Worth a Trip: Lacs de Ste-Croix & de Quinson

The largest of the lakes in Parc National Régional du Verdon, Lac de Ste-Croix (southwest of Moustiers Ste-Marie) is a reservoir formed in 1974. It has scads of watercraft – windsurfers, canoes, kayaks – to rent; try L'Étoile. Pretty Bauduen sits on its southeastern banks.

Lac de Quinson lies at the southernmost foot of the lower Gorges du Verdon. In the village of Quinson, taxidermy-rich Musée de la Préhistoire des Gorges du Verdon explores the gorges’ natural history and archaeological treasures. From March to October, it organises monthly expeditions to the Grotte de la Baume Bonne, a prehistoric cave.

Nearby Allemagne-en-Provence is named for Roman goddess of fertility Alemona. Her likeness appears on the village’s focal point, the turret-topped 12th- to 16th-century Château d’Allemagne – straight from a fairy tale.

Several campsites dot the lake shores, such as the Domaine du Petit Lac, a large activity-oriented campsite that also has wooden chalets and mobile homes. The nearest B&Bs, hotels and bus connections are in Moustiers Ste-Marie.