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Gorges du Verdon

For sheer, jaw-dropping drama, few sights in France can match the epic Gorges du Verdon. The ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’ slices a 25km swath through Haute-Provence’s limestone plateau all the way to the foothills of the Alps. Etched out over millions of years by the Verdon River, the gorges have formed the centrepiece of the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon since 1997. With their sheer, plunging cliffs – in some places 700m high, twice the height of the Eiffel Tower – the gorges are a haven for birds, including a colony of reintroduced vautours fauves (griffon vultures).

The main gorge begins at Rougon, near the confluence of the Verdon and Jabron Rivers. The most useful jumping-off points are Moustiers Ste-Marie, in the west, and Castellane, in the east.

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