Verdon's Most Beautiful Villages

Saint-Julien-du-Verdon, l'un des plus beaux villages du Parc du Verdon ! (©AD04-Teddy Verneuil)

If Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is listed as One of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, it doesn’t make us ignore the charm of the other beautiful villages in our area. ☺
Brief presentations of the most beautiful villages of the Verdon Park... ↓

 

Notre superbe village de Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, à la tombée de la nuit... (©Loïc Lagarde)

[Crédit photo : ©Loïc Lagarde]

This page does not have any value of exhaustive list... This repertory simply gives you a foretaste of the principal points of interest of villages with the most character. The appeal of all these villages is their originality, or special character. This may relate to the architectural heritage as well as to the natural heritage.

 

► Valensole's Plateau

⭐ Riez-la-Romaine

Distance : 20 mn - 15 km
why discover this village ? :

- For its architectural heritage → its Saint-Maxime chapel (accessible by the olive trees path with a beautiful point of view), its Roman columns, Notre-Dame de l'Assomption cathedral, its baptistery, ramparts, doors and Clock Tower... 

- For its traditional market which takes place all year round (Wednesday and Saturday mornings) + night market (Thursday evenings in July and August), its commercial life, its animations and various events...
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Valensole's Plateau, in the heart of which the village is located (about 15 mn drive to the Poteau de Telle, starting point of the road in the middle of the lavender fields, in direction of Valensole...).
- Sainte-Croix's Lake (less than 15 mn drive to the village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon!).

More Info : Office de Tourisme et des congrès Durance Luberon Verdon ant it Bureau d’Information Touristique in Riez, place Maxime Javelly

Le village de Riez, dominé par sa chapelle Saint-Maxime (©VCC04-Thibaut Vergoz)     Le village de Riez et son très intéressant marché traditionnel bihebdomadaire (©VCC04-Thibaut Vergoz)

⭐ Gréoux-les-Bains

Distance: 40 mn - 35 km
Why discover this village ? :
- For the global offer of this small town (about 2600 inhabitants): its Templar castle and Notre-Dame des Œufs chapel, its Animal Park "Les Aigles du Verdon", the adventure park "Canyon Parc", its cinema "Écociné Verdon", or the thermal baths (Gréoux is the 3rd thermal spa of France!) and its casino...
- For its animated summer life and its traditional all year markets (Thursday mornings for the BIG market and on Tuesday mornings for the small one) + night market on Friday evenings (July and August).
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Valensole's Plateau : the village is about 15 mn drive away, starting point of the road in the middle of lavender fields until the Poteau de Telle.
- Esparron Lake Gréoux is about 20 minutes from Esparron-de-Verdon village and its numerous water activities, or about 15 minutes from the "Saint-Julien beach" (on the other side of the lake...).
- The small villages "off the beaten track" located nearby that are worth the detour : Saint-Martin-de-Brômes (its parish church, its Clock Tower, its nice walk along the Colostre river until its inflow in the Verdon...) and Allemagne-en-Provence (its castle or its charming road to reach Valensole).

More Info : Office de Tourisme et des congrès Durance Luberon Verdon

Le village de Gréoux-les-Bains, dominé par son château des Templiers (©AD04-Thibaut Vergoz)     Le village de Gréoux-les-Bains et ses animations nocturnes estivales (©AD04-Thibaut Vergoz)


 

► Hills of the Haut-Var

⭐ Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier

Distance : 1h - 48 km 
Why discover this village ? :
- For the magnificent view offered from the orientation table of this perched on an isolated hill village and ideally located between Provence Verte and Verdon Gorges.
- For the various modest places and monuments which form its heritage: the mills located on the plateau where the old village is nestled, the wash house of Saint-Pierre, the parish church, the gate of the enclosure...
- For Saint-Julien beach, on the banks of the lake of Esparron, its nautical rentals and the terraces of its snack bars.
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Gréoux-les-Bains and its general offer listed above
- Rians, typical village of Provence, located at about 20 kilometers.

More Info : Office de Tourisme Provence Verte & Verdon

Le village de Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier (©La-provence-verte.net)     Le village de Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier et ses moulins (©La-provence-verte.net)

⭐ Aups

Distance : 35 mn - 33 km
Why discover this village ? :
- Labeled "Villages et cités de caractère", this "hub of the Haut-Var" is ideally located between Sainte-Croix lake and some of the must-sees of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The atmosphere of this village of about 2300 inhabitants is charming: sometimes Provencal (because of its traditions and notably its market which takes place on Wednesday and Saturday mornings...), sometimes medieval (because of the architecture of some of its streets).
- To visit: "Maison de la Truffe d’Aups et du Verdon" and "Musée de Faykod": an open-air sculpture park located just 4 km from the village.
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- The "trio of the inescapable" : Sillans-la-Cascade at only 10 minutes drive ; Villecroze and its troglodytic caves also located at only 10 minutes drive ; and Tourtour at only 15 minutes drive, nicknamed the "village in the sky of Provence" and (just like Moustiers) counting among the Most Beautiful Villages of France...

More Info : Bureau d’Information Touristique d’Aups

Le village d'Aups (©Varmatin)


 

► Sainte-Croix Lake

⭐ Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon

Distance : 25 mn - 16 km (⚠️motorhomes are strongly advised to take the route via Riez : about 30 mn and 25 km) 
Why discover this village ? :
- For its superb view of the lake to which it gave its name: the largest in the Verdon area. The village dominates the Sainte-Croix lake and invites you to admire its entire extent. You can see the beautiful villages of Bauduen and Aiguines (both located on the other side of the lake), or the bridge of Galetas and the mouth of the Verdon Gorges !
- For all the nautical activities that Sainte-Croix lake offers: kayak and paddle, but also dinghy, catamaran or windsurfing and rowing thanks to our partner, the Association Voile & Nautisme.
- For the hike of the "sentier des Muletiers" on the banks of the lake: ideal for families and to enjoy magnificent panoramas !
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Riez (less than 15 minutes drive)
- Baudinard canyon (more or less 15 minutes drive).
- Bauduen (less than 20 minutes drive).

More info : Office de Tourisme de Sainte Croix du Verdon

Le village de Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon et sa superbe vue sur le lac auquel il a donné son nom (©AD04-Thibaut Vergoz)     Le village de Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon et ses champs de lavande (©AD04-Thibaut Vergoz)

⭐ Aiguines

Distance : 25 mn - 16 km
Why discover this village ? :
- This village of less than 300 inhabitants, nestled at an altitude of about 800 m, royally overlooks the Sainte-Croix lake and offers an extraordinary "terraced view"! Moreover, the Col d'Illoire, located at less than 3 km and 5 mn of road, consists of a wooden footbridge which really gives the impression to have the feet in the void above the gorges! Ideal viewpoint to start following the road of the famous Corniche Sublime...
- For the "Musée des Tourneurs sur Bois" (Woodturners' Museum) a must-see place in our area, retracing in particular the history of the " pétanque nailed balls "...
- For the superb hiking itineraries : the ascent of the Grand Margès (1577 m) from the village and back, or "l'Imbut Trail" from the Auberge des Cavaliers, at about 25 min drive from the village...
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Sainte-Croix lake, the Galetas bridge and the Étoile nautical base about 15 minutes away, to enter the Grand Canyon by canoe, kayak, pedal boat or electric boat for nearly 2 kilometers!

More Info : Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Lacs et Gorges du Verdon – Bureau d’Information Touristique d’Aiguines

Le col d'Illoire, sur le territoire du village d'Aiguines (©Lacs-gorges-verdon.fr)     Le village d'Aiguines et son château (©Visitvar.fr)

⭐ Bauduen

Distance : 35 mn - 35 km
Why discover this village ? :
- Because of its location and configuration on the banks of Sainte-Croix lake and nestled against the small rocky cliffs of the hill of Défends, offers a privileged access to the water activities of the lake! Enjoy a wide range of activities (catamaran, dinghy, canoe, kayak, paddle and windsurfing) thanks to the Bauduen nautical center.
- To visit "L'Art en Jouet" (toy/Playmobil museum) and "L'Observatoire Astronomique de Bauduen"
- For the "Véris" trail: very nice itinerary of average distance and difficulty to walk a few hours from the lake.
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding
- Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon village (less than 20 minutes drive).
- Aups (less than 20 munites drive).

More Info: Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Lacs et Gorges du Verdon – Bureau d’Information Touristique de Bauduen

Le village de Bauduen (©Visitvar.fr)     Le village de Bauduen à la tombée de la nuit (©Adrien Noat)


 

► Verdon Gorges

⭐ Rougon

Distance : 45 mn - 30 km
Why discover this village ? :
- Because of its geographical position, this small village (120 inhabitants) perched at an altitude of more than 900 m, offers one of the most impressive views of the Verdon Gorges area! From its rocky outcrop, Rougon offers a breathtaking overhanging view of the first part of the Grand Canyon du Verdon with the Point Sublime and the Couloir Samson
- For the splendid hiking itineraries that are available to hikers starting from Rougon: the "sentier du Lézard" from the Point Sublime with the descent to the Couloir Samson + a round trip on the end of the sentier Blanc-Martel and its famous tunnels. On the opposite side: the Pont de Tusset, a very nice little bridge made of old stones...), or up to the Mourre de Chanier (1930 m of altitude and the highest point of the Verdon Prealps), for the more experienced hikers and mountain enthusiasts...
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding
- Castellane (more or less 30 mn drive) and Trigance (25 mn drive).

More Info : Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Verdon Tourisme

Le village de Rougon, "Point Sublime sur le Point Sublime" (©Wikimedia.org)     Le village de Rougon (©Philippe Murtas - Verdon Tourisme)


 

► Verdon lakes and mountains

 

⭐ Saint-Jurs

Distance : 25 mn - 21 km
Why discover this village ? :
- Due to its "strategic" geographical location, the small village (130 inhabitants) of Saint-Jurs offers very interesting perspectives between Valensole plateau and the Montdenier massif (a small mountainous group whose crest connects the village to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie).
- For its ruined castle and the rich panel of hiking itineraries starting from the village: the summit of Huby (⚠️: the end of the ascent is not marked), the summit of Agra, the summit of Montdenier and its ridge; or the gorges of Trévans and Majastres, for walkers wishing to "extend the distance"...
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Riez (less than 20 mn drive).
- Estoublon (less than 15 mn drive), to visit « Le Vieux Moulin » (an oil mill) + the valley of the Asse river and the Trévans gorges.

More Info : Mairie de Saint-Jurs

Saint-Jurs, village le plus haut perché du plateau de Valensole     La crête du Montdenier, la montagne située au-dessus du village de Saint-Jurs

⭐ Castellane

Distance : 1h05 - 45 km
Why discover this village ? :
- For all the white water activities that can be done from Castellane! You can choose between rafting, canyoning and aqua-rando, cano-raft, floating, hydrospeed... (⚠️ : all these white water sports must be guided)
- For the richness of the architectural heritage of this medieval village located not far from the Grand Canyon and crossed by the Route Napoleon... → Notre-Dame du Roc chapel, the Roc bridge, the Sacred Heart church. The three listed monuments: the Saint-Victor church, the Pentagonal Tower and the Clock Tower. Castellane has certainly not obtained the label "Villages and cities of character" for nothing!
- For its large offer of hiking itineraries to do with the family: Notre-Dame du Roc + the "sentier des Siréniens". For the more experienced hikers: the "sentier de Destourbes", the Cadières de Brandis or, nearby, the summit of Teillon...
- To visit the "Citromuseum"
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Saint-Julien-du-Verdon (20 mn drive) and lake Castillon… + lake Chaudanne, only 10 minutes away !

More info : Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Verdon Tourisme and its Bureau d’Information Touristique at Castellane

Le village de Castellane et sa chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc (©VCC04-Thibaut Vergoz)     Le village de Castellane et son environnement montagneux (©VCC04-Thibaut Vergoz)

⭐ Saint-Julien-du-Verdon

Distance : 1h15 mn - 74 km
Why discover this village ? :
- This small village (less than 150 inhabitants) nested on a peninsula offers a superb 360° panorama, on the banks of the lake of Castillon and on the cirque of very beautiful mountains!
- For the lake of Castillon and all the activities that the "base nautique communale du Touron" proposes.
- For the superb hiking routes (medium or difficult level): the Pidanoux bar or the Crémon summit
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Castellane (less than 20 mn drive).

More Info : Mairie de Saint-Julien-du-Verdon

Le village de Saint-Julien-du-Verdon et sa presqu'île (©AD04-Philippe Murtas)     Le village de Saint-Julien-du-Verdon (©Verdon Tourisme)


 

► Artuby

⭐ Trigance | Bargème | Comps-sur-Artuby

Distance : 1h - 40 km (to reach Trigance)
Why discover these villages ? :
- For the very calm and serene atmosphere offered by the Artuby area. In the wide open spaces of the Artuby Pre-Alps an "end of the world" atmosphere is guaranteed, away from the summer agitation of the Verdon Gorges...
- For the charm of these 3 small villages... : :
Trigance (about 200 inhabitants), "at the crossroads of the right and left banks of the famous Verdon Gorges," perched at an altitude of nearly 800 m, on the side of the rocky bar on which the feudal castle and its crenellated towers are set.
Comps-sur-Artuby (about 320 inhabitants), a village perched at an altitude of 900 m, in a beautiful and wild natural setting, dominated by the Saint-André chapel and its rock.
Bargème (about 220 inhabitants), perched at an altitude of nearly 1100 m (highest village in the Var!), this village, which (like Moustiers) counts among Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, offers a charming view over the valley.
- For the hiking itineraries: 5 beautiful "family hikes" or more sportive with the "belvedere of the vultures" from Trigance, or the summit of Lachens from La Bastide (near Bargème...)...
+ Other sites to discover in the surrounding :
- Rougon (more or less 25 mn drive from Trigance).
- Castellane (more or less 25 mn from Trigance).

More Info : Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Lacs et Gorges du Verdon et son Relais Info Tourisme de Trigance

Le village de Trigance à la tombée de la nuit (©Adrien Noat)     Le village de Trigance et son château (©Chateau-de-trigance.fr)     


Crédits photos
→ ©AD04-Teddy Verneuil, ©Lacs-gorges-verdon.fr, ©Adrien Noat, ©Visitvar.fr, ©Chateau-de-trigance.fr,
©Varmatin, ©VCC04-Thibaut Vergoz, ©AD04-Thibaut Vergoz, ©Philippe Murtas - Verdon Tourisme,
©AD04-Philippe Murtas,©Verdon Tourisme, ©Wikimedia.org, ©La-provence-verte.net