The Verdon Gorges (or Gorges du Verdon) have always been a destination for motorcyclists and fans of all sports on wheels. Here is our guide for an itinerary full of curves, emotions and breathtaking views.
In our weekend we did the classic tour of the Verdon, including the sighting of condors (yes, you got it right) and returning we also stretched from the Gorges du Daluis, for other unforgettable curves among the red rocks.
- How to get there and back
- Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
- Do not miss
- Map and information
In order not to lose even an inch of this beautiful tour and to discover the many secrets of the area, we have relied on theexpert motorcycle guide The BYK (acronym for the Big Yellow K) or Angelo Angelucci with its Kappone German yellow taxi that organizes many tours e travel especially in the areas between Italy e France.
The tour of sip del Verdon is actually very simple, as, as you will see from the map, they are two concentric rings that allow you to make a sort of eight without going through the same place (apart from La Palude Sur Verdon). Obviously everything changes according to where you come from. We, departing from Milan and Cuneo, based on Castellane, in order to be already a few kilometers from the gorges the next morning.
To discover the magnificent canyon overlooking the Verdon river, our tour from Castellane starts on the D952 then D955 towards Trigance. Then turn onto the D90 then D71. Already here the view is crazy and is made even more suggestive a few km further on by the passage on Artuby bridge. The very elevated position and the many curves to "brush" give us unique views where we often stop to catch our breath as well as to take a thousand photos.
Following the D71 you begin to descend towards the Sainte Croix lake, passing from barren rocks and deep canyons to softer hills covered with vineyards. Coming down from the hairpin bends, the view of the lake is very beautiful but the real show is a few kilometers further on, when, crossing the bridge over the Verdon, the spectacular glimpse of the Gorges opens in front of you with the blue river tending to turquoise flowing in depth.
After a stop and a thousand photos, it's time to fill up on flavors and aromas and in a few minutes we arrive at Moustiers Saint-Marie for a quick lunch and two passivated among the alleys of the village. Then we leave again in a north-easterly direction towards The Swamp Sur Verdon on the D952. After passing the town center, we take the D23 (clockwise) for the even more beautiful and evocative ring of the tour.
Curves, hairpin bends and passages overlooking the void, a real playground for us motorcyclists especially for photos and videos. If you then go up to the highest point of the tour you stop to admire the deep canyon that runs along the road, you may also be lucky enough to spot the condor that hover free above you.
At the end of the tour, we return to La Palude Sur Verdon and resume the D952 towards Castellane, for many more kilometers of fun and roads carved into the mountains.
As suggested by Angelo, an overnight stay in Castellane is very useful for dedicating a whole day to sip of the Verdon. To get here from Milan we stopped in Cuneo and then traveled on Colle della Maddalena, passing through the Serre Poncon lake and the town of Dignes Les Bains, with a stop on the Castillon Lake for beautiful sunset photos.
On the way back, in order not to miss anything, we did the spectacular Gorges of the Daluis (Gorge du Daluis) where the road passes along the red rock walls of this beautiful canyon. From here we headed to Isola to do the Colle della Lombarda and return to Cuneo and then to Milan.
If, on the other hand, you prefer the sea to the mountains, you can also reach the Gorges from Liguria and the French Riviera: after Nice, turn towards Grasse, then always straight on to Castellane.
The small village of Moustiers Saint-Marie it is located in the middle of two majestic rocky cliffs crossed by a mountain stream. Legend has it that the knight of Blacas, to thank the Virgin for having returned safe and sound from the Crusades, had a star hoisted between the two rock walls with a chain that still watches over the heads of the inhabitants sparkling in the setting sun.
The village divided in two by the stream, is a real wedding favor with about 15 faïences workshops, that is, glazed majolica in fashion at the time of Louis XIV. If, on the other hand, you are more athletic, you can go up to the fourteenth century Chapelle Notre-Dame de Beauvoir through a steep path with steps, from there the view is incomparable. Don't forget to have lunch in one of the many excellent restaurants in the village, some of which directly overlook the stream.
The pretty town of Castellane it is surrounded by mountains and the Verdon River. The famous cliff of the chapel of Notre-Dame du Roc, which can be reached via a path. In addition to being strategic for a day in the Verdon Gorges, you can visit the pentagonal tower and the door of the Clock, or eat something in the Marcel Sauvaire square. At number 34 of rue Nationale, there is the house in which on March 3, 1815 Napoleon, returning from the island of Elba, he stopped for lunch. This place is now a arts museum and of the popular traditions of the Middle Verdon.
In addition to what has already been listed, there are other beautiful streets in the surroundings, very little known and even less jokes, but all very beautiful. We were able to see them thanks to the experience of our guide Angelo "The BYK", so take one more day to discover the treasures of this part of France.