Spreading across the departments of the Var and the Alps of Haute Provence, the Sainte-Croix Lake is situated in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Verdon. Fed by the Verdon river, the lake is a place of several nautical activities.
The creation of the Sainte-Croix Lake
The history of the Sainte-Croix Lake is singular. Its project takes us back to 1908 with Georges Clémenceau, but it is only in 1968 that EDF (Electricity of France) starts its construction. The first idea of creation for the lake would have submerged all the surrounding villages : Les Salles-sur-Verdon, Bauduen and Sainte-Croix du Verdon. When the artificial lake is created in 1973, after the construction of the Sainte-Croix dam, Sainte-Croix and Bauduen were finally spared from the water. Les Salles-sur-Verdon was rebuilt above the water level.
Today, it is the 3d biggest lake of France
The Sainte-Croix Lake stretches over a surface of 2200 hectares (10 km long and 2 km wide). The dam, built at the entrance of the gorges of Baudinard, holds back 760 million cubic meters of water and generates more than 150 million kWh per year. It also supplies power to the adjacent cities. It is now a major tourist attraction and a perfect space for swimming, boating (electric and sailing boats), windsurfing, pedalos or canoe-kayak.
Touristic activities on the Sainte-Croix Lake
If it’s the 3d biggest lake of France, it is big enough to find a calm and quiet beach. It is also big enough to find what you’re looking for in terms of nautical activities.
Nautical activities on the Sainte-Croix Lake
If you want to enjoy the quiet of the lake, you can rent an electric boat to slowly sail over the emerald water. For the ones who are looking for a more physical activity, you also have a possibility to rent pedal boats, canoes or kayak, stand-up paddle and sailing boats. The nautical base of L’Etoile, settled a few meters from the Galetas Bridge, allows you a quick entrance in the Canyon of the Verdon. You can sail in up to 2 km. Or you can select La Cadeno. Pick your favorite! You think you’re more a hiking person ? Read our article on hiking trails surrounding the Canyon of the Verdon.