Situated in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence at the edge of the famous gorges of the Verdon, the village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon overlooks the lake and dam to which it gave its name.
The village itself originally got its name from a relic of the cross of Christ, kept up until 1792 in the crypt of its Romanesque church. The ruins of the church were engulfed when the valley was flooded to created this immense reservoir lake in 1973 but, luckily, the village was spared.
Today, it still nestles on its promontory near the entrance to the spectacular Baudinard gorges and enjoys beautiful views over the lake.
Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is a charming old village where it is a real pleasure to stroll the little lanes with all the lovely typical houses, a 16th century church and the ruins of a castle. You can relax in one of the small, flowering squares or, from one of its belvederes, admire the magnificent landscapes all around.
Village and lake of Sainte-Croix
Village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon
Sainte-Croix du Verdon, panoramic view of the lake
The lake of Sainte-Croix
With its irresistible turquoise waters and many beaches surrounded by limestone hills carpeted in a luxurious verdant vegetation, Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is on a par with the seaside resorts of the Mediterranean. And even better, here it is much easier to find a peaceful corner where you can escape from the crowds of summer vacationers!
Its beaches invite you to lounge in the sun or have a swim and they also have facilities to let you enjoy windsurfing or a quiet outing in a pedal-boat or canoe.
To the other side, Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon is the gateway to a region of lavender, wheat and honey. With the many hiking trails all around you can explore the Plateau de Valensole as well as the Verdon Regional Nature Park.
In the area around Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon:
- Bauduen, across the lake on the southern banks.
Right by the waterside beneath an imposing cliff, Bauduen is a peaceful, picturesque and well-preserved village from the Middle Ages. The young, and the young at heart, will enjoy the Art en Jouet museum in which thousands of Playmobile pieces have created a fabulous world of imagination in the former rectory next to the church.
- Les Salles-sur-Verdon
Completely engulfed by the flooding of the valley, the old site of Les Salles is literally an integral part of the lake. But the village rebuilt itself further up and reconstituted its old fountain and washhouses with the stones from the originals.