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Gorge de Verdon: Hiking the Martel Trail in Southeastern France

Gorge de Verdon: Hiking the Martel Trail in Southeastern France

Old Oct 7th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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VGF
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Gorge de Verdon: Hiking the Martel Trail in Southeastern France

The Gorge de Verdon is huge for the French, but I'd never heard of it. It's really hot in August, around 40 C on the day we were there, but it's not that bad when you're in the shade. My trip report has some great photos from all along this 6+ hour hike. If you're looking for something outdoorsy to do in southern France, this is one of the best. And Lac de Saint Croix is nearby for kayaking and cooling off. This is only a couple hours drive from the Aix en Provence TGV and only about an hour north of Nice.

http://fisherphotocraft.blogspot.com...-trail-in.html

It is very popular, and we were there at the peak of the season, yet I've been on much more crowded trails. It wasn't bad at all. Since this is a one-way hike, they provide cheap buses every morning to take you from parking at the end back to the starting point. Just that amount of logistics, plus the length, probably limit the number of people who go. Highly recommended!

Hope you enjoy the photos!
Vick
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 07:45 AM
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Thanks, Vick. Fabulous photos. We visited Gorge-de-Verdon several years ago. We stayed with friends in St Raphael and M said to me: The gorge is our Grand Canyon. We visited in April but alas, no hiking.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 09:04 AM
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Thanks Treesa. Exactly! I thought of it as the French Grand Canyon too, though it certainly isn't as huge, it's pretty unique. There were people from all over Europe there, but very few Americans.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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Vick, I knew I was in for a treat when I saw you had posted another report. Especially love that final photo. Looks like a great hike.

We just returned from Switzerland. Got some good shots if you're interested, not your standard but am improving
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:58 PM
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Fabulous photos! I would love to do this, but have mobility problems right now. I cannot hike or climb. I can walk. Did you notice if the "canyoneers" got "delivered" somehow to where they did their float (I also can float!). It would be a dream come true to be able to get into the canyon and see even some of what you saw.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 10:13 PM
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Hi Adelaidean!

Great to hear from you. Lots of good ones in your album. I love all the glaciers, and the ones above the clouds are cool too. Yes, 500 is a lot - might need a bit of editing! Like that hike with the "trail" of planks drilled into the side of the mountain! Where's that? Glad to see there are still some glaciers that look pretty good somewhere.

Vick
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 10:50 PM
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Vick, thank you for taking the time to post this trip report. I love this area. I would love to do this hike. My husband is only good for about 4 miles before he
his left leg starts bothering him. How is the terrain?

Beautiful pictures and a good read. Thank you very much
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 01:58 AM
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Vick, that is the First Cliff Walk, there was a girl at the end of it taking endless selfies oblivious to the crowd waiting their turn, as it is a narrow walkway. It was one of those classic people watching moments.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 05:10 AM
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Hi Cafe Goddess,

As I recall, it's a nice trail that's not that steep or rocky anywhere along the way. Steepest at start and end, but no scrambling anywhere. And you can take a short detour to rest beside the river a couple of times on the hike. Only thing that fooled us was that, after seeing a parking lot near the end, we thought we were almost done, but really that was not the parking we started from, and there was another half-hour of hiking, with no shade, to go. Oops!

Vick
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:39 AM
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Hi Cafe Goddess,

As I recall, it's a nice trail that's not that steep or rocky anywhere along the way. Steepest at start and end, but no scrambling anywhere. And you can take a short detour to rest beside the river a couple of times on the hike. Only thing that fooled us was that, after seeing a parking lot near the end, we thought we were almost done, but really that was not the parking we started from, and there was another half-hour of hiking, with no shade, to go. Oops!

Vick
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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Hi Burta,

They start fairly close to the parking lot near Le Point Sublime. There are quite a few stairs down from that parking area to the river, then a short walk over very rocky terrain.

But, I think canyoneering is more than just floating. I think it's a mix of jumping from fairly high heights down into water, then floating, then climbing out somewhere, hiking a bit, and then repeating.

You could rent a paddle boat at Lac Saint Croix and go up the gorge that way, but the views are not as impressive. Check the next entries in my blog for more on kayaking and hiking in the area.

Thanks,
Vick
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