-Vallon and Belcastel, made a stop at the Viaduc de Millau before heading into the Gorges du Tarn, and finally checked out the lovely Sainte-Enimie. That night, we stayed in Le-Pont-de-Montvert.
We started our third day in Labeaume before driving through the Gorges de l'Ardeche and stopping afterwards in Aiguèze and then spending some time checking out Roman remains in Orange and staying the night in Vaison-la-Romaine. The next morning we explored Vaison-la-Romaine, drove on to Sisteron and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.