La Palud-Sur-Verdon, a world-famous village of 300 inhabitants
Near the great canyon of Verdon, La Palud-Sur-Verdon is located halfway between Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Base camp for rock climbing enthusiasts, La Palud-Sur-Verdon is an amazing village. The life of the village takes place around its two bars with a particular atmosphere.
At the Lou Cafetié bar, a giant poster of the biggest cliff “the Escalès” reminds you that the Grand Canyon awaits you with its 500 climbing routes. The posters on the wall also remind us that this was the scene of the Verdon Secret 3D movie.
A little further up, you can enjoy authentic Italian cooking since a family from Calabria took over the bar a few years ago. The atmosphere is less sporty. On the other hand, they speak as much Italian as french, and iy’s all about tiramisu or mascarpone! Admit that after a day of sports, it’s still tempting.
Hiking in La Palud-Sur-Verdon
Before we talk about rock-climbing, let’s stop for a moment on hiking and water hikes. We will mention here several times that are worth a visit.
The Blanc-Martel trail is the subject of a specific article as well as the Imbut trail. Both can be explored from the cottage of the Maline (chalet of the alpine club).
The Bastidon trail is also described in the article on hiking in the Verdon.
Le Mourre de Chanier
La Palud-Sur-Verdon is dominated by the Mourre de Chanier and the Grand Mourre. These two peaks reach an altitude of nearly 2000 meters. There are several trails to reach these peaks. The most famous starts at the place called “The Chauvets” where you will leave your car. The hamlet of Les Chauvets is located on the D17 road that links Digne to Rougon.
Access to the Mourre de Chanier
From La Palud, follow the direction of Chateauneuf les Moustiers. Arrived on the map of Chateauneuf, continue to the right and cross the “baou river”. From there go up the road which becomes very steep with a succession of pin bends. When you reach the D17 road, turn left. Pass the hamlet of The Subis then arrive at Les Chauvets. The trailhead is well indicated after the old church of Les Chauvets. A second path leads to the wrong gate and we will come back to it.
The ascent of Mourre takes you to two hours by reaching a pasture (sheep and sheepdog) and then follows the trail that reaches the ridge. From the ridge follow the path towards the Mourre of Chanier and then the Grand Mourre. Absolutely superb landscape. Contact us if you need a guide for this hike.
The portal and the Mount Chiran astronomical observatory
From the same starting point, this hike is a must. Mount Chiran is home to a former national scientific observatory. If you like grandiose landscapes and astronomy, you will be delighted! During the summer, Joseph welcomes you to the stargazing. The dome is now equipped with a 300 mm telescope. In addition to the planets, nebulae or novas, you will also have a performance: Celtic singing under the stars.
Dinner or Sleep at the Chiran
It is possible to sleep in the observatory’s refuge and we advise you to have dinner prepared by Lucien the cook. You have understood: a night at the Chiran is an unforgettable experience!
During the summer of 2019, several concerts are scheduled at the Chiran on full moon nights. Bookings and much more information are available on this website.
Water hiking and canyoning
Unless you are an expert, you will need to choose a guide that will provide you with the necessary equipment for water hiking or canyoning.
The guides of La Palud offer you several refreshing hiking packages. Equipped with neoprene wetsuits, you will explore local canyons. There are many of them: from simple walks with swimming, jumps and natural sliders to more technical canyons with abseiling under the waterfalls. You could choose to contact the Verdoniens or the Guide pour l’Aventure. Both are real experts of the canyoning and canyoneering in the Verdon. They speak English and will give you tips to discover the region.
Water hikes with the whole family
On this site, we offer a wide choice of aqua-randos for half a day, a full day or a full day. We allow you to book your canyoning trip by selecting the one that suits you best.
Several experiences allow you to discover the Secret Verdon. These courses combine several abseils, then swim and jump in the Verdon river.
Let us mention here the slot canyons of Cabriel, Fernée or Main Morte for the most famous. Go and have a look on our article about canyoning in the Verdon to know more.
Where to watch slack-liners?
La Palud-sur-Verdon is not only the playground of climbers, but there is also the slack-line! (or High line in this case)
If “Youtube” is full of impressive videos, it is also possible to watch them live.
On the road of the ridges (la route des Crêtes), locate the belvedere of La Carelle and continue for 1 km. To your left, a path leads to the cliff that describes a kind of U.
The atmosphere is impressive and the emptiness is ubiquitous. Some days or 15 to 60-meter ropes are stretched. Watching the slackers remains a unique experience!
By only observing them, we often tremble more than they do …
La Route des crêtes: the panoramic road of the canyon
Coming to La Palud without going down La route des Crêtes (the ridge road) would be a bit like going to Cairo without seeing the pyramids! This road offers no less than 15 lookouts.
La Carelle: one of the most beautiful lookouts where you can see the climbers. Its name comes from an old wheel system that was used to move the boxwood up from the gardens hanging in the cliff. Downstream from the Carelle, do not miss the viewpoint of Trescaire.
Probably the most vertiginous! From Trescaire, you can see the village of Rougon whose houses are nestled against a rock as if they were afraid of the void!
By going there, you’ll understand why!
Observation of griffon vultures, the largest birds in Europe
To observe the vultures, go on the road of the crests to the belvedere of the tooth of Aire. Located upstream of La Carelle, this lookout is one of the most beautiful and grandiose. Vultures are very curious and will also come to you. This viewpoint allows you to see them from the bottom and the top. If you wish to be accompanied by a guide and observe more closely, go to our pages ” what to do in the Verdon “.
The cloud sea in the Grand Canyon of Verdon
If you come in the fall, you may have the chance to see the sea of clouds. 10 degrees Celsius. The evaporation of the day condenses to form dense clouds that fill the canyon. It really feels like you can walk on it!
Where to sleep in La Palud-sur-Verdon?
Cheap and economical
Let’s start with camping: The Palud has four of them. The municipal campsite offers a shaded field with minimum comfort. On the side of the lodge, La Palud is well equipped. The rainbow on the town hall offers dormitories, as well as the refuge of La Maline.
If you prefer bed and breakfast, the Col d’Ayen offers a pleasant stay in a splendid setting.
Hotels in La Palud-sur-Verdon
For hotels, let us first mention the Hotel des Gorges, which has been completely renovated since 2018. Lunch on the terrace is an experience not to be missed! View on the Grand Mourre, the Chiran and the Grand Canyon. We advise you to book because this hotel is often full and its lunch is very popular.
The hotel’s Cinq Mondes Spa is also worth a visit, as is its swimming pool. It is possible to enjoy the spa and the swimming pool without staying at the hotel: massages and spa from 50 euros/person.
More economical, the Hotel Panoramic offers rooms and a superb view as its name suggests.
Where to eat? Where to have a drink?
For dinner, the creperie The linden trees in the village offers an excellent formula and an excellent welcome. Lou Cafetié also offers a menu based on local products. Just opposite, Joe the snack bar has a small garden where you can dine at an economical price, but if you book, the terrace of Maline allows you to dine with a breathtaking view of the canyon. Colorado atmosphere! If you can not have dinner, go for a drink and you will not be disappointed!
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