Verdon, Balcons de la Mescla
Another great outdoor trip off the French Rivera is to the Gorges du Verdon. Not so serene as the Mercantour, but at least as beautiful. The first part of the Route Napoleon leads to the village of Castellane, a perfect start for a drive along the Verdon river. Unfortunately there was no time enough to walk into the Gorge, so I had to be satisfied with the circuit of the Corniche Sublime.
First classic stop is at the Balcons de la Mescla, where the rivers Artuby and Verdon meet. From well placed view points there are splendid views of the canyon and the rocks of the circuit des Crêtes. There's a retaurant, so you can relax a bit to assimilate the first impressions. Nearby is the Pont de l'Artuby.
Moustiers Sainte Marie
Here is the possibility to do the bungeejump from the bridge. Passing through the Tunnel de Fayet
the road descends to Les Cavaliers
, a gigantic rockformation which drops almost vertically to the Verdon river. The views are spectacular. Approaching the villages Aiguines and Les Salles (which was relocated after the barrage was built, which drowned the original village nowadays situated at the bottom of the lake), you can see a wonderful landscape: the red coloured roofs of the villages give a nice contrast to the greenish of Lac Sainte Croix.
From here a road goes north to Moustiers Sainte Marie which Lombardic bell tower you can see from far. It's a pitoresque faience village situated at the end of a small canyon with high up the chapel of Notre Dame de Beauvoir. Note the medieval chain high above the village, which bears a star with a diameter of more than a meter.