Leaving the Grand Canyon, the Verdon river pours into a large lake with turquoise waters, the Lake of St. Croix. This is the most beautiful lakes in the course of the Verdon, one of the most beautiful in Provence. It is ten kilometer long, from the Gatelas Bridge to the Beaudinard Bridge near the dam of the Sainte-Croix and three kilometers wide at its maximum size. Its total surface is 22 km2.
Lake St. Croix is an artificial reservoir: the dam was built and put into the lake waters in 1974. The project planned a an altitude of 500 meters, drowning the village of Salles, Bauduen and letting Sainte-Croix uninhabitable. The presence of source, Fonthill Bishop near Bauduen risked emptying the lake by a siphon effect, and the determined resistance of the inhabitants of the villages of the valley persuaded the authorities to lower the height of the lake to 482 meters, saving villages of Bauduen and St. Croix of destruction. Les Salles-sur-Verdon was drowned under water, a new village was rebuilt above the water level. The antic Roman bridge over the Verdon Aiguines is also drowned under the waters.
Nowadays, Les Salles-sur-Verdon, Sainte-Croix and Bauduen are resorts, offering all kinds of water activities on the lake and its shores : swimming, boat, fishing, windsurfing, pedal. The lake is a freshwater reserve, only boats with electric motors are allowed to sail. From the Bridge at the mouth of Galetas Hautes Gorges du Verdon, it is possible to remount part of the Grand Canyon du Verdon in a canoe or kayak.
Selected bed and breakfast in the Verdon on the site of the guest houses of Provence
Coming to Lake of Sainte-Croix
GPS coordinates N 43°44'15'' - E 6°10'30''
The Sainte-Croix lake is the limit of the Var (83) and Alpes-de-haute-Provence (04) in the Parc Naturel Regional du Verdon near the Gorges du Verdon. On the shores of the Lake Sainte-Croix are the villages of Bauduen, Les Salles-sur-Verdon, St. Croix du Verdon and the Verdon Gorges.
Location : Altitude 480 metres, 4 miles from Aiguines, 8 miles from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, 10 miles from Aups, 27 miles from Draguignan, 27 miles from Manosque, 38 miles from Saint-Maximin, 50 miles from Aix-en-Provence