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Gorges du Verdon, Moustiers-Ste-Marie's insider take:

The Gorges du Verdon, at 12 miles long and up to 2,300 feet deep at points, is wild France at its most awe-inspiring. The turquoise-green Verdon River sits at the bottom of jagged limestone faces covered in garrigue (the scrub bush of southern France). A paradise for outdoorsy types who can kayak or canoe on the river, the gorges are also popular with hikers and fishermen. The town of Castellane provides a good point of departure via car, as the gorges are at their highest here; the trip to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie includes many a cliff view, ancient bridges, and a spot the French call "Point Sublime"—a viewing platform over the junction of the Baou and Verdon rivers that allows for an extensive view of the gorge. This is the French Grand Canyon, so be warned that you may have to share it with many a fellow tourist. Still, a hike here is a fine way to work up an appetite.

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