Coaraze is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (France).

The village is a member of the association – “The most beautiful villages of France.”

The village itself is built on a sandstone mount at the foot of Mount Férion (1,414 metres).

Tourism and main attractions

In 1960, the mayor asked several famous artists to create sundials, a traditional instrument in Mediterranean countries. Jean Cocteau, in particular, created Les Lézards in collaboration with the ceramist Gilbert Valentin. Eight dials were installed; then the project was abandoned before being taken over by the new municipality in 2008. They now adorn the town hall, the church square, the school, etc.

Saint-Sébastien Chapel, built 1 km from the entrance to the village, on an old mule track coming from Nice via Châteauneuf-Villevieille. Its purpose was to protect the village from the plague. It was built around 1530 and was classified as a Historic Monument in 2001.

Very simple, the chapel shows 16th century paintings executed by an anonymous painter presenting the story of Saint Sebastian. Only part of the paintings remain, which had been covered with whitewash.

The Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, built in the 14th century, has been and remodeled several times. Its decor is baroque.

The Blue Chapel, Notre-Dame-de-Piété or Sept-Douleurs Chapel. The inhabitants familiarly call it “Notre-Dame-du-Gressier” because they dried figs on the racks around the chapel. It took the name Blue Chapel following the creation of a blue monochrome decor representing scenes from the life of Christ, painted in 1962 by the painter Ponce Fidelio, known as Angelo Ponce de Léon.

Coaraze is one of 16 villages grouped together by the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur tourist department as the Route des Villages Perchés (Route of the Villages on hills). The others are: Aspremont, Carros, Castagniers, Colomars, Duranus, Èze, Falicon, La Gaude, Lantosque, Levens, La Roquette-sur-Var, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jeannet, Tourrette-Levens and Utelle.

How to get to?

From Paris: 10 hr 7 min (1,005 km) via A6 and A7

From Marseille: 3 hr 13 min (247 km) via A8

From Nice: 1 hr 4 min (45.7 km) via D2566 and D15

From Toulouse: 6 hr 23 min (609 km) via A8

From Monaco: 1 hr 18 min (57.3 km) via D15

From Andorra: 8 hr 8 min (698 km) via A8

From Madrid: 13 hr 57 min (1,315 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 35 hr (3,096 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 14 hr 39 min (1,360 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 26 hr (2,309 km) via E70

From Bern: 7 hr 49 min (643 km) via A10/E80

Main information

Area: 17,14 km2

Population: 817

Coordinates: 43°51′54″N 7°17′45″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also Andorra travel guide

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