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It is one of the most beautiful regions of France: the Haute Provence. Just behind the busy bustle on the Côte d'Azur but with the wonderful sunny climate of southern France! And nature ... you never get bored of that! Starting point is the cozy town of Castellane, about 80 km. above Cannes.
If it is 40 degrees, you really only want one thing: swimming! But there is so much to see in this environment that we can recommend you ten nice things! Fortunately there are also a few water options!
The gigantic, artificially created lake looks great when you drive from Castellane. You have just driven the beautiful route along the Gorges du Verdon and the last part you saw all the brightly colored boats floating in the bottom of the gorge! You can rent these boats at the beach directly to the right of the Pont du Galetas; in the summer you do well to make a reservation because otherwise you will most likely have to wait a few hours!
What is certainly such a beautiful place and slightly less crowded is the beautifully situated village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon. It is a bit further away but you drive now between the beautiful lavender fields. Nature alone makes those few extra kilometers good! Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is really a very idyllic place! Narrow streets, nice shops and enough terraces to enjoy the phenomenal view over the Lac!
At Le Petit Port you can rent motor boats to discover the lake. Not cheap but well worth it! Reserve a day or two days in advance because otherwise you are guaranteed to fish behind the net!
Near the Lac de Sainte-Croix is the town of Moustiers. The same beautiful building style as Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon but a lot bigger. What a nice town to discover and stroll! We are here in the afternoon but watch with longing for the many nice terraces, where we would like to have a dinner! Plan your visit in the course of the afternoon, so that you can have a bite to eat here!
Special is the high chapel, which you can reach via the steep stairs. This is no fun in the heat but the view is very nice! A crusader once hung the big star during his pilgrimage. Today it is a well-known photo object; that poor man will never suspect!
We just mentioned him, the 25 km. long Gorges du Verdon, a gorge through which the river rages through. Castellane itself is a very popular water sports village and especially rafting is done a lot here. I once managed to "conquer" the river in a single draftsman and it was great! We have conquered the wild watercolors and one after another accelerates the necessary adrenaline!
The gap can be viewed well from the road that runs along it. At the Lac de Sainte-Croix you can cross the river and return via the other side. This route is a bit quieter than the way there, but the view is not less beautiful!
There are also the necessary walks in and around the gorge.
We now drive the other way, towards the French Alps. There we find the extremely charming, medieval town of Entrevaux. It is wonderful to wander in the narrow streets and amaze you about all the beautiful things you see here! The citadel, on top of the hill, is definitely worth a visit, despite the steep climb that you have to take for it. The citadel is still largely preserved and it is nice to discover all rooms and cells.
Also here are nice terraces in the village. This is a real gem !!
Of course, the town itself can not be missed in our list! Castellane also has old, narrow streets and lots of terraces (where you can hear a lot of Dutch!). There are nice shops with knick-knacks and clothing; fine to entertain you for an evening.
On Wednesday morning there is a market with local products, very nice! You will find the typical French sausages here, there is cheese, a poulterer, there are stalls with olives, with nuts, with vegetables and fruit ... in short, here you can easily store your camping!
From the center the walking route goes up to the church on the rock. A big walk but the view is magnificent!
No, we have not forgotten the heat yet! Therefore a swimming tip: the Lac de Castillon. About five minutes drive from Castellane you will find this beautiful blue reservoir. There are several beaches and you can rent boats.
Tip: do not crash right at the first beach, because there you are male to male mid-afternoon. If you bring your own lunch, you better walk as far as possible, where you have the empty coves and where, if you are lucky, you can swim in peace.
More to the south you will find the perfume town of Grasse. A nice town that is controlled by the perfume industry. Outside the city you can already see the perfume factories and you can visit them. The town itself is also very cozy and looks idyllic. Nice to go for a day!
And again a Lac, this time for hiking! By car you can drive to the corresponding parking lot, from where it is a 45 minute walk. The lake lies at 2230 meters altitude, making it the largest natural lake in Europe at that altitude. If you look closely, you can see the alpine marmots. There is an opportunity to have a drink at the café by the lake.
On the way back you will pass Colmars, this is definitely worth a visit!
It is a long drive away but Monaco can be reached in one day. It is 'only' 112 km. but due to the winding roads you have to take into account two hours of driving. But Monaco, how nice you are!
Especially the old city has stolen my heart! The huge cute little streets, nice shops and delicious restaurants; this is enjoyment at its best!
The castle of Prince Albert is also worth a visit, after which you descend the steep hill to the busy road around the harbor. Here you will see the marking of the Grand Prix on the road!
We walk to the casino and watch our eyes! One Maserati and Jaguar comes after the other and there is already the necessary money parked in front of the door. What a bizarre world! The building is definitely worth a photo! Whoever wants to take a chance but thinks the official casino is too expensive: on the other side, in the shopping mall, is a small casino for the 'mob'.
In the harbor it is great to admire the huge boats; here too there is a considerable amount!
Back you can best take the motorway from Nice to the beautiful route along the river Var to drive; what is it beautiful here!
Do you want to spend a day at the beach but not to lie along the car boulevards of Nice or Cannes? Then drive to Antibes. There is a small peninsula, where you will find some sandy beaches south of Antibes. A day at the beach can be combined with a delicious dinner on a terrace of Cannes!