Dam at the gates of the Verdon gorges, the Sainte-Croix Lake is bordered by the villages of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, Bauduen and Les Salles-sur-Verdon. Top tourist attraction, the lake is also an extraordinarily preserved natural space. The use of motor vehicles is forbidden on its waters.
The history of St. Croix lake dates back to the early 20th century, when Georges Clemenceau effected a hike donkey along the Verdon in 1908, spatial streams and dams in points crucial were already on the agenda. The idea to drown the valley of the rooms however was long in the planning stage. It became a reality from 1962. The creation of the lake must first remove the three villages of the rooms (located in the hollow of the valley), Bauduen and Holy Cross (located above). The height of water and the extent of the reservoir were revised downwards, partly because of the strong resistance of the people concerned.
The hydroelectric dam with a height of 95 m was built on the course of the Verdon from 1971. Its impoundment in 1973 drowned the valley of the rooms, and with it the small village of Salles-sur-Verdon. The artificial lake created called Sainte-Croix Lake, is an area of 2180 hectares.
The town of Salles-sur-Verdon, removed, destroyed and engulfed by the waters of the reservoir, was reconstructed at an altitude above the old 60 m. In memory of the historic village engulfed, were preserved and reused the bells of the old church, the fountain in the village square and a few stones from the ancient three laundries.
With two thousand hectares of emerald water at the heart of the regional park of Verdon, the Sainte-Croix Lake is now a tourist attraction weight to the surroundings. Gateway to the sublime canyon of the Verdon Gorges, the lake is at the crossroads of territories and prestigious natural areas, among the limestone plateau of Canjuers Plan and Valensole famous for its lavender fields as far view.
At the heart of this exceptional natural setting and these contrasting landscapes, the Sainte-Croix Lake is a great place to go for outdoor recreation and family fun. The three villages of Salles-sur-Verdon, St. Croix and Bauduen have organized beaches that invite to relax and swim. Around the lake also contains many small wild and secret beaches where to find tranquility. If boats combustion engines are prohibited on all of Lake St. Croix, it is however possible to walk on the water aboard a power boat, a boat, a canoe or a pedalo. The three villages from the lakeshore are equipped water sports centers offering a wide range of leisure. Internships and during sailing or windsurfing are especially provided for all levels.
The Sainte-Croix lake is surrounded by major natural and historical sites of the Var and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The spread of emerald water dominated by the massive silhouette of the castle of Aiguines with terraced gardens down to the lake. The site is the starting point of the Corniche Road, overlooking the breathtaking route gorgeous canyon the Verdon. Other sites to visit around the lake include the museum of the House of the Verdon Gorges and the Museum of Prehistory of Quinson. South of the retainer extend the lavender fields of Valensole flower from mid-June to mid-August. The windmills of the village of Régusse, celebrated every weekend in August, also worth a visit.