Through Sam’s work with Scenic Car Tours, he had seen amazing photos of the Gorges du Verdon, and so it was on our list as somewhere to paddleboard on our trip. Our first stop was at Sainte-Croixe-de-Verdon, an amazing lake that’s 12km long and 2km wide. We didn’t know this when we set off on our boards and underestimated quite how far we would be paddling that day!
The dam of Sainte-Croix has been in operation since 1973, the original village of Les Salles sur Verdon was demolished to create the lake and the new village is further upstream. This completely shifted the economic activity of the region from farming to tourism. Although it is a beautiful place, it does feel very ‘flooded’ when you’re paddleboarding there and a number of trees are still growing through the lake.
Because the water is so clear, you can see rocks and boulders that would have previously been above you.
Although we had planned to paddle through the gorge as well, the road we were on was a little higher than we had expected! We were treated to some lovely views though.
This section reminded us of the Fairy Pools in Scotland…
The day was not without its troubles though, Sam had to sort out the brakes a couple of times, but it gave the coach tours something to look at as they passed!
We also met a convoy of coaches in a rather small tunnel and had to turn round – an interesting manoeuvre!
Once we got off of one of the main tracks around the gorge, things calmed down a little and we were able to enjoy some quieter roads.