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The martel train

The hiking trail of your life

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a day trip to the renowned Martel Trail in the stunning Gorges du Verdon. This immersive hike is not for the faint-hearted, but the rewards are truly unparalleled. We did it ourselves and are excited to share our experience with you.

Be Prepared for a Challenge

Before setting out, it’s essential to know that you need to be ready to walk for about six hours with no possibility of an early exit. The Martel Trail is the only path that truly winds through the Gorges du Verdon, following the Verdon River at the bottom of the canyon. This makes for a unique and immersive experience for hikers.

The Iconic Blanc-Martel Trail

The Blanc-Martel Trail is famous for being the most iconic route in the Gorges du Verdon, located at the heart of the Verdon Regional Natural Park. It offers breathtaking views and an unforgettable journey through nature’s wonders.

The Best Direction to Hike

For the best experience, it is recommended to hike from La Maline to Point Sublime. This direction is preferable due to the easier descent and better coordination with the Blanc-Martel shuttle service.

martel trail

Alternatives to the Shuttle

If you prefer not to use the Blanc-Martel shuttle, you have two alternative options:

  1. Taxi Service: Arrange for a taxi to drop you off at Chalet de la Maline after parking your vehicle at the Samson Couloir Parking. Several taxi services are available at a cost similar to the shuttle:
    • Taxi La Palud sur Verdon: 06 20 32 87 47
    • Taxi Verdon: 06 68 18 13 13
    • Taxi Rougonnais: 06 42 23 63 70
  2. Round-Trip Hike: Start from Point Sublime and do a round trip. This option involves walking from Point Sublime through the Samson Couloir, continuing to a point where you can turn around and head back to the Samson Couloir Parking where your vehicle will be parked.

Important Tips for Your Hike

  1. Check the Weather: Do not attempt the hike if thunderstorms are expected.
  2. Early Start in Summer: During the summer months, make sure to start walking by 6 am at the latest to avoid the midday heat.
  3. Proper Gear: Wear good walking shoes for the rugged terrain.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Take plenty of water with you to stay hydrated throughout the hike.

Starting Point

The trail starts at Chalet de la Maline, located in the commune of La Palud-sur-Verdon, about 7km south of the village. This serves as the gateway to your adventure into the Gorges du Verdon.

Trail Difficulty

The Martel Trail is considered difficult and is not recommended for children under eight years old or individuals suffering from vertigo. The rugged terrain and the length of the hike demand good physical fitness and preparation.

Stunning Views Await

The views you will see along the Martel Trail are stunning, making the effort well worth it. People come from all over the world, including the USA, to walk this trail and experience the natural beauty of the Gorges du Verdon.

Returning to Your Starting Point

After completing the hike, returning to your starting point is straightforward. During the hiking season, shuttles are available from La Palud-sur-Verdon. These shuttles drop hikers off at Chalet de la Maline in the morning and pick them up in the late afternoon at Point Sublime. Reservations for the shuttle can be made online.

Alternatively, you can also reserve a taxi service in advance to return to your starting point. For more details on the shuttle service, please refer to the information further down on this page.

Specific Regulations

Please note the following regulations for the Martel Trail:

  • No Dogs or Bicycles: The trail is closed to dogs and mountain bikes.
  • No Swimming: Swimming in the Verdon River is prohibited throughout the canyon area.

Essential Equipment for the Hike

Hikers should be well-prepared with the following gear:

  • Sturdy Hiking Shoes: Essential for the rugged terrain.
  • Flashlight: For navigating through tunnels.
  • Water: At least 2 liters per person.
  • Picnic: For sustenance during the hike.
  • Warm Clothing: To protect against cooler temperatures.
  • Sun Protection: A hat or cap and sunscreen.


A day trip to the Martel Trail offers an unparalleled hiking experience in one of France’s most beautiful natural settings. Whether you take the shuttle, arrange for a taxi, or opt for a round-trip hike, you will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery and a profound sense of accomplishment. Prepare well, hike safely, and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in the Gorges du Verdon.

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