The Sainte-Croix Lake is an artificial reservoir, filled – in 1973 – with water by Electricité de France (EDF), following the construction of the Sainte-Croix dam, on the course of the Verdon river (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, France).

It is located between the departments of Var and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, at the foot of the Verdon orges, the Canjuers Plane and the Valensole Plateau, a mecca for lavandin cultivation.

This reservoir is the fourth largest in metropolitan France in terms of surface area (around 2,200 ha) after Lake Der-Chantecoq, Lake Serre-Ponçon and Lake Orient. The lake has become a center of summer tourism; it is very popular for aquatic leisure activities.

It holds a maximum of 761 million cubic metres of water. The dam, which generates 142 million kWh of electricity per year, is 94 metres high, 7.5 metres thick at its base and 3 metres thick at its crest.

The navigation of gasoline-powered boats is prohibited. Only electric motors and sails are permitted. There are many pedal boats from June to September. This artificial lake is also used for scooping out Canadairs during fires in the region.


Several species of fish live in the lake: northern pike, common carp, common perch, zander.

Three villages are located along its banks:

  • Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon;
  • Bauduen;
  • Les Salles-sur-Verdon (new village, the old one having been drowned by the reservoir).

Shortest distances by car

From Paris: 9 hr 10 min (834 km) via A6 and A7

From Toulouse: 5 hr 9 min (491 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 1 hr 53 min (132 km) via A51

From Nice: 2 hr 21 min (144 km) via A8

From Monaco: 2 hr 34 min (167 km) via A8

From Andorra: 6 hr 53 min (577 km) via A9

From Madrid: 12 hr 47 min (1,197 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 37 hr (3,221 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 16 hr 7 min (1,470 km) via E70 and A4

From Istanbul: 27 hr (2,419 km) via A4

From Bern: 6 hr 10 min (524 km) via A1

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here Andorra travel guide

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