France: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – Eze
A beautiful medieval town close to Nice, perched on a rocky outcrop with stunning views across the Mediterranean Sea
The French Riviera is known globally as a trendy destination of the rich and famous who head there each year along with the hoi polloi in their masses to crowd the beaches and wide, splendid boulevards. This is not everyone’s cup of tea (although the Mediterranean Sea is a sight to behold) but you will be glad to know there are some little gems of towns and villages which are strangely free of the hordes of tourists. One such town is Eze – beautifully situated on a steep hill that overlooks the intensely blue Mediterranean sea.
How to get to Eze
Eze is a medieval town located between Nice and Monaco. When we visited we took our car but if you prefer you can take a bus from Nice, which gets you there in around 40 minutes and will only cost you a few Euro. The journey itself is very pleasant, and whether take the car or travel by bus, you will be treated to some spectacular views along the way.
What to see in Eze
Eze itself is tiny so to visit the whole town you will need only a couple of hours.
The first thing you’ll see after entering the old town is the medieval Chapelle de la Sainte Croix (Chapel of the Holy Cross). It dates back to the beginning of the 14th century and is the oldest building in the village.
When you’ve visited the church, carry on to the Exotic Garden. The garden, perched above the village on top of the mountain, feels like a little oasis. Walking through the garden’s stone and curvy path, you will find sculptures, several cacti species, as well as regional plants. The best part of the garden is the panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the hills below. Even if you are not a fan of botanic, paying the entrance fee to enjoy the view is well worth it. If you are planning to visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild as well, get the combo ticket for a reduced price.. The entry fee to the gardens is 6 Euro but it’s worth it.
- Monday – Sunday
- Fall and Winter: from 9 am – 4:30 pm
- Spring: from 9 am – 6:30 pm
- Summer: from 9 am – 7:30 pm
Exit the gardens and get lost into the maze of little narrow streets in the Old Town. This part is exceptionally nice, it has a typical medieval atmosphere and the way the buildings are connected with the rocky cliff walls is incredible. Strolling through the intricate passages of Eze old village is definitely a must. The little streets are not only full of history but also full of charm. It’s definitely one of those places where you visit to get lost in its narrow alleys. As you walk around, you will find restaurants, ice cream parlours, and shops – at a time, it may feel touristy
Hike Nietzsche’s path
Hiking fans, great news! You can hike down the Nietzsche’s path to the beach, Eze Sur Mer. The trail is named after the German philosopher Nietzsche, who lived in the area and it’s said that he climbed up the trail every day in the summer. The hike is a little strenuous, but the view is spectacular – I can see why he did it every day.
If you absolutely love hiking, you can arrive through Eze Sur Mer and hike up the Nietzsche trail to Eze village.
Eze is a very beautiful little medieval village and is a must-see during any visit to the French Riviera. It makes a delightful change to the hustle and bustle of the busier towns that line the Mediterranean Coast