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After the closure of the campsite, we decided to live a customer experience by enjoying a week in an unusual and natural accommodation of our campsite: the NATURA VIP.
We were also able to revisit the region and we can offer you our road book of a week in the Verdon.
After settling into our rental, the NATURA VIP, with a lovely terrace overlooking the Aups mountain, we plan our day according to the slightly cloudy weather: visit the surrounding Provencal villages. We start with the charming village of Tourtour, commonly called the village in the sky, due to its geographical location perched on the mountain.
On the way, a few kilometres from the campsite, we stop at the impressive Taurenne olive-growing estate with its 253 hectares of hills and 11,000 olive trees! The visit of the installations is fascinating and the welcome is great! We leave without forgetting to bring back with us a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil “L’Or de Taurenne”. Then we stroll quietly through the small picturesque streets of Tourtour. This is a must-see in our opinion. As for the village of Ampus, we were not won over, although it has all the characteristics of a Provençal village of character.
Finally, Villecroze completely won us over! Not only is the 2.5 hectare wooded park where the troglodytic caves can be found a must-see, but the little village is also charming. The most picturesque alleys are to be found crossing the main street. This medieval village with its numbered fountains and arcades is a real gem. Take the time to stroll through this old village, you will be charmed!
Today, the sun is out. Our programme is slightly adapted to support your favourite baker Julie at her horse riding competition in Le Poët near Sisteron. But before that, we head for the Régusse market to meet Jocelyne, a goat cheese producer in Barjols: absolutely delicious and very cheap goat cheeses are on offer, from plain to flavoured with spices such as paprika, Provencal herbs, chives or pepper. All are a real delight!
In the afternoon, it is with a clear round in the show jumping competition that Julie obtains a 3rd place on the podium. Congratulations Julie! 👏👏
With beautiful summer weather, we devote our day to touring the Lac de Sainte Croix. For lunch, we choose to opt for the restaurant Les Terrasses du Lac in Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon which we recommend. The view on the Sainte-Croix lake is great and the restaurant is tasteful and unpretentious. Then direction Moustiers-Sainte-Marie by taking the lavender road, a remarkable road with its lavender fields as far as the eye can see which unfortunately are in flower in June/July and not in October! 😏
In Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the walk along the chemin de la Chapelle Notre Dame de Beauvoir offers a splendid panorama over the beautiful little medieval village. With all its little earthenware shops and picturesque streets, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is not to be missed under any circumstances!
We continue our journey to the famous Pont de Galetas then the village of Les Salles- sur-Verdon finally the small village of Bauduen. We cross this charming little village to reach the path bordering the lake where we enjoy a beautiful sunset. The bravest, Philippe and Molly, will go to swim: the water is still 20 degrees. It’s still very pleasant! 😊
For this 4th day of holidays, we have to adapt with the more capricious weather and our initial program which planned the visit of the Provencal market of Lorgues, the biggest Provencal market in the region has to be revised. The rain continues to fall this morning and here it never rains often but when it does, it’s always a deluge! This morning, Molly, the campsite mascot, leaves for a holiday camp in Flayosc until Sunday.
Gradually, the sun comes back. So we let ourselves be tempted by a nice restaurant for lunch: it’s the Bastide du Calalou in Moissac Bellevue , a charming place with an excellent gastronomic cuisine with quality products and a very nice and attentive welcome. All the elements are there to enjoy a moment of pure happiness in this restaurant a few steps from the campsite.
Our afternoon is devoted to a visit to Le Rocher in Cotignac. This small Provencal village was ranked 4th in the TV show “the favorite villages of the French”, simply because of the charm of this village built on a tufa cliff! From the Provençal style houses below the cliff to the ancient troglodytic dwellings clinging to the rock, the whole atmosphere of this authentic village will undoubtedly seduce you! Be sure to park your car at the entrance to the village as the narrow streets leading to the rock can be very narrow. Our favourite shop in Cotignac is undoubtedly the small boutique “Vivre au Sud” located at the bottom of the village, which offers fashion clothes and jewellery.
It is with an azure blue sky typical of our Provence that we wake up this morning, with the program of our day the visit of the Gorges du Verdon left and right bank. What a magnificent day! The site of the Gorges du Verdon is absolutely exceptional and we are always conquered when we return to see it again. In order to enjoy this walk while doing the complete tour of the Gorges, including the route des Crêtes, you need to allow about 3 hours without excessive stops. On our side, we stopped at Aiguines, at the Bauchet cliffs, at the Artuby bridge, at the Mescla balcony, at the various lookouts of the Route des Crêtes. For lunch, we decided to have lunch at Joe le snacky at the Palud sur Verdon where we enjoyed its sunny terrace with many fuchsia parasols (a small nod to the colour of the Oasis du Verdon campsite 😂😂😂). This small unpretentious restaurant is good value for money and extremely well located for all tourists! We finish our visit with the Maison des Gorges (very rewarding) before heading back to Aups.
With the sunset still offering a beautiful luminosity, we end our day with a little walk in the charming village of Aups. We certainly don’t miss a stop at the shop“Gare du Nord” to buy some truffle cheese. All choices of truffle cheese are available, from sheep’s cheese to goat’s cheese to Italian cheese. This is an original idea that you can remember for an aperitif with friends or family! Back to the campsite for a little barbecue on the terrace of our rental accommodation this evening!
For our 6th day, we treat ourselves to an electric boat ride on the Basses Gorges du Verdon. On turquoise water and in absolute silence, we discover a prehistoric past: the scenery is grandiose and absolutely magical – not to be missed under any circumstances! It’s 9 kilometres of gorge from the start of the Quinson dam to the village of Esparron. Impossible to find the Maison de L’Inca from our boat, but we later learn that this is quite normal as it is only visible by looking for it on foot in the middle of the vegetation!
Note also that without taking the boat, you can enjoy a nice walk for all the family along the Basses Gorges thanks to a beautiful hiking trail that exists all along between the Quinson dam and the village of Esparron.
Last day of our stay: Time flies… 😢 One week is a bit short to fully enjoy the area! We couldn’t do everything we hoped but we had a lot of fun discovering all these places in the Verdon Regional Natural Park.
For this last day, we decide to take a little walk along the Bresque to the Sillans waterfall. A very pleasant country walk. After a short stopover in Pontévès, a small fortified village which is interesting but should not be the sole objective of a walk, the walk on the Chemin des Charbonnières in Baudinard seduced us. It is a rather simple, entertaining and cultural walk of about 2 kilometres: it allows the more athletic to let off steam thanks to the equipment placed along the path and for those who wish to be more idle, to discover the profession of charcoal maker and all the botany that characterises this small path. An interesting walk for the whole family as the children will love it, that’s for sure!
Tomorrow’s programme includes cleaning our accommodation and packing our bags for a return home, well recharged and with landscapes full of ideas. A customer experience like this one we are not ready to forget and we will do it again as soon as we can! 😂😂
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