The lake of Esparron, Pearl of the Verdon Gorges


Lac d'Esparron eaux turquoises

At the foot of the eponymous village, the lake of Esparron is a precious case of wild nature. Located in the heart of the Verdon Regional Natural Park, it has been labeled Natura 2000 for the preservation of its species. This turquoise expanse of water offers a soothing environment for a quiet vacation. Indeed, since motorboats are forbidden, nothing can disturb your immersion in its breathtaking nature. However, the more athletic visitors will also find something to their liking thanks to a wide range of activities to exercise. You can rest in the shade of a creek as well as have fun on or in its waters.

Where to swim in the lake of Esparron ?

Upon arrival, you will immediately understand why this lake is nicknamed “the Pearl of the Verdon“. Its splendid blue waters seem to sparkle under the sun of Provence. Moreover, whether you are an energetic vacationer or a lover of idleness, you will be delighted by a stay at the lake of Esparron.

The hidden coves of the Garde-Canal trail

The multitude of small creeks that surround the lake offer a wide variety of swimming spots. However, most of these beaches are only accessible by the Sentier du Garde-Canal. This path is the one that made it possible to monitor the old Verdon canal built under Napoleon III. It gives access to many sublime viewpoints over the lake below and to small beaches hidden between the creeks. It is thus a wonderful opportunity to combine easy walks, immersion in history and swimming in the turquoise waters.

The beach of Esparron de Verdon, the easiest to access

For swimming, we recommend the beach of Esparron de Verdon. It is in fact several small rocky beaches near the village. Please note that the parking is not free in summer. This beach is therefore the easiest to access on the lake of Esparron, but is also the busiest in summer. For refreshments, several bars and restaurants are open during the summer season. In addition, there are two nautical bases where you can rent boats, canoes and pedal boats. It is strongly recommended to reserve your boat or canoe as the queues sometimes exceed one hour in season. On the other hand, electric boats are limited in number and very often all rented in season or on weekends.

Explore Lake Esparron and the Lower Gorges by boat

Thermal engines being forbidden on the lake of Esparron, calm and serenity are required, but not inactivity! Indeed, there are many possibilities to exercise, admire the surrounding wild nature or swim quietly in the middle of the lake. In paddle, canoe, pedal boat, or electric boat, you will be the only master on board. You can explore the lake and its surroundings in complete freedom. Moreover, the pedal boats proposed by La Perle du Verdon have slides so that everyone can have fun during an outing with family or friends!

Play the Robinsons on Barbu Island

A must-see place on Lac d’Esparron is the Quartier peninsula, also called “L’Île du Barbu”. This little paradise is made up of meadows, beaches and small creeks in the shade of old oak trees. Accessible only by water, the Quartier also offers a splendid view of the village of Esparron-de-Verdon from its main beach.

Explore the Basses Gorges from the lake of Esparron

Still without leaving the boat, you can marvel at the limestone cliffs of the Basses Gorges du Verdon. Their access from the shore being very regulated, sailing in this small canyon is a unique chance to get into the heart of this preserved nature. Moreover, the entrance of the Basses Gorges is located not far from the pier of the Perle du Verdon. This course on the white water of the Verdon extends over 9 km, until the lake of Quinson. At the entrance of the Basses Gorges, the locks, vestiges of the canal built 150 years ago, offer you a jump in time. They remind us of the history of these places before the lake existed.

Where to sleep around the lake of Esparron ?

Nature campsites and a castle for a comfortable stay

For a royal stay, the Château d’Esparron-de-Verdon offers guest rooms or furnished apartments. Classified as a historical monument, this building entered the Castellane family in the 13th century. Their current descendants have taken care to preserve the authentic atmosphere of this building while adding the necessary comfort. Indeed, one can only admire its impressive keep, its majestic staircase and its beautiful main courtyard. From the castle, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake and its turquoise waters.

A campsite near the lake of Esparron

Do the postcard-like landscapes surrounding the lake make you want to be totally immersed in its well-preserved nature? Then Camping du Soleil is the place for you. Its cicadas, pines, oaks and its splendid beach on the banks of the lake of Esparron are a true haven of peace. Whether you prefer a simple tent or a small canvas cabin with a view of the lake, you will be satisfied. Moreover, there is no lack of activities: lazing around, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, hiking, etc. Finally, the icing on the cake, all these activities can be done directly inside or from the campsite!

If you are more interested in a green setting and like tree houses, the camping de la Baume offers a choice of small chalets. A charming restaurant in the middle of nature adds an ecological note to this pleasant, spacious and shady place.

What about naturists?

The naturist campsite Verdon Provence offers an alternative in a more isolated and wild setting. Indeed, this campsite overlooks the Sauvage lake (see our article “where to swim). It offers the possibility of being in the calm of nature. Mélanie, the manager will be delighted to welcome you: don’t forget to mention that you are coming from La Perle du Verdon!

Between Esparron and Quinson

On the plateau in the direction of the village of Quinson, you will find several campsites near the lavender fields. The Grangeonne campsite is defined as a nature and relaxation campsite close to the lake. Finally, the Lavandins campsite brings you closer to the superb lavender fields of the plateau, as its name indicates. The lakes of Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron are very close.

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