Elevation: 4,000 ft
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Shared By: Euan Cameron on Jan 14, 2012 with improvements by Nico Armstrong and 1 other
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The Verdon Gorge is one of the classic climbing areas in Europe, and one that should be on everyones list of places to visit. The routes range from short one pitch technically challenging affairs to multi pitch all day adventures. All the routes share incredible views and perfect limestone rock.

The gorge is huge and depending on guides is divided up differently, but a common way of dividing it is to split the main gorge in 3, and then deal with the outlying areas as their own separate area. The three main areas of the gorge are basically the upstream, central and downstream sections:
* Grand Cañon - Partie Amont
* Grand Cañon - Partie Centrale
* Grand Cañon - Partie Aval

The majority of the climbs are access by walking from parking areas along the loop road, the "Route des Cretes". For the popular areas, the approaches range from a few seconds to around 15 minutes.

Some climbs start from the trail at the bottom of the gorge which means walking through tunnels carved out of the solid limestone - an adventure in itself.

The climbing scene is very relaxed and it is possible to climb incredible rock with no one around, or if a scene is more your thing, climb at one of the popular areas on the loop road and you'll have plenty other people to chat to (and more than the occasional tourist snapping pictures).

It isn't an all year venue for climbing, but from late spring through fall the climate is ideal for enjoying the walls. Afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in August and September.

There is a good camp ground on the east side of the nearby village, La Palud-sur-Verdon.

On your days off from climbing you can set up a bridge jump on the bridge over the river at the bottom of the gorge. Or you could just relax in and enjoy some local wine and baguette.

Guidebooks :

"52 ANS ET 520 VOIES D'ESCALADE AU VERDON" by Faudou, Adlinger, Dobel-Ober is the reference local book

"Les 100 plus belles grandes voies de Provence", by Nicholas ARMSTRONG is a multi-pitch selection guide book that presents 100 of the best routes you can find within 7 mountains in Provence (grades 4c to 7b, bolted or trad).

The magazine "Grimper" also released a topo by Bruno Clement that has over 2,500 routes in it. It also has the least information but can be good if you want it all. Cross-referencing other topos is suggested.

Getting There

Located just over a couple of hours North West from Cannes or about the same distance North East from Marseille it is easy to reach by car.

The best way to reach the gorge is to head towards the nearby village La Palud-sur-Verdon and take D23 from the village to the gorge. Make sure you take the correct exit out of town as the one way tunnel section means you will not get to all areas if you take the South West direction.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Gorge du Verdon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Euan Cameron
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If you are heading down the bottom of the gorge to do one of the longer routes do not forget to pack a head torch! The first time we did a route there we forgot to bring a head torch. Rather than go all the way back to the village we decided to wait for a tourist to come on by which one did after 20 or so minutes. We then we able to follow along through the tunnels, which work great until they decided to turn back after the first one, leaving us stranded.

Our only option was to stumble along in complete darkness for the full length of the tunnels, which was more tricky than you imagine since the tunnels are not straight, they have old rail tracks in places and some were flooded here and there. Jan 14, 2012
Best bet for beta for the ignorant american climber is to get the guidebook from the tourist center in La Palud-sur-Verdon or from a climbing shop in the same town. Totally epic venue Oct 11, 2017