Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is a deep and wild limestone canyon worn away by the Verdon River in the French Riviera. Running up to 700 meters deep, Verdon Gorge is aptly known to locals as the Grand Canyon du Verdon and receives over 100,000 visitors a year. With glacial waters as blue as the sky, the gorge is popular among swimmers, kayakers, sunbathers and hikers. It’s also especially beloved by rock climbers, with hundreds of climbing routes across its rocky 25-kilometer-long expanse.
If you’d like to boat along the crystal clear waters of Verdon Gorge, rentals are available from nearby towns like Castellane during summer. Or you can just hop right in for a swim in the refreshingly cool water. For hikers, there are plenty of trails that take in the canyon’s jagged limestone cliffs and azure waters, including the popular nine-mile Martell trail, which takes about seven hours each way.