We stayed at Stephen's apartment in Coaraze for a month, and fell in love with the village, the apartment, and the surrounding area.
The village is truly wonderful. It is a medieval town perched on a mountain top. Throughout the town, you can see the architectural evolution, from the 16th century up to today. The village is a pearl. Every street was lined with flowers.
We also got the pleasure of meeting many of the townspeople. They were really nice. We were invited to participate in community dinners in front of the church, invited for coffee, and for lunch. We enjoyed the strawberries that were delivered to our door every other day. We met singers, musicians, poets, historians, humanitarians, writers, travelers, and artists.
The restaurant on the castle grounds was delicious, and the hosts were very generous.
The tourist office is an essential place to visit. Not only does it sell some magnificent local art (ceramics, olive wood sculptures, soaps, and jewelry), it has one of the most knowledgeable staff we encountered. Zuzana was essential in helping us plan our daily hikes. She knew where we could find the easy trips and the harder ones. She became a wonderful friend.
Further down in the village, there is a great little boulangerie. Their rustiquette baguette was almost a daily purchase.
Behind the boulangerie was the community garden. It is here that we came to drop off our compost.
The hiking in the surrounding area was breathtaking. Within 10km in each direction, there was a different geography. From arid desert-like stone-dunes, rich forests, to mountain peaks, we never tired of the scenery.
And the animals...we encountered so many. We had to stop twice for herds of goats blocking the road, wild sheep and goats in Parc Mercantour, and herds of sheep in the mountains. Oh...we can't forget about the Royal Eagles, the lizards, and a couple of snakes here-and-there.
Coaraze is also conveniently situated for day trips to Parc Mercantour (worth visiting), Monaco, Italy, Nice, Cannes, etc. For those with babies, the aquarium in Monaco was a big hit with our 9 month-old.
For those thinking of staying, we would highly recommend a car. Coaraze is serviced by a bus, but if you intend to do any hiking or staying for an extended time, a car is very handy. It is very useful for groceries (closest store being around 20/25 minutes in Le Point. You'll also find the best bakery there).
As for the apartment, it was very comfortable. We slept very well. Stephen also got us a baby bed for our daughter. The kitchen was very functional, and the dining and living room were quite romantic in the rustic sense. It was a great value. It had everything we needed, including laundry facilities.
For anyone looking to escape the business of the city, we highly recommend Coaraze and Stephen's apartment.