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Stage resort for the first time

Alpes-Maritimes pass (06)

Population: 120 in Roubion.

Specialities: Mercantour cheeses (carline, miche gavotte, tommes). Specialities from Nice. 

Personalities: Richie Porte, Tadej Pogacar (winners at La Couillole in Paris-Nice). Victor de Cessole (mountaineering pioneer in the Alpes-Maritimes department), Marcel Pourchier (officer and Resistance fighter), Joseph Garnier (economist and senator).

Sport: skiing in Roubion, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking. Mountain biking. Snowkiting. Nice Métropole Côte d'Azur cycling team. 

Economy: summer and winter tourism in Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée and Roubion. Skiing, cross-country skiing. Agriculture (sheep and cattle farming). Festivals: Fête de la Transhumance (December),

Signature: Breathe, smile, dream (Roubion's signature).

Websites / social networksisola2000.com

 


COL DE LA COUILLOLE AND CYCLING

Although Col de la Couillole has already featured twice in the Tour de France, during the Embrun-Nice stage in 1973 and the Nice-Pra-Loup stage in 1975 (Lucien Van Impe took the lead while Eddy Merckx lost ground), this is the first time that a finish has taken place here. However, this climb has already earned its reputation in Paris-Nice, of which it has been the highest summit at 1,678m. In 2017, it was Richie Porte who beat Alberto Contador and Dan Martin there, while Sergio Henao took the leader's jersey, while in 2023, Tadej Pogacar repelled David Gaudu's attacks there to establish his domination of the Race to the Sun before winning it the following day.


SIGHTS  

  • Roubion-Les Buisses ski resort

This small resort, just an hour from Nice, offers a friendly atmosphere, family fun and nature at the most attractive rates in the Alpes Maritimes. Situated between 1,410 and 1,920 metres above sea level, the Roubion-les Buisses ski area is served by 8 ski lifts (including 1 chairlift) giving access to 30 km of downhill runs (2 green, 5 blue, 12 red and 2 black). For lovers of fresh air and breathtaking panoramas, there are 12 km of groomed cross-country ski trails starting from Col de la Couillole, 5 minutes above the ski resort, winding through larches and glades (free access). Roubion also offers snowshoe trails from Col de la Couillole and the Les Buisses resort (free access).  

  • Roubion Castle

Construction: 12th century.

Style: medieval.

History: in the 13th century, the château belonged to the brothers Guillaume and Raimond Rostaing, joint lords of Beuil. They exercised justice in the seigneury of Roubion. After Astruge de Beuil married Andaron Grimaldi, the castle became part of the Grimaldi de Beuil family. The castle was burnt down along with the village, which was sacked by the French troops of Marquis de Vins in 1691, during the War of the League of Augsburg. The base of the four towers and the remains of the surrounding walls remain.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1941.  

  • Saint-Sébastien Chapel

Construction: 16th century.

History and characteristics: a modest chapel with a single nave, pointed barrel vault and flat apse, it is listed for its mural paintings on the theme of Saint Sebastian in a popular "naïve" style, painted in 1513 by an unknown travelling artist. The lower sections of the side walls show The Vices on the left and The Cavalcade of the Virtues on the right. At the left end of the Virtues panel is a kneeling priest holding a book. This is the founder of the chapel, who, depending on the source, may be either Erige Lubonis, who served the chapel between 1513 and 1518, or Ludovic Serre. 

Listed as a Historic Monument since 1948.  

  • La Tournerie Gallic sanctuary

Period: 5th to 2nd century BC.

Features: the site, located at La Parao in the Roubion ski area, is a Gallic sanctuary from the Iron Age (5th century BC - 3rd century BC), discovered in 1996 by Jean Latour. Archaeological excavations have been carried out since 2013 in collaboration with the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs. The discoveries made during these excavations were exhibited in 2022 at the Musée des Merveilles in Tende, and the local authorities would like to make the site accessible to the public via exhibitions or a museum. 

Listed as a Historic Monument since 2020.  

  • Chapel of the White Penitents of Beuil

Construction: 17th century.

Style: Baroque.

History and features: the chapel was built in 1630 on the site of a previous one. It was the headquarters of the Pénitents blancs brotherhood, which was dedicated to the Holy Cross. In 1808, the brotherhood had 149 members, including 84 brothers and 65 sisters. It disappeared before the Great War. The chapel was then used as a municipal warehouse and fell into disrepair. Restoration work began in 1980. The façade was decorated with a pseudo-baroque trompe-l'œil by Guy Ceppa in 1984.

Listed as a Historic Monument since 1984.


TO EAT :  

  • Auberge Quintessence

Situated at an altitude of 1700m on the Col de la Couillole, the Auberge Quintessence is a restaurant with rooms, on the edge of the Mercantour National Park, where peace and quiet reign supreme. Pauline and Christophe Billau met in 2000 on the Ile de Ré. They form a duo in work and in life. They moved to the Hauts Pays Niçois in 2009, and fell in love with the Mercantour mountains. In spring 2017, after a few months of hard work, they opened the Auberge Quintessence. It's a unique experience in the art of 'letting go' that they offer their guests with this charming, modern hotel and top-class cuisine in the solitude and tranquillity of the mountains.

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