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Why Summer Is The Perfect Time To Visit The Grand Canyon Of Europe

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With endless National Parks to visit in the U.S., travelers are usually content exploring the ‘great outdoors' in their own backyard.

That is until an inevitable supervolcano turns us into dust, but hey, that's all the more reason to discover the wild side of Europe with hidden gems only locals know about.

Tourists in blue waters of Le Gorges du Verdon

France may be known for global icons like Paris, world-renowned museums, incredible beaches, and funny hats, but rarely is the country's stunning nature discussed unless you're exploring wine country.

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of any major French cities is a gorgeous destination being dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Europe”, the perfect summertime escape.

Turquoise Waters Rivaling The Mediterranean

Le Gorges du Verdon, or Verdon Gorge, as we will call it since Rosetta Stone is on the back burner.

Travelers can find one of France's best-kept secrets in Provence within the Verdon Natural Regional Park.

Tourist lounging on blue waters of Le Gorges du Verdon

This striking natural wonder holds a perfect rating on TripAdvisor with nearly 2,000 reviews, largely in part to the picture-perfect turquoise waters that make you feel like you stumbled onto a private Mediterranean paradise.

Spoiler alert – this jaw-dropping canyon is not in the Mediterranean, nor is it located on the coast.

Although Nice is one of the closest notable cities, roughly 2 hours away.

Beat The Crowds In Paradise This Summer

Verdon Gorge is not a mainstream destination, so this one of Europe's best destinations to avoid the vacation crowds.

Tourist posing in Le Gorges du Verdon

While not spotless, when compared to the actual Grand Canyon, this is the place to be.

And if France is an absolute must for you this year, Paris is going to be jam-packed for the Olympic games this summer, so why not try something new and exciting?

Summer also happens to be one of the best times to visit.

The bright blue waters glisten in the sun and are perfect to go for a swim or rent a boat, where you'll forget all about the Greek Islands in your own little paradise.

Like the Grand Canyon, the park is a vast outdoor playground and not just on the water.

There are many ways to enjoy your time, such as hiking, climbing, and mountain biking.

Stunning mountaineous landscape of Le Gorges du Verdon

There are ample viewpoints from which to take the best photos of this bucket-list-worthy destination, most notably the Pont du Galetas bridge overlooking mountainous scenery and glacial-blue waters below.

Clear out your camera roll because you will be snapping a lot of pics for the ‘gram!

Day Trip Or An Extended Vacation?

Many Euro-trippers love to hop around the continent rather than stay in one place.

Maybe you go to Paris and take a train to Brussels, as an example.

Verdon Gorge is not as easy to reach as a major city, but Marseille and Nice are much more accessible.

Using these cities is the best option as gateways to the canyon, where both are 2 and a half hours.

Village near Le Gorges du Verdon

There are multiple bus and train routes, or you can rent a car and park on-site.

Plus, a France road trip sounds amazing, doesn't it?

Any way you slice it, getting here won't be a drag with the right planning, and there are some pretty awesome places to stay, whether as a day trip or an extended vacation.

Ultimately, that's up to you whether the trek here is worth a short stay or to spend much of your vacation time in one of Europe's hidden treasures.

Best Places To Stay

French Chateau near Village near Le Gorges du Verdon

Some of the best travel experiences can be when we brave the road less traveled.

Dispersed around Verdon Gorge are small, yet beautiful, villages that make for a great base to explore the park.

The question is, how boujee do you want to be?

On the higher end there are incredible 4-star hotels like the La Bastide de Moustiers – Hôtel & Restaurant going for about $400 per night.

On the lower end, there are still comfortable accommodations under $100.

The cozy Le Gîte de Venascle is a Bed and Breakfast set along post-card worthy lavender fields, offering a tranquil environment to disconnect and still within 30 minutes of Verdon Gorge.

Otherwise, Airbnb is plentiful in the region and has various prices.

Quaint village in Provence, France

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