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 for 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.
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.
1. CHAPELLE DE LA SAINTE CROIX
2. EXOTIC GARDEN
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
3. WALKING THE OLD STREETS
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
4 . 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 Coas
Planning your visit
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.
Best time to visit Èze
The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see moderate precipitation with 0 to 3 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Eze, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.
Where to stay?
1. HOTEL CAP ESTEL
The luxury Cap Estel Hotel offers a private retreat for those willing to pay for top-notch facilities in a quiet, posh atmosphere. With a seafront location between Nice and Monte Carlo, this beautiful boutique property has a small private pebble beach as well as an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s even a cinema room on-site. The 28 guest rooms are bright and chic, with lovely terraces (some with sea views), while One- and Two-Bedroom Suites have kitchenettes and living rooms. The hotel is fairly secluded, so a car is necessary to get anywhere.
2. LA PERLE D’EZE
Set in Èze, less than 1 km from Eze Beach, La Perle d’Eze – Appart Hotel offers accommodation with free WiFi, a patio or a balcony and access to a garden and an outdoor pool. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower. A dishwasher, a microwave and fridge are also featured, as well as a kettle. A terrace is available for guests at the aparthotel to use. Port of Silva Maris is 1.9 km from La Perle d’Eze – Appart Hotel.
3. HOTEL LA REGENCE
Located in the centre of Villefranche-sur-Mer, this hotel is a 10-minute walk from the town’s beaches and port. It offers free Wi-Fi and an on-site bar with a terrace.
The guest rooms at Hotel La Regence are bright and some feature a view of the sea or gardens. Each of the rooms is equipped with an en suite bathroom offering complimentary toiletries upon arrival.
Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast served each morning at the hotel. In the evening, guests are invited to relax on the terrace with a drink when the weather is nice.
The hotel is located a 10-minute drive from Villefranche-sur-Mer Train Station and a 15-minute drive from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.