Go from Provence to the mountains in just a few kilometers! The Verdon region is rich in authentic villages full of character. Take the time to explore and discover them at your own pace!
From the springs to the Gorges du Verdon, via the Vaïre and Var rivers, discover our 6 emblematic villages:
Annot, Castellane, Colmars-les-Alpes, Entrevaux, La Palud-sur-Verdon and Saint-André-les-Alpes.
Annot, certified “Villages and Cities of Caracter “ lies at the foot of the spectacular sandstone rock formationsurrounded by hundred-year-old chestnut trees between which winds the Chemins de fer de Provence line. Let yourself be lulled by the sound of water from its fountains and canals as you wander through the old town’s labyrinth of alleyways. A must-see destination for the Train des Pignes steam train, a place to relax and discover nature, it’s also a great place for hiking and a renowned climbing spot.
Discover the surrounding villages of the Vaïre and Coulomp valleys: Braux, Le Fugeret, Méailles, Saint-Benoit, Ubraye, Vergons.
Set among centuries-old chestnut trees, dotted with restored stone barns, Braux offers superb views of the sandstone cliffs of the Coulomp valley.
Situated on the banks of the Vaïre river, Le Fugeret spreads out like a fan, but the commune extends well beyond the central village, into the Annot sandstone massif, and is made up of numerous hamlets, including Bontès, Argenton and Chabrières.
Perched on the edge of a limestone plateau, the village of Méailles overlooks the Vaïre valley from a magnificent vantage point. Traces of human occupation dating back to the Neolithic period have been found in the village’s caves.
Overlooking the Coulomp river, Saint Benoît is perched on a rocky knoll ravaged by erosion, which emerges in the middle of meadows emphasizing its still agricultural character. It is built in a circle around the St Benoît church.
At the foot of the Bernarde massif, a narrow, winding road leads to Ubraye. This small village still stands on its medieval site, dominated by a hill where a castle once stood.
Castellane is a village in Haute-Provence, gateway to the Gorges du Verdon and its outdoor activities. At the crossroads of the Route Napoléon and the lavender routes, in the heart of the Verdon Regional Nature Park, you’ll discover a cultural and natural heritage of rare richness. Built at the foot of the Roc, an impressive limestone boulder that seems to protect the town, it was home to the ancient village of Petra Castellana in the Middle Ages. The panorama from this promontory is breathtaking! Don’t miss the surrounding villages, authentic and rich in discoveries: Blieux, Demandolx, La Garde, Peyroules, Saint-Julien-du-Verdon and Soleilhas.
A small village in the Middle Ages, Blieux was built on a rocky spur on the right bank of the Asse. The village is surrounded by a cirque of mountains, including Mont – Chiran, home to an astronomical observatory.
Clinging to the mountainside and dominated by the Teillon and Crémon rivers, Demandolx offers a sublime panorama of the Chaudanne and Castillon lakes. The creation of these artificial lakes drowned part of the commune’s territory.
Autrefois appelé La Garde de Dieu, le village tire son nom de sa fonction de place militaire avancée de Castellane. Il est implanté au pied du rocher du Teillon qui abritait sur ses flancs un oppidum dès le début du moyen-âge
Peyroules, more than a village, is in fact a group of four hamlets spread across a plateau between valley and rocky outcrops: La Rivière, the main hamlet occupying the center of the commune, La Bâtie to the west, La Foux to the east and Mousteiret to the south.
Deprived of part of its agricultural land when the Castillon dam was built, the village of Saint Julien du Verdon now sits on a balcony above the lake, offering superb 360° panoramic views and hosting a water sports center.
Here, the dazzling natural beauty of the Mercantour National Park is combined with a rich heritage. From 1100 to more than 3000 meters above sea level, the mountains, caressed by the southern light, are omnipresent. The power of wide-open landscapes echoes the rumors of markets and festive events.
Located at the source of the Verdon, the villages of the upper valley are united around their main town: Colmars-les-Alpes, a fortified town classified as a ” Villages and Towns of Character “. They all have the distinctive feature of offering authentic charm in the immediate vicinity of the Val d’Allos mountain resorts. Sports, leisure and culture offer visitors unforgettable experiences in every season.
Perched on a mound in the heart of the Haut Verdon valley, Beauvezer, whose name means “beautiful to look at”, was an important wool-spinning center. A few buildings still stand, bearing witness to this flourishing period in the valley’s economy.
Located at an altitude of over 1,000m, Thorame-Basse offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor activities (hiking, mountain biking, fishing…). The village’s wetlands are also of great interest for the preservation of biodiversity.
Between the Issole and Verdon valleys lies the pastoral village of Thorame-Haute. The agricultural landscape with its herds and the Lac des Sagnes are ideal for family picnics and fishing. A rich cultural heritage (bridge, church, wash-house).
A former royal town fortified by Vauban and renowned for its citadel perched above the medieval village, Entrevaux will charm you from the moment you enter the Porte Royale.
A change of scenery is guaranteed from Entrevaux to Val-de-Chalvagne, up the Var valley to Castellet-lès-Sausses and Sausses, or on the edge of the Alpes-Maritimes in Val-de-Chanan with the villages of Saint-Pierre and La Rochette.
Perched on a rocky outcrop, the village of Castellet-lès-Sausses, named after an ancient fortified castle and a salt spring, offers superb panoramic views over the Var valley.
Clinging to a rocky spur, the village is enclosed within its ancient wall. From the 14th to the 19th century, it played a strategic role in the Chanan valley, on the border with the County of Nice.
It was a large agricultural estate, organized around an isolated church dedicated to Saint Pierre, that gave rise to the present-day commune. Today, it is the extreme southeastern tip of the Alpes de Haute Provence.
Topped by a castle, the village is built in a fan-shape on a steep slope. The winding lanes allow you to discover nooks and crannies and admire the pink-orange facades of most of the houses.
Located in the heart of the Gorges du Verdon and the
Verdon Regional Nature Park
the village of La Palud-sur-Verdon is the ideal base for exploring the grand canyon of the Verdon. A renowned spot for outdoor activities and a must forrock climbers, it’s also the starting point for numerous hiking and mountain biking trails. It’s a village that invites you to recharge your batteries, in the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Discover Châteauneuf-lès-Moustiers, the remains of a village overlooking the Baou valley, and the village of Rougon, perched on its rocky outcrop, overlooking the Samson Corridor, gateway to the Grand Canyon. Le Point sublime, a lookout point at the foot of the village, allows you to admire this impressive fault in the Gorges du Verdon.
Saint-André-les-Alpes, close to Lac de Castillon, benefits from a green, unspoilt setting. It’s a protected site and a gateway to the Verdon Regional Nature Park and the Haute-Provence Geological Nature Reserve.
Accessible via thelavender routes or the Chemins de fer de Provence, you’ll discover a wide range of landscapes, not forgetting the surrounding villages of Allons, Angles, La Mure-Argens, Lambruisse and Moriez . So many privileged places where a multitude of sporting and cultural activities are available to you.
Barrême, a must-see on the Route Napoléon, will reveal all the secrets of lavender cultivation, as well as its fossil wealth, with ammonites. Discover the many villages in the Asse valley: Chaudon-Norante, Clumanc, Saint-Jacques, Saint-Lions, Senez, Tartonne.
A village reached by skirting the Vauclause rocks, a natural barrier at the entrance to the Ivoire valley, Allons is surrounded by the remains of four square towers.
After skirting Lac de Castillon as far as Pont St Julien, you’ll discover Angles set against the slope in a bend of the valley. The road leading to the village, well known to geologists, runs alongside a series of Barremian rocks.
The commune of Barrême is world-renowned for its wealth of fossils, particularly ammonites, and is proud to have given its name to an era of the secondary era: the Barrêmien.
The commune of Chaudon-Norante, on the banks of the Asse and topped by the imposing Dourbes bar, is made up of three main hamlets: Norante, Chaudon and La Clappe, where Napoleon stopped on his return from Elba.
The commune of Clumanc is unusual in that it has no central town: in fact, it’s a collection of small hamlets scattered along the Asse river.
Farming and livestock rearing are still practiced today.
This commune is made up of two villages: La Mure, at the confluence of the Issole and Verdon rivers, once famous for its cloth factories, and Argens, perched at an altitude of 1,400 m, where lavender and other aromatic plants are grown.
Nestled in a quiet valley where the Encure river flows, between green meadows and wooded hills, the village’s main source of income is agriculture and beekeeping. Once famous for its lavender, a handful of farmers still carry on the tradition.
Established along the road linking Digne to Saint André, Moriez was a thriving business in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the manufacture of linen and the distillation of lavender. Its name comes from the Latin Muria, meaning salt, in connection with its salt well,
Situated at the confluence of the Asses de Clumanc, Moriez and Blieux, Saint-Jacques is known for its Barremian nummulites, fossils whose presence is promoted by the Réserve géologique de Haute Provence through a special site.
A belvedere overlooking the Asse valley at an altitude of 815 m, Saint-Lions has no coat of arms, as it only gained independence from the community of Barrême during the Directoire period. Today, it is a small village with a pastoral and agricultural vocation.
A former bishopric on the banks of the river Asse, Senez is a village steeped in history, with a rich and well-preserved cultural heritage. As a stopover on the imperial road, Napoleon stopped off to visit the cathedral, now a listed monument.