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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips

Verdon River

Location: Southeastern France

The Verdon River winds its way through Southeastern France. Its source rises from high in the Les Trois Eveches Mountain range. The canyon is isolated and wild and wasn’t fully explored until the early 20th century. Before 1905, visitors to the deepest parts of the Verdon gorge were limited to the rare woodcutter.

Level of Difficulty: Class II-III / Beginner

River rafting trips on the Verdon River take place on two different section of the river. The Middle Verdon is class II-III with rapids like La Degoulinante, Barre St. Jean, and Solitaire. The Upper, or “Haut” Verdon runs through the Fontgaillarde Gorge and is rated class II-III. Both sections are family friendly although some companies have lower age limits on the Middle Verdon.

Scenery: Beautiful Rock Formations

The Verdon River canyon is characterized by sweeping layers of rock which line the canyon walls and create a dramatic backdrop of curving lines and patterns. In other sections of the river sheer rock walls contrast with lush vegetation and rocky gravel bars lining the river banks.

Season: April – June

Half and one day river rafting trips are available on the dam-controlled Middle Verdon from April into September. The Upper Verdon is a spring-run river so one day trips are available only during the spring snow melt—typically April into June. Many companies operating on the Verdon River offer longer packages combining whitewater rafting with fun-yaking (“hot dogging” in France!), canyoning, and other adventure sports.