•Alpes-Maritimes (06260) • Population: 37 • Altitude: 1100 m
Auvare is a very tiny little village nestled on a rocky ridge overlooking a deep rocky gorge. Perched in the hills north of Puget-Thènier, Auvare is about 60 km northwest of Nice.
This tiny village is set in a defensive position in a low mountain pass,on the side of the steep rocks overlooking a stream in a deep gorge. On the road up to Auvare you can see Puget-Rostang in the valley far below. The road ends at the village, so it's an out-and-back drive.
Tiny and very isolated, Auvare is nicely and tastefully renovated. There's a newly-paved walk out of the village down to the cemetery, and onto an adjacent hillside where you have a good view back to the village.
The streets are narrow (and many somewhat steep) and there are vaulted passages, but with around 40 inhabitants, fewer houses and even fewer streets, there's not a lot of street-wandering to be done.
The 1990's census, which Beyond is still using, has 37 inhabitants for Auvare. The 1999 census has Auvare expanding to 46 inhabitants.
From Puget-Thènieres at the edge of the Var river, it's a 6-km drive up the narrow road to Puget-Rostang, then another 6 km on a zig-zag road further up into the hills to Auvare village. The drive up is worth it, because the village is pretty and the views and countryside are beautiful.
Once here you'll need your feet, because this is real walking and hiking country. Nearby village of La Croix-sur-Roudoule, for example, is 12k km away by narrow twisty roads, but only 3 km across the hills on the GR510 hiking trail.
Discover more in ProvenceBeyond
History of Auvare
First record, 1252 Azoara
The remains of a 13th-century chateau are located on the peak above the current village, no doubt relating to the original "Azora".
Auvare became a viguerie of Guillaumes, who returned from the kingdom of Sardinia in 1760. (A viguerie would look after Guillaumes' lands and possibly taxes.)
Prehistoric: Both prehistoric and Roman signs have been discovered in the surrounding area.
• GPS: 43.98779, 6.907638
IGN (1/25,000) #3641 OT "Moyenne Var"
Not only are the mountains here full of hiking trails going for endless distances, but Auvare is a hub of 6 trails radiating out in all directions, and loop hikes of various distances are available.
The GR510 GR (Grande Randonnée) goes southeast to Puget-Rostang, about 2 km away. To the northwest, the GR510 goes over the Col du Mont (1283 m) to La Croix-sur-Roudoule (850 m), about 4 km of trail.
To the south, the hiking trail down to Puget-Thèners is about 4 km, cutting across the zig-zag automobile road several times.
Daily bus service between Puget-Theniers and Auvare (Mon-Sat) is obviously designed for the villagers to decend for their morning shopping:
- Depart Auvare: 8h00; Arrive Puget-Thenier: 8h30
- Depart Puget-Thenier: 11h30; Arrive Auvare: 12h00
Note - these bus times are a few years old now.