Frequently asked questions

Have a look at our FAQ to find the answer to the most common questions: practical information, payment, security, etc.

Practical informations about Surf Center

Where is the Surf Center

Surf Center is located at the Margaridon beach, 83630 Les Salles-sur-Verdon.

It’s the beach of the village Les Salles-sur-Verdon. It is located equidistant from the Sainte-Croix dam and the entrance to the spectacular Verdon Gorges.

How to get to the Surf Center?

If you come by car, you just have to enter “Surf Center” on Google Maps, and then follow the GPS!

To come on foot from the village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon, you can take the pedestrian descent that leads you to the edge of the lake. We are on your left when you arrive at the lake.

See address

Is it possible for disabled people to access the beach?

Unfortunately our beach has no disabled access. Nevertheless, our team will do everything possible to make access as easy and pleasant as possible for people with reduced mobility. Feel free to call us in advance to plan your visit.

Is it possible to park near the Margaridon beach?

The Surf Center has two free car parks with about 100 spaces each.

Are there public toilets on Margaridon beach?

Public toilets are available for free at the entrance of one of the car parks.

Is there a supervised swimming area in Les Salles-sur-Verdon?

The Surf Center is located next to the supervised swimming area of Les Salles-sur-Verdon. The fire brigade provides surveillance from July 1st to August 31th.

Boat booking and means of payment

Can I book a boat in advance at the Surf Center?

It is possible to book the boat of your choice up until the day before the desired date. To do this, just click on the “online booking” tab. All you have to do is choose the date and the boat, and then complete the formalities.

Booking directly at the Surf Center is also possible, subject to availability.

Due to the high number of tourists, we strongly recommend you to make your reservation online.

Please note: we don’t take any reservation by phone.

Can I pay by Holiday Vouchers or credit card?

Holiday Vouchers and credit cards are accepted for the boat rental and the snack bar. Cheques are no longer accepted.

Do I have to leave a deposit to rent a boat?

We do not require a deposit. However, you will be asked to provide a valid identification and a phone number for all rentals.

The phone number is only used to contact you in case of problem and will absolutely not be used for commercial purposes.

Do you always have available boats on site?

Our entire fleet is available on site and online. Please note: the important number of tourists during the peak season can lead to very rapid shortages. For more peace of mind, we advise you to book directly online.

Does a child count as a passenger on the boats?

All persons on board count as one seat. Please note: if you are carrying a lot of beach bags or accessories, this should be taken into account when assessing the space available on the boat.

Is it possible to rent a boat with a dog?

You can take your dog on board. However, for large dogs such as Shepherds or Labradors, it is necessary to take their size into account and to count them in the number of places.

Visit of the Sainte-Croix Lake and the Verdon Gorges

Can we visit the Verdon Gorges and the Grand Canyon from Margaridon beach?

By electric boat, it takes approximately 3 hours round trip to get to the Verdon Gorges.

By canoe, the route is much more challenging, but it can be done in half a day. However, for the less experienced people, we advise you to go for a full day to really enjoy your trip.

By pedal boat or paddle board, we strongly advise against going as far as the Verdon Gorges, which are much too far away.

There are plenty other wonders to discover on the Sainte-Croix Lake.

Is it possible to swim in the Verdon Gorges?

Swimming in the Verdon Gorges is forbidden. It is allowed in the lake.

What is the water temperature of the Sainte-Croix Lake?

During the high summer, the water temperature can vary between 22 and 29°C. At the exit of the Grand Canyon, the water rarely reaches 20°C.

Are there any no-sailing zones on the Sainte-Croix Lake?

There are two zones.

One of these zones is located in front of the dam and is marked by buoys which you are not allowed to cross (there are “whirlpools” before the buoy line, so avoid going near them).

The other area is at the end of the Grand Canyon. Buoys limit access to the boats, and it’s forbidden to try to go further because your boat will be stuck in shallow water!

Can we see the old village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon sunken under the lake?

As you probably know, the Sainte-Croix Lake is an man-made lake created by EDF in 1973. The old village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon has been engulfed to enable the creation of the lake. However, the lake has been filled with water after the destruction of the village. Don’t expect to hear the bells of the old church ringing during your Sunday morning pedal boat trip!

Electric boat rental

Do I need a boating licence to rent an electric boat?

A boat licence is not required to rent an electric boat. However, the presence of a person over 18 is mandatory on board for each boat. Therefore, a person under 18 can drive a boat under the responsibility of an adult.

Are there roofs on the Surf Center boats?

All our boats are equipped with an arbour to protect you from the sun. Unfortunately, not all seats can be in the shade.. In case of strong winds, we cannot guarantee the presence of these arbours

Do these arbours protect us in case of bad weather?

No. They only provide protection from the sun, they are not suitable for rain or wind.

Is it possible to berth with an electric boat on the banks of the lake?

It is forbidden to berth on the banks of the Sainte-Croix Lake with electric boats.

But you can do it with every other equipment we provide.

Docking is strictly forbidden in the Grand Canyon from the Galetas bridge, whatever your boat.

Is it easy to learn to drive an electric boat? Is piloting accessible to everyone?

Anyone can drive a boat, even children! But it’s imperative that children are supervised by an adult.

In any case, Surf Center will provide you a briefing before your trip.

Can we rent a boat with a baby and keep a pushchair on board?

For baby’s comfort, it’s possible to put a small unfolded pushchair on the boat, in addition to the passengers. Largerpushchairs, bicycles, or other bulky equipment can be left at the Surf Center reception (under the client’s responsibility).

Is it possible to swim in the Sainte-Croix Lake once we’re on the boats?

Our boats are not equipped with ladders, so you cannot swim from the boats.

Is there a map of the Sainte-Croix Lake in the boats?

A map of the Sainte-Croix Lake is displayed on all boats. The map shows a legend of the sites to discover, as well as the average time needed to reach them.

s it possible to fish on the Sainte-Croix Lake with the electric boats?

You cannot fish, the boats are not equipped for this.

If you want to fish, you can rent a pedal boat and go fishing.

Safety of passengers on board

Can a child drive a boat?

A minor may drive a boat under the responsibility of an adult. The presence of a person over 18 is mandatory on board for each boat.

Are there any special precautions to take when renting a boat with a baby?

Boat trips are accessible to everyone, whatever the age. All our boats can accommodate a Moses basket, baby seat or small pushchair.

We have life jackets designed for toddlers, but in limited quantities. If possible, we advise you to bring a special baby life jacket for your child, so that the equipment is as suitable as possible for him.

Even if the activities are safe, don’t forget that you are on a lake. You must remain vigilant.

Are there life jackets on the boats? Safety equipment?

At the Surf Center, no one goes on the water without a life jacket. It is mandatory to wear it for every nautical activity.

Are there life jackets for children?

Life jackets adapted to your children are provided at the reception.

Once I am on the water, how do I contact the Surf Center?

In each boat, you will find a poster with the Surf Center’s phone number, so that you can contact us at any time. But some areas are not covered by the telephone network, especially in the gorges.

Sailing rental (windsurf board, catamaran, foil board)

Do I need a certification to rent a sail? Is sailing rental for beginners possible?

No certification is required, whether it is for windsurf board, foil board or catamaran rental. We will make sure that your level is adequate for the sailing conditions by asking you some technical questions. Thus, we’ll provide you with the right equipment, so that you have a safe and great time.

It’s possible to try windsurfing for the first time, but only in light wind conditions and with a restricted sailing area.

We can refuse if we consider that the conditions are too dangerous.

Do you give sailing lessons at the Sainte-Croix Lake?

We currently do not offer sailing or windsurfing lessons at the Surf Center. However, we will gladly advise you. If you need it, we will take the time to refresh your memory with a few basics.

For security reasons, a predefined navigation area will be indicated, so that you can always remain within the field of vision of the Surf Center team. This surveillance area is large enough to have a great time on the Sainte-Croix Lake.

Of course, beginners will be asked to stay in front of the Surf Center.

What is the prevailing wind on the lake?

The thermal wind is prevailing on the Sainte-Croix Lake. It blows almost daily between 1 pm and 8 pm and strengthens at the end of the day. Its strength is on average between 12 to 18 knots.

The easterly wind is a low-pressure wind formed by the upwelling of maritime air mass. This wind is wetter, fairly strong and more regular. A Venturi effect is created between Costebelle Island and the Surf Center, which creates an ideal sailing area.

A mistral blows also on the lake. It’s a strong and gusty wind that will delight the most experienced sailors. We do not allow catamaran trips in these conditions.

How many people can get on a catamaran?

For safety reasons, we accept a maximum of 3 people per catamaran.

Do you have windsurf boards for children?

We offer sails from 2.5 m2(3 yd2) allowing children from 7 to 9 years old to start sailing under the responsibility of an adult. The child must be able to swim for at least 25m (27 yd).

A life jacket adapted to your child is provided with the windsurf board.

Do you provide wetsuits?

In spring and autumn the lake temperature can be cool. To be sure you have a good time in these conditions, we rent wetsuits for 5€ for the duration of your rental. However, we have a limited stock.

During the summer, the temperature of the lake varies between 25°C and 30°C.

Is kitesurfing possible on the Sainte-Croix Lake?

Kitesurfing on the lake is difficult. There are a lot of trees on the beaches and the wind is quite gusty: launching and sailing are very difficult in these conditions.

Do you do equipment storage?

We do not store your equipment.

Please note that we have a very wide range of sailboards from 90 l to 185 l and sails from 2.5m2 (3 yd2) to 8.5m2 (10 yd2). It’s a high quality equipment and we renew it regularly.

Eating at the Sainte-Croix Lake

Where can we eat in Salles-sur-Verdon after our activity?

The Surf Center is a water sports rental centre but also a snack bar, open from 8 am to 10 pm. You can come and enjoy breakfast in the morning, a good salad with fresh juice and a home-made dessert at lunchtime, or a pizza in the evening. All this in an idyllic view on the lake.

Can we eat aboard the boats?

We offer packed lunches that you can order at the same time as your boat, directly online. It will be ready for your departure.

Where can I eat my picnic at the Sainte-Croix Lake?

Landing with your boat inside the Verdon Gorges is strictly forbidden. Picnicking is therefore also forbidden.

There are many beaches at the exit of the gorges, but unfortunately there are often a lot of tourists.

For an ideal picnic, we recommend the beautiful deserted beaches on the shore in front of the Surf Center: it is for us the perfect place.

The small island of Costebelle, located a few meters from the Surf Center and Margaridon beach, is also a very good option.