Walk 46 – Discovery Path (Sentier Découverte), Esparron-de-Verdon, France – 3 miles

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A peaceful walk allowing you to discover some magical parts of this area. Start by taking some time to admire the beautiful 13th century Château d’Esparron and the roman architecture of the neighbouring church, Église Saint-André. Then head off-road where you will find a variety of flora and fauna typcial of the region, and be treated to a bird’s eye view of the stunning lake, Lac d’Esparron. Dip your toes in it’s crystal clear waters and take a picnic! 

  Parking available off D82 beneath the Église Saint-André, Esparron-de-Verdon 

route image  Route: Starting at the car park take the staircase uphill to the church and castle.  Continue straight past the church and downhill to a fountain, turning right on the D82. Soon you will come to the Chemin de la Tuillere on your right and take a track immediately on the left signposted for the ‘Sentier Découverte’. The surface becomes much rougher and the track goes uphill through some lovely woodland. At the top you will come to a viewpoint and your first glimpse down onto the turquoise waters of Lake Esparron. When the path reaches a fork turn right onto a wider track, looking out for a footpath on your left a little further along, signposted ‘Suite du Sentier’. This leads you downhill to the shore of the crystal clear lake. Turn right at the bottom of the hillside on to a minor road and follow it along, passing a campsite (Camping du Soleil). This road is in fact Chemin de la Tuillere and you will eventually emerge onto familiar territory, and retrace your steps back to the car park. 

Sentier Découverte, Esparron-de-Verdon

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WALK REPORT: 4th May 2016

Whilst holidaying in the Verdon Canyon Regional Park with family, my husband & I took the time to explore the area a little on foot and what a treat! There is something to be said for setting off with your hiking boots, a picnic and a local guide book and seeing where you end up. I particularly enjoyed discovering all the wild flowers along the first part of the walk, so different to what I am used to in Scotland. I took the opportunity to try out my new camera, although admittedly sticking to the pre-set ‘close up’ mode to photograph them. I’d say they turned out pretty well for my first attempt!

It was quite a hard climb up in the heat, but once at the highest point of the walk we were rewarded with spectacular views down to the lake, albeit from a distance. I knew from the map that the remainder of the walk took us towards the lake and alongside it all the way back to the start so I couldn’t wait to get moving!

Woodland trail
Viewpoint over the lake

We left the woodland behind and followed a wider track along more open countryside, past corn fields and lavender fields! Unfortunately it wasn’t the right time of year to see the lavender plants in all their purple glory (late June and through July is best), but they were still impressive and looking at the photo below you can really imagine how beautiful they must look in summer when the plants are in full bloom!

French lavender field

The highlight of the walk for sure was getting up close to the lake. I knew the route ran alongside it but I hadn’t expected to actually be able to walk right down to it. Hubby got a little too close ie he fell in trying to walk along the rocks :-) – I have avoided posting the photographic evidence in fear of retaliation at a later date!!   We found a wooden jetty which turned out to be the perfect spot to have lunch at and allow hubby to dry off. We watched a guy go out fishing in some sort of inflatable seat and flippers. It was definitely an interesting way to fish, not something I’d ever seen before nor may see again however it looked very peaceful and most likely more comfortable than a boat!

You don’t get much more tranquil than this!
Our picnic jetty

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