/ Verdon - general walking info for in and around the gorge
I've only climbed there so have no idea of what is / isn't possible in terms of walks. For example is there anything relatively easy angled to get to the bottom of the gorge, is it even possible to walk along the bottom of the steepest parts of the gorge? If you can't walk along the gorge bottom are there good walks in the surrounding area? Any good English language walking guidebooks available?
Any help much appreciated.
There is a walk that goes along the bottom of the gorge. Well sign posted and not too hard, not circular so may have to get a taxi back to the car. It's quite popular so loads of info about it in the tourist info.
There is a cicerone book that has some walks in the area, although not exclusively just for that region.
The sentier martel is fairly straightforward, take headtorches,leave car at the end, taxi to the start and walk back to the car
Taking into account "reasonable terrain (no scree), clear and signed paths ideally......relatively easy angled to get to the bottom of the gorge".
A gorge walk, 'there and back' though the tunnels (take head-torch) from Point Sublime end is fine (we did it with a bunch of 3-7 year olds), but further downstream there are exposed sections with ladders that may not be to their taste....(my wife ran from Chalet CAF de la Maline to Point Sublime along the gorge path and said the ladders were surprisingly exposed).
I did a fair bit of great mountain biking along GR routes in the general area and there will be tons of great walking to be had (and NOBODY on them).
Castellane would be a good place to base themselves near (bigger & nicer than La Palud).
Read the OP.
I don't really want to get into a willy waving competition about it.
We're climbers and shouldn't assume everyone can deal with even 'particularly exposed'. As I know her well, I'd go with my wife's assessment of "surprised how exposed they were".
The Op says relatively easy paths with no scree and clearly signposted, which the route is. There are ladders/steps too but i wouldn't rule the route out on the basis of the info given. I'm sure the op's friends can read around and decide for themselves but it's a walk i'd be happy to take my parents on.
They can judge for themselves:
> Google "Sentier Martel"
An excellent walk, we did it in July 2010.
Park as they did then a bus down to the Chalet. You then have no rush as you are just going back to your car.
It was airless down in the Gorge, summer, but excuse to swim and wade about.
I think I've got the Provence Cicerone guide so will have a look and see what's in there too.
Give Way to Ascender though
The Sentier Martel is world class. Lovely swimming spot at the big bend in the Verdon shortly after you reach river level.
There's another really amazing walk, nowhere near as frequented. It also begins or (better) ends at Pointe Sublime and is also non-circular with need for pre-placed cars or hitching: roadside parking or drop at St Maimes (between Trigance and the Pont de L'Artuby),rough track up to Entreverges hamlet where you join the G49 trail (which the map says comes up from Trigance if your friends want to start there), follow G49 up and down though lovely countryside and go out along remote promontory to the Belvedere de Rancoumas for STUNNING viewpoint of the Escales cliffs ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=118233 ) across the gorge, then down through woods and across an ancient bridge before finishing uphill to Pointe Sublime. http://www.altituderando.com/Grand-Canyon-du-Verdon-Belvedere
I biked that route (ending Point sublime) and went out to the Belvedere viewpoint. The main downhill (about 1500 vertical feet in about 10 minutes) is one of the best natural descents I've done in a long time. Great riding. ;-)
In addition to the gorge walk already mentioned, there is a deserted village up above La Palud, and beyond just beyond it a chapel in a cliff that has a little passage to the cave above it. To the North across the valley is what I think is the local high point, we walked over to, and up it, then followed an obvious circut back - it was a full day walk and would be quite stout in winter.
No idea about walking guides.
The walk up to the Cadieres de Brandis is also pleasant.
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