Uploaded the 02/06/2020
What about coming to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie for your next holiday ?
You are not sure ? Let us tell you a little bit more about our village and its territory…
In which department are the Verdon Gorges ?
In this territory, nature is at the center, it draws the limit of its own region. The Verdon gorges and the river form a natural frontiere between Alpes de Haute Provence and Var. on the Left Side you are in le Var (83), on the Right Side, you are in les Alpes de Haute Provence (04).
On the Right side are Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Castellane, 2 villages at the entrance of the Verdon gorges. First Castellane, where the gorges starts and then Moustiers-Sainte-Marie where it ends. The spring is at 2400m of altitude, where ice and snow mingle to create the river that flows in la Durance after Vinon-sur-Verdon.
This river has character. You may be tempted to look at your reflection in the water but know that it isn’t always still and can become dangerous at times. Accidents happen every year because of its hidden streams. Be careful. Respect the river and i twill give it back to you.
To go for a swim, you have 5 possibilities : 5 lakes are along the river and each of those offer nautic activities. Beware : it is forbidden to swim in Baudinard’s canyon.
Crédit photo : Office de Tourisme
Which village to visit in the Verdon area ?
So many possibilities… and each village with its own character ! We will talk about Moutiers-Sainte-Marie here. The village evoks the Nativity Scene with its star hanging above it and protecting its inhabitants for centuries. Indeed in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie legends continue to live and be lived.
Do you know the legend of the star ? One was made official but there are 16 others. The village was founded during the 5th century and its star still stays a mistery.
There are 700 souls in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Mostly pedestrian, in the shadow of the sun, the streets of the village are medieavals. You can find unique craftmen shops.
Earthenware is well represented in the village. It had a good reputation and was shown to the entire world as their trophy. You could see it at the tables of Louis the 14th, King of France. It was He who asked for Moustiers’s earthenware. A real sign of quality you may say…
Today 8 workshops are still working and kept the old way of doing. They are still shown internationaly as an exceptional craft, made by passionate craftmen (and women). Its perfect white colour and the sound it makes is a sign of its unique quality.
Crédit photo : Office de Tourisme
When to come in the Verdon ?
The answer is simple : whenever you feel like it ! You can visit the gorges all trhough the year. You only need to know that part of the road « Route des Crêtes » is closed from November to April for your safety. You can still drive on the road from the village of La Palud to La Maline, or on the opposite side to see the different points of view on Europe highest Canyon and then come back the same way.
You will be able to see the river, 700m down your feet and enjoy 15 points of view built in a way to allow you to park your car. When it isn’t closed, the one way part is quite steep, we recommand to be cautious and drive slowly.
Access to hiking trails are possible all year long. You only need to be careful about the weather forcast.
In February you could stop to watch blossoming almond trees on Valensole’s Plateau. During sping, walk around Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and enjoy the flowery lands. During summer, let yourself enjoy a fresh and delicate morning before going for a swim in Sainte-Croix’s lake and then let yourself be guided among the streets of the village with one of our guides. And then in fall, when the trees changes their colour, you will enjoy one last possibility to see the Verdon bathing under the soft light of the sun. And after the Christmass holidays it all starts again.
Visit the Verdon Gorges from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Moustiers is a fary tale village and its geographic position is an important asset : 10 minutes away from the Verdon Gorges, the Sainte-Croix Lake and Valensole’s Plateau.
You can visit the gorges hiking, cycling or canyoning. People often ask us how to get inside the Verdon gorges. You can come by car from the highway A51 from Marseille (leave it at Manosque) or A8 from Nice (leaving it at Le Muy). If you come by train, the closest train station is Manosque. You then have to take a bus to come inside the Natural Park. Learn more information in our article « how to come to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie ».
You can also rent a car in Manosque or Gréoux-les-Bains. If you don’t want to drive to visit the Natural Park, you can also book a trip with a professional that will guide you through everything. If you drive your own car, be careful, take your time, you are on holiday: time stand still in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.