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Gorges du Verdon
If you are in this area in Var then a trip to the Gorges du Verdon will not disappoint. This is the most scenic and beautiful drive around this outstanding countryside. It's not a quick drive and the bends are sharp and steep in places.
The drive itself from the A8 will take around 2 hours to get to the lake where the road bends round to come back on the other side so it is a long day but worth every minute to see these breath taking views, colours and smells.
Once at the lake you can hire pedaloes or canoes for an hour at a time to explore the cavernous rocks up close or even pedal out into the vast lake. If you have your own canoe then you'll be in your element although you won't find any rapids in the summer. The first thing that hits you is the amazing blue colour of this freshwater lake created by its mineral content. The water is ideal for swimming and wonderfully warm in the summer apart from the small waterfalls along the rock face which are absolutely freezing.
In the haze of lavender scented air carried over the lake from the fields beyond, continue on your drive towards a town called Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and you will find yourself transported back through time. It is a picture postcard town that looks like something from an old French movie set a hundred years ago. There is no shortage of restaurants and souvenir shops here.
If you still have the energy then a visit to the ancient chapel is highly recommended, not least because it's a lovely chapel and very cool inside but the views outside are spectacular. Candles can also be purchased inside should you wish to remember someone. It is a steep walk up the steps and quite exhausting but a nice way to start or end your visit.
Coming back on Rive Droite, the road is even windier and can be incredibly busy in parts in the height of summer but still thoroughly enjoyable none the less. There is an old man by the side of the road who sells the nicest lavender honey I've ever tasted and he's always there in the baking heat, a big jar will cost you 10 Euro.