Thursday, 1 September 2016

A week in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Our second week in France back in June was less travelling as we stayed in a lovely house in Les Salles sur Verdon in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region. Les Salles is a small village above the Lac de Sainte-Croix.

The Lac is an artificial lake constructed 1971-1974 with a barrage supplying electricity for EDF. The original village of Les Salles in now under water, the village today was reconstructed when the Lac was built. It sits above the Lac which meant quite a steep walk down to the beach, although if you were camping or motor-homing there are plenty of pitches lakeside.

The views across the Lac were stunning, such a glorious blue, with, as you can see, great beaches.

Stunning colours 
Provencal rooftops - stunning colours 
Glorious setting
I could have stayed all day 
Our reason for staying in this area of France was to see the Gorge de Verdon - Europe's equivalent of the Grand Canyon. It was amazing, so many twists and turns, spectacular views, sheer drops, being on top of the world, and looking down on flying eagles !

So steep !
Sheer drop cliffs
One of the many tunnels cut through the edge of the rocks
The holes in the rock is the tunnel above - taken in the afternoon when
we traveled up the opposite side of the gorge. 
We traveled the road in the distance in the morning going down the gorge.
On top of the world 
Above the eagles 
It really was an amazing drive, hard not to keep stopping to take in all the views even with plenty of pull ins. The drive took a whole day and really we could have taken longer. If touring rather than being based in one place it would be good to do one side one day, stay over and do the return side the following.

As well as the gorge we visited some really beautiful Provencal villages, always build on hills, always with houses tightly packed together to provide shade and always with terracotta roofs.

Traditional lavoir
Beautiful Provencal
Refreshment time !
Winding lanes
Unusual door 
Provence is famous for rose wine and lavender; we didn't really try much wine - well rose wine haha, but we did find the lavender fields. They were stunning, amazing colours against the rocks and bright blue sky. I was very surprised at the noise of the bees, they were not flying around but busy collecting pollen, constant buzzing.
Provencal lavender
Such contrasting colours 
Our final trip whilst in Les Salles was again down the Gorge de Verdon. This time on a pedalo. We thought about the electric boats, especially as it was 32 degrees, but they all had canopies which would limit the view upwards. We also thought about the canoes but everytime we try one we just go round in circles, steering is not a skill we have on water.

So pedalo it was, and hard work it was, and hot it was, but oh so so worth it - stunning!

Good job I took this at the start - we look quite cool and fresh 
Under the bridge and into the beautiful gorge
So blue, such rock formations
One of the most beautiful, tranquil places I've been
We had a great week, very different to our first week of travelling, a good chance to relax. It's nice too to cook for ourselves as I love shopping in the french supermarkets and cooking french style.

Eighteen days travelling through my favourite country doing and seeing so many different things, it was a holiday to remember, here's to the next one !

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pictures from your trip. Thanks for sharing.


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