The chapel on the mountain towering high above Castellane. In the below part the large rock with the chapel on it. Above a sky going to dusk. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
France,  Kids,  Mountains,  walking

5 Things to do in the Gorges du Verdon with kids

France has so many beautiful regions to explore! A few years ago we visited the Gorges du Verdon region in spring. Our lodgings were at campsite RCN Les Collines de Castellane in the town of  Castellane. The weather was warm already (most days even hot) and there is plenty to do in the Gorges du Verdon with kids.

A visit to the Gorges itself is not described in this article. We planned that for the last day of our trip, but since rain was predicted, we weren’t in for a day out on the water. So no Gorges, but a visit to grottes and Grasse that day.

1.Small waterfall

The first fun thing we undertook in the Gorges du Verdon with kids was a small walk. At the end of the campsite was a path to a small waterfall. It was a short walk of about 30 minutes with lots of shade. Which was great, since it was hot. There are no signs indicating the route, but it’s a pretty straight forward path. The concierges of Koko Holidays recommended visiting this small waterfall. There’s no entrance fee, the path is not very crowded.

Below a waterfall, seen from above. Rocks under the water and surrounding it, the rest a small creek going further. Gorges du verdon with kids
The small waterfall from above

We had a nice walk through the woods, along a creek. The waterfall itself was small. You can get upclose, both looking down and up to the waterfall. On our way to the waterfall we spotted several small salamanders.

In the middle is Yuri walking. You see him from behind. He's walking on a forest sand path. He's surrounded by trees and scrubs.
Yuri walking in the woods

We liked the small walk, Yuri liked the view, but in his opinion it was too warm for walking. It’s not a ‘bucket list item’, but fun to do. If you’re looking for a break from swimming, this is something to consider.

Grass path on the left. Scrubs and trees in the below part. On the right is a green mountain visible. Above blue clear sky.
View during the walk to the waterfall

Parking is on the campsite itself. We wore sandals, which was not so great, since it’s a gravel path you’re walking on. I hate gravel in my shoes. You have to bring your own water.

2.Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Roc walk

A large rock/mountain towering over a village. On top of the rock is the chapel. A clear blue sky. Green forest at the foot of the rock. Gorges du verdon with kids.
The chapel high on the mountain

When arriving at Castellane it’s hard to miss the Chappelle N.-D.-du-Roc. It’s perched up high on a rock towering over Castellane. You cannot but be mesmerized by the church. The second thing we did in the Gorges du Verdon with kids was another walk.

In the valley lays a village (Castellane) Surrounded by mountains which are green from the trees covering them. A hazy sky above. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
View on Castellane in the valley below

So when we learned there’s a walkway up the mountain leading to the chapel, we just had to do it. Since it was hot we decided to start our walk at the end of the afternoon. It was still hot, not the whole path uphill was shaded, only parts. We took plenty of water with us, you can’t buy any en route.  

Yuri in the middle, seen from behind. Walking on a path with stones here and there. Surrounded by grass, trees and bushes.
Yuri walking in front of us

The walk starts in the town of Castellane, the path is partly through the woods. You walk past the stations of the Cross leading to the chapel. The path is partly gravel and partly stone.

In the middle a station of the cross. This one is of stone, cemented together. The image is colorful. Behind on the left are bushes, on the right you see further away over the mountains.
A station of the cross

The views are spectacular, the path goes around the mountain, so you have views looking over Castellane and on ruins in the mountains.

Below in the picture is Castellane in the valley. Surrounded by green mountains. A hazy sky above.
View on Castellane from the path
A mountain covered with a forest and ruins. A bluess sky above.
View on the other mountains and ruins

The Chapel

The Chapel is pretty, the doors are always open, so you can have a look inside. There’s lots of people ringing the bells, but a plaque says you’re not allowed, since the sound of the bells ringing travels pretty far and people are ringing the bells all hours of the day.

The interior of the chapel. Benches on both sides. Highly decorated walls and an altar in the back. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Inside the chapel

The rock on which the Chapel stands is 184 metres high and is steep. The Chapel is from 1703. The Chapel of our Lady of the Rock is from the Middle Ages, but part of it is still from the 12th century. The route takes about an hour to an hour and a half. We parked on the edge of Castellane, where there is a big, free parking lot. The church and walk are admission free. Castellane is on the D4085 on the Routé Napoleón.

Behind trees stands the chapel on top of the mountain. The chapel is seen from the side. Surrounded by grass.
The chapel from the side

Adress:

Chappele N.-D.-du-Roc Castellane

Chemin du Roc

04120 Castellane, France

http://www.castellane-verdontourisme.com/visiter_bouger/chapelle-notre-dame-du-roc-4774484/

3.Walk in the Tunnel du Fayet

The tunnels overlook a gorge the French nicknamed the Grand Canyon of France. It’s beautiful, but totally different from the Grand Canyon.

Yuri walking below in the middle of the picture, seen from behind. On a small path down the mountain. On the right a hugh rock wall rising up. On the left trees and bushes and the mountain going down. In the left upper part sky, overcast. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Yuri walking in front of us

The tunnels run through and besides the rock. They are dark and have puddles in them. We had flashlights with us. There are lookouts from the tunnels on the gorge and those views are great! We started our walk at Point Sublime and descended towards the gorge. The views on the gorge are beautiful, we enjoyed it immensely. This first path is covered with trees and scrub. When it clears, which it does several times, you have an amazing view.

Overseeing the canyon. High rising rocks on both sides. With some trees covering them here and there. It's deep. taking in almost the whole picture. Some sky visible in the back.  Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Overseeing the canyon
Overseeing the canyon with in the bottom a small river flowing. Bushes surrounding it and in front of you down the mountain. Rocks rising high on both sides.
Overseeimng the canyon with the river below

After crossing a street you’re at la Mescla, where the tunnels start. The path between the tunnels is a gravel road, the tunnels and the stairs leading down in the gorge and up to the tunnels are made of concrete.

Closer to the canyon. High rising rocks. Part of the stairs of the path visible.
The canyon

We walked this route in 2 days, not because it was too long or hard to walk in one day, but because we had some bad luck. The first day we walked with friends and while walking down from Point Sublime a friend had low blood sugar. He didn’t bring anything to counter it so we had to stop our walk.  

The actuell tunnels

The next day we started at la Mescla and walked part of the path through the tunnels and then turned around. We walked for about 2 hours the second day which was enough for our son.

In the middle below of the picture a small river running. Surrounded by bushes and trees on the banks. The banks are from rocks. Above in the back and on the right is a higher rock rising. A clear blue sky above. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
The river running through the canyon

What worked well for Yuri was that he had a friend to walk with each day and a flashlight in the tunnels. He didn’t like the water in the tunnels, he stepped into one of the first puddles. The second day, we walked into one of Yuri’s friends from the campsite and his mom. That friend wasn’t afraid of the dark in the tunnels and that worked well for Yuri.

Cosette and Yuri walking in front of him, both seen from behind. Their in a tunnels. Dark in the back, but you see the end, a little light spot. In front you see the grey rock. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
One of the tunnels

The first day we parked at Point Sublime, on the route de Moustiers. Parking was free and there was a rather large parking lot. A kiosk on the parking place and a restaurant. This is the only spot you can get something to eat. We brought our own water and snacks. The second day we parked at La Mescla, which was harder. Not much space, you had to park at the side of the road, and a lot of people were doing that. It’s free however. Yuri found it too hot to walk, the tunnels were better.

Looking down and up in the canyon, out of one of the tunnels. The canyon is narrow here.
Looking out of one of the tunnels

The route is parth of two larger walking routes. Gr 4 from Point Sublime down to La Mescla. From La Mescla we walked a small part of D71.

Stairs going up (or down) into the canyon. People walking on them, Paul and Yuri among them. Surrounded by green bushes. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Climbing the last stairs out of the canyon

4.Grotte de Baume Obscure

These caves were good to escape the heat. The caves aren’t spectacular, but they are fun and nice to visit in an hour. The usual things to see, like bacon and eggs shapes, are there. Next to that there’s a small, nice waterfall inside the caves and two green lakes (small ones). The path through the caves was fun, easily doable with a child, in some places narrow and slippery since it was wet.

The small road leading to the caves, to show how small it is. A road surrounded by trees. A sign saying you're not allowed to take over other cars. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
The road leading to the caves

The path through the caves is a self guided tour. They have bizar music playing and gargoyles and animals on display. Yuri found the music scary, but after he was carrying the big flashlight it was ok.

To show how dark the caves where and how big the flash light was. The picture is dark, you only see Yuri in the middle, because he's holding a big flash light. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Yuri in the caves with the big flash light

Parking is free and near the entrance. Signs are clear, the way up to the caves is a small gravel road. Near the entrance are picnictables shaded by trees. We had a lovely lunch there.

To show how the entrance looks to the caves. Yuri is standing in the entrance to the caves. Posing for us. The entrance is dark. The rocks surrounding it are white/grey. Bushes are surrounding it.
The entrance to the caves

At a kiosk you buy entrance tickets (adults 9,50 euro, kids 3 to 15 6,00 euro for 1 hour entrance). After you walk a small path you get to the entrance to the caves. It’s one way in the caves, the exit is somewhere else. There are plenty of stairs and a lot of height difference.

To show the inside of the caves and one of the attractions of the caves. A waterfall is falling down in front of us, coming from the rocks above.
Waterfall inside the caves

Adress:

Baume Obscure

2600 Chemin Sainte-Anne

06460 Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey

+33 493426163

https://www.baumeobscure.com/

To show the inside of the caves and one of it's highlights. In the middle of the caves is a neon green lake. Stalactites hanging above the lake. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
A green lake inside the caves

5.Musee international de la parfurmerie

The last of the things we undertook in the Gorges du Verdon with kids was a museum visit. Grasse is the parfum city of France. It’s known worldwide for it’s excellent perfumes. Most of the perfumes made in France are produced here in Grasse. There are lots of perfumeshops, three big perfumemakers and a museum. We opted for a visit to the perfumemuseum.

Plaquette outside the museum, to show the date of the museum. A plaquette with the text in French. City of Grasse. International museum of parfum. 1987. On marmer, red letters on a white background, surrounded by a line and red/ornage coloring. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Plaquette outside the museum

The museum is divided in a part where you can smell the different scents, a second part where the history of perfume making is explained and a third part with trinkets.

To show how they let you smell different smells. Paul and Yuri are both smelling at the same tube. On the side is written what you're smelling.
Paul and Yuri smelling the different smells
To show that you could also smell authentic smells. Cosette and Yuri are smelling pink roses each on a bush. Gorges du Verdon with kids.
Cosette and Yuri smelling roses

Yuri especially liked smelling all the different flavors. We also loved doing that. Paul and I liked seeing the machines used for making perfume through history. There was also a separate part for kids. The museum is in French, but most of it was clear to me.

To show what's on display in the museum. One of the machines used for parfum making. It's completely brown.
One of the machines used for parfum making
To show which trinkets are on display in the museum. A decorative set to make perfum with.
A decorative set
To show which trinkets are on display in the museum. A decorated perfum bottle. Red riding hood.
A perfum bottle

The museum is in the center of Grasse, we parked in a carpark, this wasn’t cheap but easy parking in a hilled city.

To show a statue standing outside the museum. A perfum seller.  Gorges du Verdon with kids.
A statue of a perfum seller

Entrance for adults is 4.00 euros and 2.00 euros for kids under 18.

Adress:

2 Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon               

06130 Grasse

https://www.museesdegrasse.com/

So these were the 5 things we recommend you do in the Gorges du Verdon with kids.

For other fun thins to do in France, check out our blog about the Dordogne.

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