•Alpes-Maritimes (06950) • Population: 1,498 • Altitude: 300 m
This ancient, perched village sits on a rocky ridge in an area of rugged rocky gorges, forests and hills only 10 km from the center of Nice. Only 6 km from the autoroute at the northern edge of the big city, Falicon seems as isolated from "civilization" as the other villages much further into the back country.
While the hills to the northwest, across the valley, are littered with houses, the east of Falicon drops down into the deep rocky gorge of Paillon de St-André, further accentuated by a large quarry.
The perched location of Falicon gives you a magnificent view: to the south over the hills and across Nice to the Mediterranean; to the north the Mont Chauve d'Aspremont (853 m) and the Mont de l'Ubac (654 m). For the best view to the south, there's an open area at the top of the village where you'll find three oak benches circled under the shade of an oak tree.
The village is neat and ancient, with a just few shops and cafés and restaurants. Paved step-streets wind up between the old houses and pass in arched tunnels beneath the buildings.
Leaving the village, the right fork (D114, marked "Nice via St. André") switch-backs down through a deeply-wooded valley in perpetual shade, seeming as ancient as time. At the bottom, go left to follow the Gorges de Gabre, as steep and rocky and rugged as any you'll find, towards Tourrette-Levens.
Aven des Ratapignata
The Aven des Ratapignata is located to the west of Falicon, north of the La Vallièra wilderness park, and marked by the ancient pyramid built over the entrance.
History of Falicon
First record, 13th century: Falicon
Gallo-Roman: There was a Roman presence at Falicon. At Le Rayet (on the side of Mont Chauve to the north) and Chateaurenard there were Ligurian fortified camps (oppidum)
Medieval: Falicon was part of the fiefs of the Abbey of St. Pons and the Marquesan. From the 16th century it was owned by the Tonduti and the Rainaldi (Renaud). Royal: Queen Victoria visited here.
Tel : 04 93 84 97 33
Jan - Creche de Santons Provencaux
Jan - Fete de la Saint Vincent
July (Mid) - Fête communal
Dec - Creche de Santons Provencaux
• GPS: 43.749147, 7.278662
IGN (1/25,000) #3742 ouest "Contes, Gorges de la Vésubie"
Michelin "green (1/100,000) #115 "French Riviera - Alpes-Maritimes"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"
The countryside here alternates between being too built-up and too rugged for good hiking. The Grande Randonnée GR5 goes north up the ridge, Crête de Graus, about 2 km west of the village.