Saint-Auban is a small, ancient village built in terraced formation at the foot of the immense rocky ridge known as Le Rocher de Tracastel. To this day, the village has preserved traces of its Gallo-Roman past: the castle ruins show that the village was a strategically positioned settlement. Fall under the spell of the shady banks of Saint-Auban’s charming little lakes and the verdant plains surrounding the village. The narrow gorge carved by the Estéron River, the Clue de Saint-Auban, will dazzle you with towering cliffs and a dramatically sculpted, rocky river bed. You can also admire a chapel set inside a cave within this gorge, which holds a procession in September.
The village of Saint-Auban is located in the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Natural Park, a preserved natural area in the foothills of the western Alpes-Maritimes.
- Terre des Lacs: Just outside the village of Saint-Auban is Terre des Lacs, an ecotourism park that invites visitors to enjoy recreation in harmony with nature, both summer and winter. The site offers a wide variety of activities, most of them available within the grounds of the park. Canyon rappelling, tree-top adventure, ziplining, horseback riding, trout fishing – it is all here, ensuring fun for everyone. The same goes for accommodations, with a variety of stay options. The park has been given important ecotourism certifications, like Clef Verte and Qualité Tourisme, two seals of approval for quality hospitality and service that make the environment a top priority.
- Clue de Saint-Auban: The canyoning route in this narrow gorge has a reputation for being challenging, but does not require any prior canyoning experience. Taking approximately 3½ hours to complete, including the trek in and out, this course is very fun and entertaining, peppered with a steady string of challenges and features throughout the descent. From jumps to slides, from rappelling to ziplining, the Clue de Saint Auban invites visitors to joyfully play in the waters of the Estéron River. Canyoning is authorized here from April to October, but June through September is the ideal period, providing the best conditions for enjoying this course.
- Saint Etienne church, Chemin de Croix: The Saint-Etienne church, set at the entrance of the village of Saint Auban, dates from the 16th century. Supported by buttresses, it has a flamboyant, gothic-style portal. Inside are a 13th century baptismal font, three oil paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the incredible Chemin de Croix designed by Jean Brandy in the 20th century. This monumental work was unveiled in 1987 after Jean Brandy petitioned Pierrette Bellon, the village’s then-mayor, to express his desire to donate the work to the village church. This oeuvre, composed of 14 paintings, is a testament to human suffering, but, more importantly, to the affection that Jean Brandy had for Saint-Auban and its inhabitants.
- La Porte du Tracastel: this ancient gate is what remains of a 13thcentury medieval fortification built above the present village at about 1250 meters’ altitude. The gate was beautifully restored in 2007 and offers a splendid panoramic view.
- Ecomuseum and “Parcours Patrimonial” (heritage circuit): These fascinating and educational resources are the work of a village association, Saint-Auban d’Hier et d’Aujourd’hui (“Saint-Auban of Yesterday and Today”). The Ecomuseum, located in the former post office, displays local heritage objects and their related activities. The heritage circuit is a chance to explore the many sites that have made Saint-Auban so enchanting for centuries.
- Community recreation area: children’s playground, bowls area, volleyball, tennis – picnic tables and benches for relaxing with family or friends.
- Hiking: the Tracastel loop and the GR510 (La Penne - St Cézaire-sur-Siagne)
- Hiking with a pack donkey: Saint Aub’Anes
- Terre des Lacs ecotourism complex: canyoning in the Clues de Saint-Auban, rock-climbing, trout fishing, ziplines, and more.
- Mountain biking: Relais Cyclo Rando des Monts d’Azur, mountain bike trails approved by the French Cycling Federation: these trails are a wonderful source of exercise, enjoyment, and relaxation, perfect for mountain bikers.
- Sights to see: the ruins of the medieval ramparts through the Tracastel Gate, the heritage circuit, and the ecomuseum.
Key annual events:
- Mass at Notre-Dame de la Clue in September
- Trail de l’Escouissier trail race, third weekend in August
- Local Heritage Day, first Sunday in August