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Aix Verdon Itinerary

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Moustiers photo

Maps icon This route is 137 km, 2h10 driving time, from Aix-en-Provence to Castellane.   Route Map
From Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the final 45-km part of the route follows along the north side of the Gorges de Verdon, past la Palud-sur-Verdon, La Pointe Sublime, and along the Verdon river between the Gorges and Castellane.


Route. [54 km, 56 min] From the west side of Aix, take the A51 autoroute north (direction Sisteron, partial toll road); about 33 km, Exit 17 (Saint-Paul-lès-Durance). Go north on the D952 to Vinon-sur-Verdon.

Vinon-sur-Verdon

An interesting village on the Durance, with shady terrace cafés, kayaking, summertime activities and a nearby farmyard animal park.
Location: 5 km southwest of Gréoux-les-Bains; 15 km south of Manosque; 40 km northeast of Aix-en-Provence

Route. [9 km, 11 min] North out of Vinon-sur-Verdon, cross the river, and immediately right (east) on the D952 to Gréoux-les-Bains.

Gréoux-les-Bains

A Roman town, with the mineral hot springs still a popular attraction, pretty much continuously since the Romans built them. Beside the lower Verdon river and near the pretty Lac d'Esparron.
Location: In the Verdon Natural Park, 15 km southeast of Manosque; 30 km southwest of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie; 50 km northeast of Aix-en-Provence.

Route. [29 km, 19 min] Continue east out of town on the D952 (Ave des thermes). Follow the D952 via Saint Martin-de-Brômes and Allemagne-en-Provence to Riez.

Riez

Riez la Romaine dates from the 1st century, with extensive Roman ruins, a well know truffle market every wednesday through the winter. Good dining possibilities.
Location: On the Plateau de Valensole (lavender), 15 km southwest of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie; 20 km northeast of Gréoux-les-Bains; 10 km northwest of the Lac de Sainte Croix.

Route. [16 km, 16 min] Exit Riez to the east on the D952, via Roumoules (there's an excellent restaurant at the village). On the road leading down off the plateau there are nice views of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie sitting back in its notch against the far cliffs.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

A lovely medieval village in a gorgeous setting, near the Gorges de Verdon, known for its faïence pottery. The 12th-century Notre-Dame church with its 4-level Italianate bell tower. Many gift and pottery shops, and excellent dining choices.

Route. [29 km, 19 min] Go south from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie 2km, then left (southeast) at the roundabout on the D952 towards La Palud-sur-Verdon, on the north side of the Gorges. Stop at early lookout points for views of the Lac de Sainte Croix and the gorge.

Verdon Gorges

This 21-km long canyon is deep, compact, wild and beautiful. On the north side a 45-km long road goes between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (Lac de Sainte Croix) and Castellane. Another road from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie goes via Aiguines and along the south side of the Canyon, to Comps-sur-Artuby in the Var.
Location: Deep, narrow gorges along the Verdon river between Castellane (east) and the Lac de Sainte Croix (west) near Moustiers-Sainte-Mairie.

Palud-sur-Verdon

Village on the high plains on the north side of the Gorges de Verdon. A good lunch stop, with some lodging possibilities, many campsites. Great hiking.
Location: Gorges de Verdon north side; 7 km west of Point Sublime; 24 km west of Castellane; 19 km southeast of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and the Lac de Sainte Croix.

Route. [25 km, 22 min] The D952 continues east to the upper end of the Verdon Gorges. It's 7-1/2 km to the Point Sublime with a fabulous view into the Gorges. The D952 continues from the Point Sublime with a beautiful drive along the Verdon river to Castellane.
alternate 1 km east of La Palud is the junction with the Route des Cretes, a 23-km loop that goes out to the edge of the Gorges and back around to la Palud. This is a beautiful drive with magnificent views.
alternate From the Point Sublime, a 3-km road goes north up the hillside to the village of Rougon, where a colony of vultures is maintained on the opposite cliffs.

Castellane

Route Napoleon town at the foothills of the Alps, site of a Roman fort, with river kayaking on the Verdon upstream of Beyond's Grand Canyon Verdon Gorges.
Location: About 60 km northwest (an hour and a half drive) from Cannes and Nice.

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