Alpes-Maritimes (06530) Population: 1,307 Altitude: 550 m
Cabris is a beautiful village perched on a high promontory extending out to the south from the Plan de Provence hills. The panoramic view from the top of the village, beside the 17th-century church Notre Dame de l'Assomption, is spectacular.
The "Table Panoramique" is in good condition, and helps identify Nice and the Fort du Mont Alban in the east, past Cannes and the Isles de Lérins and around to the Lac de St. Cassien and beyond to the west. The distinctively steep-sided butte at the Gorges du Blavet is easy to recognize.
Both the old church and the old-looking "Le Vieux Chàteau" restaurant-hotel are on the Place Mirabeau at the top of the village. The church was built around 1600, and very nicely restored in 1966. The walls and archway along the side of the Place Mirabeau are the remains of the Chàteau des Marquis de Clapiers-Cabris that was there from the 10th century until its destruction during the revolution.
Going down into the old village are narrow streets between tall medieval houses, stone steps in hidden alcoves and vaulted passages. The buildings are in good condition and well tended, with many colorfully restored.
The D4 road from Grasse enters the village beneath rows of "marronniers" (horse chestnut trees). On the village side of the road, the outdoor tables of several restaurants are set back beneath the shade of many more marronniers on Le Petit Pré. On the other side of the road is a huge grassy field, Le Grand Pré, open and inviting, and ringed by shady marronniers for picnicking. There's a childrens' playground, with slides, swings and teeter-totters, at the far end of the field.
Next to the road junction at the village "center" is the Place des Puits, where several terrace cafés and a small fountain are shaded by a pine, a plane tree and a marronnier .
The Grotte Parc Archeologique des Audides is about 4 km out of the village, on the little D4 road towards St. Vallier-de-Thiey.
History of Cabris
First record, 1252 Castrum de Cabriis: Cabre is Provençal for a steep rocky area, taken from the name for goats.
Prehistoric: There are several prehistoric sites in the area, including bronze-age tombs, dolmens at Clauds and Stramousse, about 1 km to the east. At the Croix de Cabris, in the hills northwest of the village, is a partly-natural pseudo dolmen called Pierre Tabulaire.
Celto-Ligurian: The remains of a Celtic-Ligurian camp is located at Les Oudides (or Laudide, northwest of the village.
Gallo-Roman: Several Roman artifacts have been discovered here.
Medieval: Cabris was deserted in 1400 and resettled in 1496. The commune was part of the fief of Grasse-Bar, and then the Clapiers de Gréoux until 1789.
• GPS: 43.655933, 6.874709
IGN (1/25,000) #3543 ET "Haute Siagne"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"
The GR51 (Balcony of the Cote d'Azur) passes through Cabris, entering the village via an arched tunnel through the walled houses at the west side (photo, above).
To the south, the GR51 circles around Le Tignet and on to Auribeau-sur-Siagne and down to the coast. Near Le Tignet, the SD2 trail goes up through St.Cézaire-sur-Siagne and points north.
The Cabris Syndicat d'Initiative publishes a small guide with several local walks and hikes described.
The Mini-Grill restaurant (tel: 04 93 60 55 58) isn't Provencal but speicalizes in huge pots of steamed mussels (moules) in 20 or 30 variations - the smoked-salmon mussels were fantastic - reservation recommended.
Grasse - St Cézaire Bus (Sillage, line 33)
- Grasse - Saint Cézaire, Sillage bus line 33, has stops at: Moulin de Brun, Grasse SNCF, Grasse Gare routière, Cabris, Spéracèdes, Le Tignet, Saint Cézaire.
Trip time between St Cézaire and Grasse is about 50 minutes.
See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 3: Grasse region, Alpes-Maritimes for downloading bus schedules for Grasse - St Cézaire and the other Grasse region bus lines.
- Web: www.sillages.eu/nos-lignes/index.htm
Sept 96 - A reader has said of the Horizon Hotel [ed: St Vallier?]: "Anyone wanting to explore the general area without paying exorbitant room charges should seriously consider spending a few days at the Horizon Hotel.. It is I believe part of a chain named " Relais du silence" because of the calm atmosphere..."