Lake Sainte-Croix, among the most beautiful lakes in France
The lake of Sainte-Croix is located between the departments of Var and Alpes de Haute Provence in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Verdon. The lake is the real pearl of the Verdon country and benefits from an exceptional geographical situation by being in the center of the natural park. Therefore, it’s often described as one of the most beautiful lakes in France. We think that the lake of Sainte-Croix will be the favorite place of your vacations: your best ally so that your little ones have fun without restraint.
The lake of Sainte-Croix is an artificial lake fed by the river Verdon and that it has a surface of 22 km2. The lake is born by passing under the bridge of Galetas which also marks the limit of the departments previously named. Created in 1973, following the construction of the 11km long Sainte Croix dam, it contains about 760 million cubic meters of water. Moreover, the lake is the biggest of the Verdon.
What to do in the lake of Sainte-Croix?
Many water activities are possible on the lake: kayaking, stand up paddle, pedal boat and even sailing. You will easily find nautical bases on the beaches of the villages bordering the lake of Sainte-Croix to carry out these various activities. In summer, we strongly advise you to think about reserving your activity, or to do it in the morning to avoid the crowds in high season.
Among the most beautiful lakes in France
The MUST to do is the ascent of the gorges from the bridge of Galetas, between Moustiers Sainte Marie and Aiguines. It is the perfect place to admire the most beautiful lake of the South of France. There, you will find two beaches with each its nautical base. Once your boat is on the water, you will pass under the bridge to go up the Gorges du Verdon. A few pedal strokes and you will be able to see the Maurin waterfall on your left, unforgettable.
Where to find the most beautiful beaches of the lake of Sainte Croix?
The lake of Sainte Croix is a pure happiness for the amateurs of beaches. Indeed, you will find there multiple beaches all more beautiful the ones of the others. The left bank of the lake (Les Salles sur Verdon, Bauduen,…) is exposed to the sun in the afternoon. Otherwise, the right bank (Sainte Croix du Verdon,…) is in full sun in the morning.
The named villages all have their own beaches, some of which are supervised during the tourist season.
If you have the soul of an adventurer, you can easily find less known beaches by consulting a famous online map software. A few zooms on the map and you will certainly come across the exceptional beach.
What to visit on the edges of the lake of Sainte-Croix ?
This lake borders three villages: Les Salles sur Verdon, Sainte Croix du Verdon and Bauduen: these are 3 villages with each their own charm. First of all, the most picturesque and the prettiest will be without any doubt Bauduen, village leaning against the hill of Défens.
More north of the lake of Sainte Croix, Aiguines will also be a nice discovery with its breathtaking view on the lake and its valley. After having admired the view that the village offers over one of the most beautiful lakes in France, you will then take the road of the gorges on its heights to follow the left bank of the Verdon.
Visit the prehistoric cave of la baume-bonne and go back in time!
Not far from the lake, in Quinson, the visit of the prehistoric cave is a trip back in time. You will leave on the tracks of the Cro-Magnon man to discover his way of life. Expect to live an exceptional experience! This is the perfect family adventure for the older children and the younger ones!
Where to admire the most beautiful view of the lake?
– On the heights of Sainte Croix du Verdon, on the plateau of Valensole (GPS 43.7637946,6.1483488). A superb view on the lake with an orientation table, below : the village of Sainte Croix. On the left: the island of Costebelle and the village of Les Salles sur Verdon. This point is all the better at the end of June during the flowering of the lavender.
– At the dam of Sainte Croix (GPS 43.7361547,6.135787). Downstream from the dam on the lake of Sainte Croix or see also the view on the upper Verdon.
– From the Saint Pierre chapel in Aiguines (GPS 43.7767748,6.241801). View on the lake of Sainte Croix, the village of Aiguines and its castle.
– On the right bank (GPS 43.803887,6.2389598). View on the lake of Sainte Croix, the bridge of Galetas and the gorges of Verdon.
– At the Galetas bridge (GPS 43.8018143,6.2461286), two views for the price of one. One on the lake of Sainte Croix and behind you on the fabulous gorges of Verdon. What could be better?
Eating on the lake of Sainte-Croix
To have lunch on the banks of the lake with your partner or with your family in summer, it is the dream! But how to choose a restaurant? Which one has the most beautiful view on the lake of Sainte-Croix? Don’t panic, we tell you everything in order to enjoy the best regional specialties.
– In Bauduen, the restaurant l’O à la bouche offers you a table on the banks of the lake. Here, you can’t do more than the edge is impossible! Remember to reserve your table anyway. Small more: it is the best restaurant of Bauduen classified on Trip advisor.
– Aiguines: the hotel Altitude 823. As its name indicates, it is a restaurant hotel in height. You will not be feet in the water but you will enjoy a breathtaking view on the lake of Sainte Croix.
– Sainte Croix du Verdon : Several restaurants will offer you a breathtaking view on the lake. We can quote the first one when arriving : Le Comptoir, a traditional restaurant without fuss.
We hope that these advices have given you the desire to discover the lake of Sainte-Croix. And, above all, to take advantage of all the possibilities that this spot can offer you!