Alpes-Maritimes (06810) Population: 2,072 Altitude: 83 m
The old village is perched on a ridge (136 m) at the entrance to the Gorges de la Siagne, and is very picturesque, both viewed from a distance and within the village itself. It's off the beaten tourist track, and is cool and calm in the summer, even though located only 13 km from the city of Cannes.
The village has some very pretty little streets between the old buildings, many with climbing plants and flowers. Walking through the village is mostly ups and downs, and you can go all the way down to the river on the southwest side, but it's pretty steep walking back up again.
A carefully restored 18th century church sits at the top of the village. From this high point, you have a terrific view of the surrounding country, including the Tanneron mountains, the Peygros forest, the Prealps of Grasse, the Pic de Courmettes and the plateau of Valbonne.
Auribeau is half way between Cannes and Grasse, on the D9 (Route de Pégomas), in the Siagne river valley.
Below the village, a new town has been built along the Siagne river valley, at an altitude of 10-30 m. In the Spring of 1994, the river flooded and the new little houses built along the river bottom were washed away. Hopes, dreams and savings floated out to the Golfe de la Napoule, but then that's what river-bottom land is all about.
Golden Eagles (Aigles Royals) hunt the Forêt de Péygros and the hills to the northeast, and you'll often see one or two of them soaring majestically through the blue sky, or occasionally hear their hunting cry.
History of Auribeau-sur-Siagne
First record, 1155 Auribel and the sanctuary of Valcluse in 1158.
Celto-Ligurian: A Celtic-Ligurian oppidum was located at Pegros, just to the north.
Medieval: Auribeau was born in the middle ages around 1400, when the local people banded together and built their fortified habitations in what they thought was a defensible position. In the middle of the 14th century the plague arrived, and the village was abandonded by the survivors.
• GPS: 43.600446, 6.911053
IGN (1/25,000) #3543 ET "Haute Siagne"
The GR51, part of Les Balcons de la Côte d'Azur, passes through Auribeau. To the south is Cannes and to the north the trail goes up past Grasse and on east Nice and Monaco to Menton. The GR51 (GR) climbs up the steps into the parking lot just below the village center.
A good local hike of about 3 hours uses most of the GR51 trail. From the village, hike north to the Forêt de Péygros. The trail there goes completely around the hill, with a possible side trip up to the top (301 m). After looping around the hill, follow the GR51 back to Auribeau village. The hill loop has a great view of the coast and the inland hills. There are cork oak and mimosa trees, and a wide variety of other shrubs and flowers.