Lake of Esparron, Verdon

Located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, Esparron-de-Verdon is one of the wildest artificial lakes in the region. With its 328 hectares, its rocky inlets, and its vertiginous cliffs, it attracts every year many boaters who come to enjoy this real leisure base. To the north, the lake overlooks Lower Verdon Gorges, a protected natural site that enjoys the title of regional nature park.

Like the lake of Sainte-Croix, Esparron-de-Verdon is an artificial water reservoir. Created in 1947 following the construction of the Gréoux-les-Bains dam on the course of the Verdon, the lake is home to an ecosystem of great quality. The waters of this lake are protected from pollution, in particular by a ban on motorboat use.

Nearby towns and villages

Esparron-de-Verdon, perched on the cliff, has a magnificent view of the lake and its turquoise waters. The old center of this charming village has a beautiful historical heritage. The château d’Esparron is classified as a Historical Monument. Its square 13th century keep was built by the Castellane family. The floors are decorated with barrel vaults.

After crossing lavender fields in bloom, vacationers arrive in Gréoux-les-Bains. Nicknamed the “Romantic Oasis of the Verdon”, this village has been renowned throughout France since Roman times for its thermal baths. The waters of Gréoux are known for their beneficial and therapeutic virtues.

On the Plateau of Valensole stands the picturesque Provencal village of Saint-Martin-de-Brômes with its steep streets. The old houses seem to have been built around the Clock Tower, a former keep dating from the 14th century. Today, a Gallo-Roman museum has taken up residence there and exhibits the archaeological heritage discovered during an excavation organized in 1992 in the commune. The visitor can admire a sarcophagus which is said to date from the 4th century, it is composed of large stone slabs as well as a lead coffin. In Saint-Martin-de-Brômes the curious can also discover one of the important sites in the region: the Buffe Arnaud oppidum.

Beaches, water activities

The waters of the Esparron-de-Verdon lake are ideal for cooling off in summer when the Provencal sun is high in the sky and temperatures are high. Children can swim safely on the beach in the village of Esparron thanks to lifeguards who provide supervision.

One of the best ways to discover the lake is to take the Sentier du Garde-Canal (canal–keepers’ path). During this walk along the old Verdon canal built 150 years ago, walkers dominate the lake. This walk allows you to admire the surrounding landscapes and to get acquainted with the history of water in Provence.

Many water activities can be practiced on the lake of Esparron-de-Verdon.

The lake and its calm waters allow beginners to learn the pleasures of sailing in a gentle way. On this large body of water, the nautical clubs offer lessons for adults, but also for children!

Renting an electric boat is the ideal way to discover all the secret places along the Esparron-de-Verdon lake. It allows you to reach the Barbu peninsula, a small paradise located 30 minutes from the beach of Saint-Julien. Composed of beaches, expanses of grass and coves, it is the perfect place to bask in the sun. With an electric boat, vacationers can set off to conquer the Basses Gorges du Verdon. These imposing limestone cliffs, covered with vegetation, offer a magical spectacle to those who take the time to appreciate them. 5 hours are necessary to see all of them, but a partial visit already allows you to admire this incredible heritage shaped by man and nature. During the summer period, it is best to reserve your electric boat in advance.

Renting a pedal boat is a fun way to visit the lake of Esparron-de-Verdon with friends or family. The most sporty will prefer to take a canoe and row to the Lower Verdon Gorges.

In order to discover all the secrets of the lake of Esparron-de-Verdon, the best way is to embark on the “Pearl of the Verdon“. This large electric boat offers guided cruises lasting about an hour. They start in Esparron and go down to the entrance of the Lower Verdon Gorges.

From the Saint-Julien beach, fishermen can launch their boats. Numerous pike can be seen through the crystal-clear waters of this magnificent artificial lake. This site is famous for its record-breaking specimens. Sitting in their boat, the fishermen can only marvel at the splendid scenery in which they find themselves.


The shores of the lake of Esparron-de-Verdon are a magnificent setting for an outdoor vacation. Many campsites offer accommodation within walking distance of the emerald waters of the lake. Hotels and guest houses in the region offer all the services and comfort necessary for a pleasant and relaxing stay in a setting where nature is preserved and omnipresent.

Lakes in Southeastern France