Often confused with the Basses Verdon Gorges, the beautiful Gorges de Baudinard with small hidden canyon in provence offer a very different experience. It is only recently that visitors have become passionate about the hidden treasures of these small gorges. Thus, this small canyon has an air of virgin land. We feel a bit like new explorers in pursuit of its hidden caves and small waterfalls. Under the Provençal sun, its steep cliffs and moss walls provide a refuge of magical freshness.
How to explore the Gorges de Baudinard?
Its limestone cliffs of a hundred meters are home to a rich and well-preserved fauna and flora. Also, little disturbed by man, fish and animals evolve there in peace. Nature lovers will feel in perfect harmony with their environment.
Can we swim in the Gorges de Baudinard?
Located between the dam of Sainte-Croix and the one of Quinson, the Gorges de Baudinard shelter two small lakes. The first one is located just downstream of the lake of Sainte-Croix: it is the lake of Montpezat. Further down, upstream of the lake of Quinson, is the small lake of Artignosc.
Because of the proximity of the Sainte-Croix dam, the water temperature is quite low in the Gorges de Baudinard. Moreover, the presence of currents under the surface makes swimming more risky. It is therefore forbidden to swim in the lake of Montpezat. However, it is possible to paddle the children on the beautiful beach of Artignosc. The Provencal sun quickly warms up the shallow water of the lake shore. Moreover, the beach has a nice area in the shade of oak trees and a small nautical base. This place is ideal for enjoying a quiet day by the water, between picnics, boat trips and fishing.
Discover the Gorges de Baudinard by the banks
There are many trails to discover the Gorges de Baudinard. Most of them start from the surrounding villages and follow the cliffs above the white water. Splendid panoramas will largely reward the effort of the walk! These hikes are, in general, accessible to all levels of walkers. In addition, some loops also allow you to reach the beaches bordering the lakes for a well-deserved refreshing break.
Discover the Gorges de Baudinard by the waters of the Verdon
How can you resist exploring this beautiful canyon as the first adventurers did? There are water sports bases next to each dam and along each lake in the gorge. You can adapt the length of the trip to your needs! By canoe, kayak, electric boat or even pedal boat, you can marvel at the power of these white waters with the only sound of the surrounding nature. The water releases at the Sainte-Croix dam can vary the strength and level of the currents. Also, be sure to follow the instructions given to you at the time of rental.
Why not combine walking pleasure with sailing?
You can’t decide between hiking and walking on the water? No problem: canoeing is for you! This activity, straight from Canada, takes place over half a day and requires the presence of a state certified guide. After a short approach walk, you will be able to embark on the canoes that you have brought along… on your back! However, rest assured, this type of boat is both ultra-light and very resistant. It is a technology that has been developed to navigate in sites that are inaccessible by road. You will feel even more involved in your exploration. This activity is completely accessible to children and will allow them to observe the fauna and flora up close, all with the explanations of a professional guide.
After a descent of about 8km through these splendid postcard landscapes, a shuttle will bring you back from the exit of the gorges to the starting point.
The Gorges of Baudinard, a fascinating historical heritage
If today we are irrevocably bewitched by the charms of this environment, it was already the case for our ancestors, and this, since Prehistory! Indeed, all along the gorges, caves and excavation sites have revealed the presence of the first men. Once they entered these protective and nourishing gorges, these inhabitants never left them. In addition, many villages in the vicinity have preserved vestiges of this long occupation.
The Baume Bonne cave
Classified as a historical monument, this cave is a major site of European prehistory. Indeed, traces left by Man more than 400 000 years ago have been found there. But this place also shelters one of the oldest manifestations of habitat development known in the world! The Museum of Prehistory of Quinson offers you a guided tour of this exceptional site. Upon reservation, the visit begins with a pleasant 1h15 hike to reach the cave. Remember to bring water and walking shoes. The path is marked out with explanatory panels and offers superb views of the turquoise waters of the Verdon. Then, once at the cave, the museum mediator will take you back in time, layer by layer, in a visit of this historical place.
The village of Baudinard over the centuries
EntSurrounded by its lavender fields and almond groves, the village of Baudinard has nothing to envy to other Provencal villages. Also, in this bewitching environment of beauty, vestiges of the Middle Ages have crossed the centuries. The remains of its castle and its Provencal wells remind us of the long history of this place. However, if there is a site not to be missed, it is the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Located at the end of a small path of 2km from Baudinard, this building stands on a hill 709m high. This classified site offers a splendid panorama on the lake of Sainte-Croix, the Verdon and the surrounding mountains.