In Provence, there is an average of 300 sunny days per year. Moreover, the thermometer readily jumps to the 30°C mark at the beginning of summer. So, when you travel through the Gorges du Verdon under the summer sun, the sight of its emerald colored waters may give you a furious desire where to swim in the Gorges du Verdon. And you are right! From those who love invigorating water to the most chilly, everyone will find the beach they need. Indeed, the water temperature changes a lot along the 80km of the Verdon canyon. However, to protect the surrounding nature as well as to ensure the safety of the bathers, it is not allowed to swim in everywhere. So if you want to know where to swim in the Gorges du Verdon, follow the guide!
What are the best beaches for swimming in the Verdon Gorges?
When traveling with family, or when you do not want to have too much organization before the trip, it is better to opt for easily accessible beaches. This is the case of the expanses of sand or pebbles surrounding the lakes of the Gorges du Verdon. In addition, most also have parking, rental and catering services.
Around Lake Sainte-Croix
The lake of Sainte-Croix, with its breathtaking view of the entrance to the Grand Canyon du Verdon is a site of breathtaking beauty. The beach at the foot of the village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is directly accessible by road, which makes it one of the most popular beaches. Perfectly equipped to welcome vacationers, it is supervised for a swim with peace of mind. You will find all the rental and restaurant services necessary for a real day of pleasure and relaxation. The pebble beach of Bauduen offers more or less the same comfort, always with the influx of tourists in return.
However, if you wish to be closer to the Gorges, go to the foot of the bridge of Galetas. This beautiful beach lies at the door of the immense limestone cliffs. It is easy to get there by car, because the Galetas Bridge, a few hundred meters away, has its own parking lot. However, be careful, this beach is not supervised and is very crowded. You will not be alone !
Around Lake Esparron
At the edge of the “Pearl of the Verdon“, the beach of Esparron de Verdon is the most famous. With a parking lot and two nautical bases, it obviously attracts many vacationers. It is in fact a succession of small creeks with turquoise water. This makes it a magnificent site. The water of this lake is the warmest of the Gorges du Verdon. Thus, in summer it can reach 26°C, thus allowing a comfortable bathing, even for the most cautious.
To enjoy the turquoise waters of Lake Esparron without the crowds, you will have to walk from Esparron for 5 to 15 minutes. An easy path will give you access in a few hundred meters to beautiful and quiet beaches. Please note that swimming in the lake of Esparron is not suitable for young children as the lake is very deep. If you are looking for a place where children can splash around in shallow water, we recommend the lake of Artignosc. See our article on the lake of Quinson and the small lakes located upstream.
Around the Castillon lake
However, if you like fresh and invigorating water, don’t miss the area around Castellane. In these canyon-like pre-gorges with huge white rocks, the water is shallow and therefore easier to access. The lake of Castillon is the closest to the source of the Verdon, which explains its lower temperatures. Its emerald color and pure air make it a heavenly place to recharge your batteries.
There are three beaches around the lake of Castillon. Each one has its own facilities and water sports providers. The beaches of Touron and Plan have the particularity of having a grassy area in the shade of trees. This makes it easy to spend the whole day swimming, sailing, picnicking and napping in the cool of the sea! At the Baie du Cheron, a refreshment stand offers a shaded area at the entrance of the lake and not far from the pedal boat rental company.
And to swim in the canyons of the Verdon Gorges?
There are certainly paths reaching the water from the banks of the Verdon, but no road gives access to them. The best way to swim in the Basses Gorges is to navigate its emerald waters and swim from your boat whenever you want. However, there are activities that allow you to combine a refreshing swim with a memorable experience all along the canyon. Remember that swimming in the Gorges de Baudinard is forbidden: the water is very cold.
Strong emotions guaranteed with canyoning
Between walking, diving, sliding down natural slides, and swimming in the pure waters of the Verdon, canyoning is a concentrate of varied pleasures. Accompanied by professionals with a thorough knowledge of the riverbed, you will be able to access the most hidden and preserved areas of the Verdon Gorges. Moreover, some canyoning descents are accessible to children from 10 years old!
To be like a fish in water: the floating or aquatic hike
If you are interested in canyoning but want to spend time in the water, try floating. For this “water ride“, you float thanks to an inflatable vest and discover the limestone cliffs along the current, your nose to the sky. This activity is practiced with a neoprene suit and supervised by a professional guide.
Indeed, under the airs of relaxed activity, this experience remains physical and requires to know how to swim well. Remember that swimming in canyons is not without danger. Knowing the area well is essential. This is why this experience requires an experienced guide. However, even if you bring back some aches and pains, it will be only a detail compared to the incredible experience you will have lived and the splendor of the landscapes through which you will have “floated”!