I discover a whole region

Protected natural areas

The natural site of Saint-Maurin

Saint-Maurin is an exceptional natural site of major interest. On more of 20 hectares, on the right bank of the Verdon, many terraces of natural grassland, modeled on déposition of tuff, and the spectacular waterfalls make it a unique place. You can see the most important watérfall crossing the D952. The ecologic value of this spot comes from it’s richness flora and fauna. You can see many caves showing human occupation, dating back to the Véme century. Since 2009, this Saint-Maurin site is selected as Natural and Regional Réserve. The access is free but regulate. Pédestrian trafic is permited on trails, picking, swimming, camping and fire are strictly prohibited.

The accompaniment by a professional guide is strongly recommanded to appreciate the richness of the place.

Cascade Saint Maurin

 

Flora

The richness of the Verdon’s flora takes influence from the mediterranean to soften the subalpine climate due to the altitude. A few species are endemic, what means they do exist on the surface of our planet only in the Gorges. You will find more information at the Maison des Gorges du Verdon, inside the Castle of La Palud sur Verdon.

La Doradille du Verdon

Fauna

The fauna is also rich in species that beneficit from this nature and theses protected areas. The vultures you can see all along the canyon have been reintroduced by the Birds Protection Ligue. Some nest in the clives, others in the trees. They are not dangerous for human and just eat dead animals. You can see many others birds In the sky, like eagles for example. You can see chamois, roe deers, foxes and badgers. If you walk out during the night you will meet or ear bats and owls.

Vautour fauve en vol

Tête vautour fauve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geology

The area of La Palud sur Verdon and Rougon is bordered to the south by the famous Gorges du Verdon with the specific white limestone of Provence and to the north by the mountains of Montdenier and Mourre de Chanier. This limestone, made of stayed of marine animals are dated for 140 million of years, when a warm and quiet sea covered the area, very rich in corals. We also find somewhere clays mixed with more friable limestone. With the uprising of the Alps which began 65 million of years ago due to a movement of tectonic plates, the region got out of the water and was subject to a strong erosion. The Verdon river sneaked and digged the Gorges.

La Palud sur Verdon and Rougon are two villages located in the Geological Reserve of Haute Provence. You can discover all the richness and marks of the past, but extraction of fossils is not allowed.

Hydrology

The Verdon region is a land of mountains under mediterranean and continental influences. Here, it is sunny 300 days a year. The bottom of the Gorges basks in a mild and humid micro-climate. Humidity is high and helps the development of lush vegetation that contrasts dramatically with the upper vegetation. Along the Verdon river, 5 artificial lakes were made to generate electricity, but also to be drinking water huge tanks. This is the reason why it is forbidden to polluate the water or the banks of the river and camping is only allowed in campsites.