Dénivelée: 450m Durée: 4h30
Today I went hiking with “le Groupe 3” of the Antibes AVF (Accueil des Villes Françaises). I love hiking with the AVF, because nobody speaks English. They may know English, but they only speak French, which is great for me. I get to practice with real French people all day long. And there are always a few members who have lots of patience and seem to take an interest in everything I have to say. We always have a pique-nique in the middle of the day, and we always stop at some small, usually picturesque village after the hike for an aperitif.
Today we started our hike at the picturesque village of Coaraze, which claims to be the sunniest village in the Alpes-Maritimes (Département 06). Our first site of interest was the small chapel called Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs (Our Lady of Seven Sorrows), which is also referred to as the Blue Chapel because of its color.
The destination of our hike was the abandoned ruins of a perched village hanging 1100 meters over the Valley of Paillon. The village of Rocca-Sparvièra was damaged by a series of earthquakes in the 16th and 17th centuries, which diverted the water supply to the village, thus causing the exodus of the approximately 300 inhabitants toward other villages in the valley.
We climbed about 450 meters, or approximately 1476 feet during our 4½ -hour hike to see the abandoned ruins of Rocca-Sparvièra, and some spectacular views overlooking la Vallée du Paillon.