•Alpes-Maritimes (06830) • Population: 162 • Altitude: 853 m
Revest-les-Roches is a small village perched on the hills at the southern slopes of Mont Vial where the Var river turns south and heads for the sea at Nice.
Revest-les-Roches is centered around the 17th-century Saint-Laurent church [Photo-03] which has a Provencal pastel bell tower. There's a parking area at each end of the village, both with benches, shade trees and a nice view out over the hills to the south. There are just a few old streets to explore in Revest-les-Roches, including a long enclosed square [Photo-05] and a deep vaulted passage [Photo-06].
Mont Vial is the peak of a high ridge (1550 m) that runs east-west through the hills just north of Revest-les-Roches. North of the Mont Vial ridge is the Var river valley running east-west before turning south towards Nice and the Mediteranean. Across the hills south of the village is the east-west valley of the Esteron.
A Beautiful Day's Drive
It's a nice drive up to Revest-les-Roches from the Var river north of Nice, with the narrow road winding up the hillsides via Gilette. After Revest, the road continues northwest through the beautiful hills to Tourette-du-Chateau and Toudon. After Toudon, you can follow the winding roads south, either southeast back to Gilette or southwest towards Roquesteron; or, you can continue northwest along the flank of the mountains to the little villages of Ascros and La Penne.
Reference information for the commune mentions the 19th-century Swallow Suspension Bridge (Pont suspendu des Hirondelles). We haven't seen it yet ourselves, but think we've identified it. About 3 km to the east, there's a suspended passerelle (footbridge) over the Var river, at the eastern edge of the commune boundary. A trail leads between the footbridge (55 m altitude) to Revest-les-Roches village (853 m).
History of Revest-les-Roches
The commune of Revest-de-l'Esteron was created in 1871 when it separated from Tourette-du-Château. The combined Tourette-du-Château and Revest-les-Roches were in the Seigneurie (domain) of the Grimaldi de Beuil in 1400. In 1930 Revest-de-l'Esteron was renamed Revest-les-Roches.
The name Revest comes from the Provencal Lou Revest meaning land of ravines. Going back even further, the Provencal Revest, from the Latin Reversus, applied to the lands "invested" after the departure of the Saracens.
Sundials (Cadrans Solaires)
The sundial on the side of the Saint-Laurent church isn't very old but it has a very nice and imaginative design.
• GPS: 43.881434, 7.156072
IGN (1/25,000) #3641 OT "Moyenne Var"
IGN (1/25,000) #3642 ET "Vallée de l'Estéron"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"
There are great hiking trails in the forested hills of this area between the Var and Esteron river, including Toudon, Tourette-du-Chateau, Revest-les-Roches and Gilette.
The Mont Vial loop (Revest-les-Roches, Col du Serse, Mont Vial, Col du Vial, Tourette-du-Chateau,Revest-les-Roches) took us 5-1/2 hours, moving slowy and taking pictures, with a total vertical of about 900 m.
There are many other loop-hikes in these magnificent forested hills, and the climbing isn't too severe.
An out-and-back hike from here goes down to the where the Hirondelle suspended footbridge crosses the Var river. It's about 4 km each way but drops 800 m, which translates to a climb for the return trip.
South of the village a trail drops into the valley then joins with a loop around Mont Lion, a hike we took ourselves, starting and ending at Gilette, to the southeast.
There's only one café-restaurant in Revest-les-Roches [Photo-07]. Nominally open six days a week, usually from 6h30 in the morning, it was exceptionally closed the day we visited.