The hilltop village of Auribeau, founded in the 11th century, is officially recognized as one of France’s picturesque sites and “villages fleuris” - communities bright with flower beds and floral décor.
The village’s population was decimated in 1348 by the Black Plague, which ravaged Europe and Asia; like many coastal villages, Auribeau was subsequently deserted by its residents. In 1497, a residency act was initiated by His Grace Jacques Grimaldi, Bishop of Grasse, who appealed to the great Ligurian families to aid in the reconstruction of Auribeau, thus giving it new life.
Auribeau is situated in the southwest of the department of the Alpes-Maritimes, 10 kilometres from the sea and just 50 kilometres from the region’s ski slopes.
Near the alpine foothills of Grasse and the siliceous soil of Tanneron, Auribeau’s surroundings nourish a wide range of rich vegetation. From the rocky peak on which the village was built, it overlooks the lush river Siagne flowing languidly through the valley below, a paradise for fishermen and hikers.
SITES TO VISIT:
- LE VILLAGE MÉDIÉVAL: You will enter the medieval village through two fortified portals to discover narrow streets and flowered stairwells, beautiful, perfectly-integrated architecture, a lovely plaza, and two 19th-century fountains. At the village’s highest point stands the 17th-century Roman-Provencal church and a viewpoint with an orientation table.
- LE SANCTUAIRE DE N.D. DE VALCLUSE: The Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Valcluse sits amidst splendid greenery beside a splashing waterfall - a much appreciated source of coolness in the summer. The sanctuary is the site of many pilgrimages and seminaries. Inside, you will find a museum and an impressive collection of commemorative plaques..
- LA FORET DE PEYGROS: The forest of Peygros: In addition to the natural wonders of this forest, take time to see the Celtic-Ligurian oppidum (ruins of an ancient fortified city) built on the forest highlands. From here, you can take in a breathtaking panorama of the Tanneron hills, the foothills of the Alps, the Siagne Valley, and the Mediterranean Sea. The GR51, a well-marked and -maintained hiking trail known as the “Balcony of the Cote d’Azur,” traverses the Peygros forest and is a unique way to discover the area. This forest is a private area.
- GUIDED TOURS OF THE VILLAGE are available by appointment.