Weekend at the Gorges du Verdon
For my birthday last month, Robin and I headed off for an indulgent long weekend. When in Europe eh? We had been to the Southern parts of the Gorges du Verdon where you’ll find many turquoise lakes. …Continue reading here for more on Ashley and Robin’s road trip to the visit France’s “Grand Canyon” where the Verdon River waters spill into sparkling Lac de Saint Croix. Details include suggestions on where to stay and of course a couple of restaurant tips too.
For tours of the area Getaway to Provence is a local company run by Auriane Bondil, she is the 4th generation of her family to live near Moustiers Ste Marie.
France is a country blessed with many picturesque vistas, but there is only one place with a dedicated star hanging overhead – Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. The perched village flanked by towering cliffs resembles a Provencal nativity scene protected by a 150kg gold star suspended between the bluffs. In 1981, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie joined the ranks of the beaux villages attracting visitors year-round.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a hamlet with roughly 700 residents, but the visitors swell that number on a summer weekend. Part of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department Moustiers is considered the gateway to the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon. The park encompasses the stunning Gorges du Verdon, which is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Many visit the town for its reputation of exceptional ceramic artisans. Walk around the village center visiting the workshops where artists create traditional earthenware – faïence – high-quality porcelain with opaque glaze.
Do make a point of walking up the stairs (there are lots of them) to the hillside chapel Notre-Dame de Beauvoir, classified a historic monument in 1921. Depending on your physical ability, the walk to the church will take 15- 20 minutes. Along the ascent, you find the 14 stations of the cross featuring local earthenware tiles. You can descend the same way or follow the trail towards the Sainte-Madeleine cave and enjoy the village’s overhead views and Lac Sainte-Croix in the distance.