Alpes-Maritimes (06420) Population: 105 Altitude: 1336 m
Roubion is a 12th-century village perched on the high flank of a mountain, with an incredible view down across the larch-forested valleys to the southeast and southwest. Looking south from the village you can see Roure perched on the left side of the valley, and further on, at the far side of the Vallée de la Tinée is Rimplas.
At the top of the village there are the ruins of a feudal castle (from 1200) with its four towers, and the remains of its early-12th-century ramparts.
Roubion is on the tiny D30 road that crosses east-west from the la Vallée de la Tinée to the top of the Gorges de Cians [map]. Not only is the road to Roubion switch-backed, the village clings to the side of the mountain with a series of switch-back roads and cobblestone streets. Coming from Roure, the road goes up the right-hand side of a valley, through a series of four tunnels. Along the far side of the valley to the left, there's a place where a waterfall drops down from the top, and you can see daylight through the hole in the rock near the top.
Roubion has been hosting an annual transhumance fête since 2003, on a Sunday at the end of September. The sheep are moved from their summer pastures in the surrounding mountains, heading south and west to the Var. Roubion's Fête de la transhumance begins in the morning in the village, with dressage of cattle, sheep and horses, to a background of Provençal and jazz music. Following the festivites, the sheep are driven to the Station of Roubion, a couple of km from the village. There are shuttle buses (navettes) between the village and the Station.
History of Roubion
First record, 12th century Castrum de Robione, from when it was a Roman fortified camp.
Medieval: Seigneurie des comtes de Beuil (domain of the Counts of Beuil) until the 17th century, when it passed to the Badat and then Caissottie. In 1684, under Caissottie, Roubion was declared a "comté" (approximately: county). In 1691, the village was sacked and burned by the Barron de Vins.
• GPS: 44.092419, 7.050564
IGN (1/25,000) #3641 ET "Moyenne Tinée"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #9 "Mercantour"
Hiking trails north and east go through the center of the village, and are signposted at the Place Récipon beside the 18th-century church; they start out on the small road that leaves the village through a rocky tunnel.
- Bois de Falcon; Vignols: to the north and northwest, following the GR52A. When the GR trail turns back to the southeast, towards Roure, a small road continues on to the northwest through the forest to Vignols (1622 m).
- For La Cerise and Roure, stay on the GR as it turns southeast.
Hiking trails to the west go up the concave-paved street thwards the top, past the "Fountaine du Mouton", passing through an arch beneath the top buildings.