La Palud-sur-Verdon, which now includes the former commune of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers, is a real paradise for sporting enthusiasts and fans of historic sites and geology ! The village lies in the centre of a unique landscape, at the heart of the Gorges du Verdon, the largest canyon in Europe, in the Verdon Regional Natural Park and the Geological Reserve of Haute-Provence, and boasts some of the best-known sites for rock-climbing and outdoor activities. Two 1980s cult films featuring Patrick Edlinger, ‘La vie au bout des doigts’ and ‘Opéra vertical’, which were shot in the Gorges, propelled rock-climbing and Verdon climbing routes into the spotlight.
Verdon has become an iconic site : non-existent approach walks, ready-equipped climbing routes where climbers can satisfy their appetite for sheer drops, thrilling sensations, fantastic scenery and mythical routes, without additional constraints.
Canyoning and, more recently, highlining and base-jumping have helped to make Verdon a global spot for extreme sports. However, there are also less dangerous pastimes ! For walking, the iconic Sentier Blanc Martel springs immediately to mind. This 15km trail follows the footsteps of two explorers along the bottom of the gorge where a micro-climate enables outstanding endemic plants such as Doradille du Verdon (a type of fern), Raiponce de Vilars (bellflower family) and Sabline de Provence (carnation family), to settle and survive. As for animals, in addition to chamois, deer and horseshoe bats, several species of vulture can now be seen in the neighbouring Rougon area where they have been reintroduced : griffon vultures, monk vultures and Egyptian vultures.