2 randonneurs grimpant le sentier Blanc-Martel

Blanc-Martel trail

In the
Verdon Regional Nature Park
it is impossible to hike in the
Gorges du Verdon
without taking the Blanc-Martel trail. Roaming from
or from Chalet de la Maline, follow in the footsteps of the first explorers of Europe’s largest canyon. So! Ready for adventure?

Le Couloir Samson bélvédère

In the footsteps of explorers

The Blanc-Martel trail is the best-known trail in the
Gorges du Verdon
It’s also one of the must-do itineraries, and the one that allows you to cover the longest distance at the bottom of the canyon, near the Verdon.

Did you know?
The Blanc-Martel trail takes its name from Alfred-Edouard Martel and Isidore Blanc, the explorers who first crossed the entire length of France’s grand canyon.

Need more information on the Blanc-Martel trail?

Do you have any questions about the Blanc-Martel trail or the associated shuttle?

See our dedicated FAQ for all the essential information.

Don’t leave any questions unanswered before your adventure begins!


From Chalet de la Maline to Point Sublime

Sentier Blanc Martel de Haute Provence

Chalet de la Maline

The starting point for the Blanc-Martel trail, Chalet de la Maline is located in the village of La Palud-sur-Verdon. Collective gîte and restaurant, this is the meeting point for hikers on the GR 4.

randonneur sur le sentier blanc-martel
Voyage au cœur du Canyon

Journey to the heart of the Canyon

The Blanc-Martel trail is a unique 16 km one-way trail.

The trail takes you to the bottom of the canyon, as close as possible to the Verdon river, and allows you to discover some of the Verdon’s mythical sites, such as the Pré d’Issane, ox balsam, la Mescla, the Imbert breach, the Guègues scree slopes, the Trescaïre and Baou, the Samson Corridor

Between steep cliffside paths and shady undergrowth, the Blanc-Martel trail alternates between rhythmic and exceptional landscapes, allowing you to enter into the intimacy of this exceptional site.

Although the trail is very popular in summer, the number of visitors remains low. Some time after the shuttle’s arrival, the stream of hikers heading up the switchbacks below Chalet de la Maline gradually dissipates, returning the Verdon to its wild character.

Sentier Blanc-Martel - Randonnée dans les Gorges du Verdon

Le Point Sublime

The arrival point, Point Sublime in the commune of Rougon, marks the end of the journey. After passing through the couloir Samson tunnel, take the stairs to the belvedere and then the path to Point Sublime. 200 metres of ascent and you’re there!

Our tip: Continue your ascent to Point Sublime while your muscles are still warm. If you feel the need, stop off at the Couloir Samson lookout, but only for a few minutes, otherwise you’ll run into difficulties on the final stretch.

Which way to go?

There are several reasons why we recommend hiking in the direction from La Maline to Le Point Sublime.

Hiking is easier. In fact, it’s better to descend the 400 m difference in altitude between Chalet de la Maline and the Verdon than to climb them at the end of the hike, after 15 km of walking! The 250-step Imbert Gap is also easier and more impressive on the way down than on the way up.

The Blanc-Martel shuttle is designed to operate in the direction from La Maline to Point Sublime. The Chalet de la Maline is served by the morning shuttle bus from the village of La Palud-sur-Verdon.

Some parts of the trail are quite narrow, so it’s not always easy to pass each other. So even though the trail can be walked in either direction, it’s best to follow the recommended direction, which is used by most hikers.

A little history

At the beginning of the 20th century, Alfred-Edouard Martel, a hydrogeology and speleology enthusiast, was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture to find new drinking water resources to supply Provence.

Accompanied by a team of locals, including Isidore Blanc, a schoolteacher from Rougon and a naturalist guide with a passion for flora and fauna, they set out in 1905 to discover the wild abyss that is the Grand Canyon du Verdon.

Leaving from the Samson Corridor, they arrived safely at Le Galetas 4 days later. They are the first to cover the entire canyon. A little later, in the ‘ 30s, the Touring Club de France opened the famous trail that descends from the Malineand joinsthe Couloir Samson.

The Blanc-Martel shuttle

and cabs

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Technical data

Technical data

Distance: the hike is a one-way trip of 16 km.

Journey time: allow 6 to 7 hours for the route.

Ascent: 600m.

Difficulty level: due to its difficulty, this trail is not recommended for children under 8 or for people suffering from vertigo.

Regulations: thetrail is off-limits to
and mountain bikes. Swimming in the Verdon is prohibited throughout the canyon sector. The Verdon is a particularly dangerous river, with numerous syphons and water level variations caused by the activity of upstream dams.

Danger: theflow of the Verdon is variable, so the Blanc-Martel trail may be submerged.

To find out the flow rates of the Verdon, contact the tourist information centers in Castellane and La Palud-sur-Verdon.

Equipment required: dood hiking boots, a torch for the tunnels (telephone torches are sufficient), at least 2 liters of water per person, a picnic, warm clothing, a cap or sun hat and sun cream to protect you from the southern sun!