Going with the Flow
The history of Haute Provence has always been marked by the water. Millions of years ago, the sea entirely covered our region and the numerous marine animals fossils discovered (ammonites, ichthyosaurs…) bear witness to that period! Today, the lagoons have disappeared but the water is still present: torrents, lakes and rivers shape our landscapes. It is not unusual to discover majestic gorges at the detour of a road or a path! Over time, water has dug its bed and drawn the features of a territory with a strong character.
In the heart of Haute Provence, Digne les Bains is crossed by three watercourses! The city is located at the confluence of three valleys: Bléone, Mardaric and Eaux Chaudes. A thermal source, renowned since Antiquity, gushes out from the latter.
Nowadays, the thermal baths are continuously supplied by the Ophélia drilling, 870 meters deep. These waters, with multiple properties – chlorurated, sulphated, sulphured, with sodium and calcium – enable you to undertake health cures for three weeks in rheumatology, respiratory tract and ENT as well as mini preventive cures. Furthermore, a wellness area allows you to enjoy the benefits of this water through a wide range of body treatments with lavender fragrances and other essential oils.
Downstream of the Gorges du Verdon, the lake of Sainte Croix is the evidence of the indispensable nature of water on our territory. The hydroelectric dam retains 767 million cubic metres of water and its surface area makes it the second largest artificial lake in France. It is an important water pickup point, therefore it is not rare to attend the impressive aerial ballet of Canadairs!
With the lake of Serre Ponçon as its neighbour, further north beyond Vallée de la Blanche, these two lakes have made possible an infinite variety of sports and water-based activities: pedalo, sailing, paddle, electric boats…you’ll be spoilt for choice!
For thrill-seekers, many canyons and ravines are equipped for canyoning and river hiking!
From Clues de Barles – narrow gorges in the north – where you can swim in the fresh water, to Plan d’Eau des Ferréols – artificial lake in Digne les Bains – not forgetting the lake of Sainte Croix in the south to top it off: changes of scenery, sensations and splashes are guaranteed for adults and children!