top of page
  • Martina

The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: A Cultural and Travel Guide

Updated: Jun 5


Eze, France

A beautiful small cobbled village on the French Riviera, nestled on a hill that overlooks the Mediterranean sea: a former defensive stronghold and a meeting place for several peoples and countries over the centuries, Èze is your perfect break from the Belle Époque vibes of Côte d'Azur (in case you may ever need one!).


After centuries of surviving on agriculture, livestock and a rather isolated lifestyle, today Èze attracts a massive flow of visitors every year, all enticed by the perfectly curated narrow alleys, the flowery arrangements of shops and art galleries, and the medieval buildings all around.


In this guide, you will find everything you need to visit and enjoy Èze while exploring the Riviera - facts, history, how to reach, an interactive map, what to see and to do, hikes, experiences, and cuisine. Also, I included a few tips and recommendations to live the best experience and to promote healthy tourism, one that aims not to disrupt the culture of a place but to enhance it!


 

In this article:


The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: What and How
The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: Cultural Guide and What to See
The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: Travel Guide and What to Do
The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: What's Next


 


The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: What and How



WHERE IS ÈZE AND HOW TO REACH IT


Èze is a pretty little village on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur) which, like many others, today is split in two:


  • Èze Village, the medieval urban center

  • Èze-sur-Mer, the modern extension of the small town that overlooks the sea (as the name goes, "sur mer", on the sea). Unless otherwise specified, here we will focus mainly on Èze Village, which is the most culturally significant.



With its population of ca. 2200 inhabitants, Èze may trick you into believing you are going to visit a tranquil, silent small medieval village, but nothing would be further from reality! Èze is one of the most renowned tourist destinations (also well-known in the luxury travel field) in the Nice and Monaco area and is always busy, no matter the time of the year.


This point does not detract anything from its value or beauty but is surely something to consider and can cause a few problems. First of all, finding parking! Personally, I drove my way to Èze because I visited it while moving towards Nice and I would definitely recommend an alternative.


So let's recap all the options you have to reach Èze:


By car: as I said, reaching Èze by car may not be the best choice. Èze Village is a small urban center of medieval origin, built and used primarily for defensive reasons and meant to be reached not without difficulties! Its heart is car-free and its steep location and narrow structure hardly leave any space for parking lots. I went to Èze during relatively low season and had a hard time finding a spot.


If you can, definitely opt for parking your car down by the sea (at Èze-sur-Mer or Cap d'Ail) and then take a bus or hike your way up to Èze Village. If you cannot or still prefer using your car, here are a few parking spaces available:


  • Parking Place Charles de Gaulle (paid)

  • Multifloor Parking Général De Gaulle (paid)

  • Parking Èze Nord (paid) - note that this parking is at quite a distance from the village, circa 15 minutes on foot, and the return route will be uphill. There is a bus service bringing you back and forth, last ride is at around 7 PM, you can check the hours on site.

  • Parking Èze Sur (paid) - same as above, you will have to walk a bit to reach the village! A bus service is available in high season.

  • There are a few free spots around the city gate (5-10 minutes on foot) that you may try your luck with. But very few. And always taken. Or with a waiting line.


Another reason why the car is not the best solution is time: most parking lots are paid, and sometimes the fee can be pretty prohibitive. Therefore, visitors are naturally brought to opt for a hop-in-hop-off stay in Èze, packing its narrow streets to snap some fast photos and fostering unhealthy tourism.


By bus: Reaching Èze by bus is often quick and much more affordable. You can use this website (lignesdazur.com) or you can check Google Maps, which will suggest you the best option depending on your starting point.


Generally speaking, it is convenient to reach Èze by bus especially if you come from Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer or Monaco, otherwise the route can be long and at that point, I would suggest going for it only if planning an entire day in the area.


➜ From Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Monaco, buses for Èze are lines 82 and 602. In Nice, they all start from Vauban Bus Station. In Monaco (not served by line 82), from the Office du Tourisme. Any other option will bring you to Èze-sur-Mer, which is fine, but then you must hike your way up or take another bus!


By train: Èze comes with its train station but, as you may imagine, you will find it down at sea level, at Èze-sur-Mer! The TER line perfectly connects Nice and Monaco to Èze and can even bring you there from farther on the Riviera. However, either a hike or a bus awaits you once there.


➜ You can check timetables of the TER line on Google Maps, or you can visit the official website (ter.snfc.com)



Eze, France
A view of the village's streets with their characteristic shops

USEFUL INFO


➊ General Tips: Èze is a small, highly-requested center. The entire French Riviera is considered a luxury destination and is known for its high prices. In this sense, Èze is no exception! ➜ Expect everything to be quite pricey so avoid having lunch in town unless you are ready to treat yourself to a Michelin-starred restaurant or to opt for touristy spots. Staying in Èze can be equally expensive, Nice, Antibes or (if you have a car) a smaller and less-renowned town in the area can be more affordable.


➊ How much time should you spend in Èze? Èze Village is really a bunch of streets and alleys and can be fully enjoyed in one morning or afternoon! If you plan to start from Èze-sur-Mer and go for the Nietzsche Trail, to visit the Jardin Exotique and the ruins, then a full day would be the perfect solution!


➊ When is the best time to visit Èze? Visiting Èze is best done in March to June, or September-October! Spring and early Fall are the ideal times to enjoy the medieval village, the hikes and the Jardin Exotique without the hot weather. Sunny winter days are still very fine, but hard to catch if you plan your trip relatively in advance.


➊ Is Èze worth a spot in your itinerary? Èze is definitely worth a spot in your itinerary if you are on a mission to explore the French Riviera and wish to have a glimpse of it from a more historical perspective. Èze is also one of the best-kept and well-curated towns in the area, with one of the most stunning views of the Riviera from above, thanks to its unique location. ➜ If you have 3+ days to spend in the Riviera, don't miss Èze! ➜ If you plan to move towards Provence, you may consider keeping your medieval cravings for the next stops!


➊ Is Èze accessible or a good option if traveling with kids? Uhm... as for accessibility, Èze does not shine, but this is due to its intrinsic structure of a defensive medieval village. Streets and pathways are perfectly curated and easy to walk through, but mostly uphill, narrow and often crowded. Kids may well enjoy Èze, especially on a sunny day, but there won't be much space for them to move freely. Also, steps, staircases and hikes may tire them in the long run.


➊ Should you opt for a guided/walking tour? Probably not, as there isn't enough space for large groups to move around. While I was there, I saw several guided groups and every time I caught sight of one, my eyes would roll. Èze is packed with enough on-the-run visitors so guided tours, in my opinion, can be stressful for those doing one and for anyone else around!



Eze, France


ESSENTIAL RECAP

  • Èze is split in two: Èze Village and Èze-sur-Mer. The hilltop medieval core is Èze Village, while Èze-sur-Mer flanks the sea.

  • Èze Village is car-free! If you arrive by car, you must park it outside the city gate and finding a free lot might be difficult.

  • Èze Village and Èze-sur-Mer are connected by the Nietzsche Trail and by bus. If you arrive by train, it will leave you at sea level.



VISITING ÈZE AND WHAT TO EXPECT: A REALISTIC OVERVIEW


Èze surely knew a second life in tourism and probably reached a level of harmony and beauty it could have never hoped for.


This is a consequence of the alluring fascination the entire French Riviera began to have in the late 19th century for the French and for foreigners. Thanks to the enormous flow of (wealthy) visitors and curious coming from the nearby Nice, Cannes, and Monaco, Èze caught the eyes of intellectuals, aristocrats, princes, and even figures such as Walt Disney, who spent years in the area.


While this preserved Èze from the challenges of history, it also transformed it dramatically. Today, even if we even speak of it as a medieval village, Èze is the result of a careful, long and rather invasive restoration that turned it into a cobbled jewel, claiming part of its authenticity and historic value.


Also, having become so popular (especially among the luxury tourists), today everything in Èze is tailor-made to welcome visitors. Locals are almost fully gone, shops and restaurants are solely destined for tourist purposes. The village is now an attraction itself.


The breathtaking views, the flowery little alleys and the beautiful atmosphere surely pay back for any of these, but to avoid this forceful transformation from going too far, I believe every tourist should be aware of how much their behavior influences the fate of places like Èze and how fostering healthy tourism can slow down these transformations and keep the soul of these small towns alive. If you can, avoid rushed visits, get to know the history and culture of a place instead of looking for the best photo spots and don't overpack streets and passageways - it seems banal but from what I saw in Èze, perhaps it is not!


Have you visited Èze or does this description sound familiar to you? Let me know in the comments!



INTERACTIVE MAP


Èze Village, Èze-sur-Mer, the Nietzsche Trail, Mont-Bastide... the core of Èze is the small bunch of medieval streets and buildings that form the Village, but the full experience includes many other stops!


In case you are having a hard time understanding distances and locations, you can check this interactive map I created for you:



The map also includes all the historical sites we are going to mention in this post, all the major hikes (with their starting points) and several other useful spots.


Tip: click/tap on the button on the left top corner to see the expandable list of places, or open the map in full screen with the right-top-corner button!


Eze, France


The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: Cultural Guide and What to See



HISTORY OF ÈZE


The area that is now Èze has been occupied since remote times. The very first signs of human life date back to the Neolithic (2000+ BCE) and would become more evident in the 4th-3rd century BCE, when the Ligurians (a Celtic, pre-Roman population) settled here. ➜ When I say "here", I mean on the nearby Mont-Bastide (a place you can reach with an easy hike). The medieval village you visit today came later.


When the Romans arrived in the 2nd century BCE to occupy the region and erect their traditional urban structures, the Ligurians had already built a small settlement made of quadrangular dry stone block enclosures, which the Romans extended and improved. ➜ Of this Ligurian/Roman village you can check the ruins: when you enter the Jardin Exotique, you may choose to visit it until its highest point. There, you will find what remains of this ancient center.


After centuries of incorporation into the Roman Empire, harsh times began. The moment a powerful system such as the Empire fell (5th century CE), this coastal area caught the attention of the Germanic and later Muslim populations that would try their fortune in Europe in the early Middle Ages. Attacked, sieged and occupied continuously, Èze acquired defensive characteristics, due to the strategic role of its steep position. The original settlement was gradually abandoned, and the population of Èze moved to where the medieval village is now.


Politically, Èze passed first in the hands of the Longobards (a Germanic people that ruled over much of Italy for centuries), then of the Holy Roman Empire (founded by Charlemagne). In reality, there was little royal power could do at the time: in the 10th century, Èze was sieged and occupied by the Moors (Muslim populations coming from Southern Europe and North Africa) for some 70 years straight. At some point, in 973, the situation had become so outrageous that the Count of Provence (one of the many lords that exercised power over the kingdom on behalf of the king) was eventually forced to intervene to restore order, taking control of the village.


And under the Counts of Provence Èze would remain until 1388, when it was passed over to the Counts of Savoy. During this time, the village knew some moments of peace, although further attacks always awaited behind the corner.


The new lords, the Counts of Savoy, knew well that Èze was in constant danger, and tried to improve its fortifications: they remade the local castle above the hill, and built the city gate, the Poterne. ➜ And yet, not even all this was enough: in 1543, Èze was attacked and severely damaged by the fleet led by Suliman I the Magnificent (ruler of the Ottoman Empire, precursor of today's Turkiye, r. 1520-1566). Suliman I was an ally of the French king.


Why a French king would want to attack Èze? Today, Èze is part of France. However, from when the area passed over to the Counts of Savoy and until 1860, it wasn't. Savoy (later part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, precursor of the Kingdom of Italy) was independent of it and the subject of frequent attacks from nearby France.


In 1706, new attacks indeed came. King of France Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715) assaulted Èze and destroyed its castle and its ramparts in an attempt to prevent the town from resisting or obstacle a possible entry into Italy in the future.


At this point, without its fortifications, the defensive chapter of Èze's history was over. Also, the political balance in Europe was changing and borders were stabilizing, so attacks on towns were to become less frequent. ➜ In 1860, when Italy was finally becoming a unified kingdom, Èze had to choose whether to be part of Italy or France. It chose the latter, as the area had always maintained a strong French connotation.


From the late 19th century onwards, Èze intertwined its path with that of the French Riviera: as Nice, Monaco, Cannes and Antibes developed an attractive for tourists and wealthy foreigners, so Èze was slowly re-discovered and transformed to welcome visitors. Friedrich Nietzsche, George Sand, Prince William of Sweden, Zlatko Baloković, Walt Disney were among those who chose Èze as their favorite destination. ➜ This tourist turnover was the first game-changer in the life of Èze: despite having known different lords, been attacked and re-built, the village never changed its habits until the late 1800s. For centuries, it survived on agriculture, livestock and simple lifestyle.


Where does the name Èze come from? Understanding the origin of names that appeared in medieval times is rarely easy. For Èze, there are 2 theories: 1. A modification of Avisio, the name of an ancient port located in the area. 2. A derivation from Isis, the name of the Egyptian goddess of life and fertility whose cult was widespread in Europe before and during Roman times.


HISTORICAL TOUR OF ÈZE: WHAT TO SEE


The best way to discover Èze would be to wander around its cobbled streets, stopping by from time to time to check a few special spots that can reveal more of the village's interesting history.


This is why for this guide I decided not to write down a possible itinerary but to select the best sights you will encounter, with some details and facts. ➜ Each place mentioned here has its Google Maps location linked to its name, and you will find it in the interactive map above!



Eze, France - La Poterne
La Poterne -the village's gate


Built by the Counts of Savoy right after they took control of Èze in 1388, today this city gate welcomes visitors from all over the world and has no defensive role anymore.


What you see is what remains of a much bigger and fortified gate with its drawbridge and double door. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged by the troops of Suliman I in 1543 and of Louis XIV in 1706.


It retained much of its fascination tough, and even more so because it still shows the coat of arms of Èze, made of a bone and a phoenix. ➜ These two symbols, of death (bone) and resurrection (phoenix) are probably a symbol of the fate of Èze: destroyed repeatedly over time, it always came to a new life, resurrecting from its ashes. The coat is accompanied by the Latin words: "Isis Moriendo Renascor" (in death I am reborn), which reiterates this interpretation.



Porte des Maures, Eze, France
Porte des Maures | Image credits: provencelovers.com


The Porte des Maures (literally, the Moors' Gate) is a vestige of remote times.


It is said to have been the ancient city gate through which the Moors (Muslims coming by sea from the south) passed to attack and conquer Èze in around 900 CE. They would stay in Èze, the entire Riviera and beyond (Liguria and Provence too) for some 70 years before the Counts of Provence intervened and set the area free.



Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs, Eze, France
Chapelles des Pénitents Blancs, this is the grid from which you can see the chapel


This small religious building is one of the oldest spots in Èze, its foundation dating back to 1306. However, what you see today may not look medieval to you, and indeed it is not: it was rebuilt and restored over the centuries, especially the 15th.


Originally dedicated to the Holy Cross (Sainte-Croix), it later took the name of "des Pènitents Blancs" (White Penitents) from a lay devotional movement, active in southern France and Italy during the Late Middle Ages, focused on assisting those who suffered from plagues, diseases and extreme poverty, as well as taking care of their funerals. The Penitents used this place as their preferred meeting point, and thus the denomination.


Today visible mostly from a grid if not open, this place, beloved by the locals, hosted the 1860 vote that decided the annexation of Èze to France.



Place du Planet, Eze, France
The way to Place du Planet, hosting Maison Riquiers


Located in the nice Place du Planet, Maison Riquiers takes its name from its most notable owners, the Riquiers, a family from Nice and lords of Èze in the 13th and 14th centuries. They hardly lived here (lords of villages like Èze simultaneously controlled several centers and never resided in the smallest ones).


Not much of that time remains, but a few bas-reliefs are there to testify to the antiquity of the area. Plus, you can have an idea of what a village like this could offer its lords in terms of residential magnificence! The fountain you see is from the 1930s, Italian-styled.


Today, the Maison hosts the town hall (Mairie) and a small museum dedicated to the history of Èze in case you wish to check it!



Église Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, Eze, France
View of Église Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in its spacious square


Slightly distanced from the village's core is an orange/ochre building, standing alone on the horizon. It's the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, a Neoclassical temple and the main Catholic meeting place in town.


Built between 1764 and 1772 with a basilica-like plan, what you see now is only the most recent version of a church that has been standing here for centuries and that had previously fallen into ruin.

➜ This one was designed by Antonio Spinelli, an architect of Italian origin who left an evident mark of its homeland on the church.


The bell tower was erected later, in the 1800s, but before and after it was struck repeatedly by lightings, leaving it in constant need of repair.


The interior shows a single nave with 4 chapels on the sides, each containing its masonry altars and painted altarpieces. ➜ Inside are parts coming from previous versions and previous artistic styles: the high altar is Baroque, and so are most of the decorations.


Behind the back of the church begins the city's graveyard, a serene corner where you may hope to escape the crowds.



HIKING AND EXPLORING: WHAT TO DO IN ÈZE


If you are done with your search for the history of Èze, there is much more that you can do before leaving!


As you will soon notice, Èze is full of shops, galleries and boutiques to check out. Also, the breathtaking surrounding territory offers many chances to nature bathe while looking for the best view around.


Here is what you can do in Èze:


Jardin Exotique, Eze, France
View from the Jardin Exotique

Visit: the Jardin Exotique

● Ticket: yes, 8€ full price, 4€ reduced, free under 12y

● Opening hours: open daily. Jan-Mar 9AM/4:30PM. Apr-Jun 9AM/6:30PM. Jul-Sep 9:30PM/7:30PM. Oct 9AM/6:30PM. Nov-Dec 9AM/4:30PM.

● Tip: go up till the highest point to visit the ruins of pre-medieval Èze


With its 100+ species and position of 429 meters (1407ft) above sea level, the Jardin Exotique (Exotic Garden) is the perfect choice if you are into nature and a bit of challenge.


The French Riviera bursts with exotic gardens (a famous one is in Monaco), as they opened in the first half of the 21st century to respond to a general fascination for cacti and for the summery/tropical vibes they created.

➜ The Jardin Exotique of Èze was inaugurated right after WWII (1949) when the village was in the midst of its tourist boom. Its mayor of the time, André Gianton, who was looking for a smart way to adapt the pre-medieval area and the medieval castle ruins - both outside the main village borders- opted for an exotic garden that could survive the high summer temperatures. The project was assigned to Jean Gastaud.


The garden has now two parts:

  1. South: yuccas, cacti, aloes, succulents, agaves. The real exotic side.

  2. North: Mediterranean garden, with local species, plants and flowers.

➜ Reaching to top of the garden you will see ruins: these come from both the pre-Roman/Roman settlement that once was Èze and the medieval castle, ultimately destroyed by the French king Louis XIV in 1706.


The garden can be visited freely, or you can follow the signs you will spot all around to make your visit more thematic. Also, on the way you will encounter some 15 statues by sculptor Jean-Philippe Richard, all made to inspire the visitors and merge perfectly with the seascape, like water nymphs or ancient goddesses.



Eze, France

Explore: Shops and Art Galleries

Today, it is perhaps not easy to live in medieval Èze on a permanent base. The village is always crowded and access to basic goods may take time. Also, the cobbled streets now lack almost any shops for non-tourists. While this takes something away from the village's soul, it surely creates an enjoyable and perfectly curated atmosphere for visitors.


While you stroll around the medieval village, you spot several shops selling handcraft furnishings and jewellery, homewares, and local goods. Try to check Rue Principale and Rue du Barri!


Art galleries also contribute to the lively and kinda magical atmosphere of Èze with the colors of their artworks: look for the streets surrounding Place du Planet and the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs to see many.


Downhill outside the city gate, at a 2-minute walking distance from each other, there are two laboratories/shops, Galimard and Fragonard. These perfumeries are sought-after tourist attractions and both offer free guided tours through their venues. While this is not my kind of experience (too profit-oriented), it can no doubt be of great interest, as the visit includes an explanation of the production process of perfumes and products. Also, Fragonard offers temporary free parking for visitors, a true rarity for Èze! ➜ To join a free guided tour at Fragonard, you can check opening hours

➜ For more information about free guided tours at Galimard, see here



Nietzsche Trail, Eze, France
View from the Nietzsche Trail

Hike: The Nietzsche Trail and the Others

The moment you get to the French Riviera, you understand why hiking there is such a vibe! Blossoming nature, candid views, gentle hills and infinite lines of seashore to lose track of where you are, Côte d'Azur truly is a visitors' paradise.


Thanks to its convenient hilltop position, we already said that Èze benefits more than anywhere else from these conditions and thus has been and is one of the most appreciated destinations for hiking on the Riviera.


Tip: All trails mentioned here are included in the interactive map above - there you can find starting and arrival points and trail directions!


There are several options you can consider, but here are the most spectacular:


1. Chemin de Nietzsche - The Nietzsche Trail

Starting point: Avenue Raymond Poincaré (Èze-sur-Mer) Length: ca. 2 km (1,24 mi) per trip - 4,2 km (2,6 mi) round trip

Duration: 1,5 hours per trip - 3 hours total

Difficulty: Medium


The Nietzsche Trail is the most popular hike you can do in Èze and merges all the quintessential traits of the town today: incredible views, powerful nature and a recent history of attracting philosophers, artists and aristocrats. It's a highly panoramic trail that allows you to bathe in the Riviera's scenery.


This route, which connects Èze Village with Èze-sur-Mer (so it goes up from the sea to the hilltop), takes its name from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), who spent several months living on the French Riviera from 1883. Nietzsche is said to have climbed his way to Èze from the sea almost every day during his stay, getting inspired by the landscape to write his masterpiece "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", which focuses on the power of man against nature and its perils. True or not, he certainly went all the way up several times! ➜ This is not a super long trail but is steep and the first portion starting from sea level is very uphill. If you are visiting Èze from late June to August, better do it downwards to avoid getting too tired on hot summer days!



View of Èze from Mont-Bastide
View of Èze from Mont-Bastide

2. Mont-Bastide Trail

Starting point: Moyenne Corniche

Length: 3,5 km (2,17 mi)

Duration: 1,5 to 2 hours

Difficulty: Low to Medium


Another scenic trail for you! This one goes from Èze up to Mont-Bastide with a gentle and not-too-difficult climb.


Mont-Bastide is known for having been the first settlement base for the ancient pre-Roman populations that inhabited these lands in remote times. Today, it offers a breathtaking overview of the sea flanking the Riviera, the Mediterranean vegetation all around, and of Èze Village with its church, medieval streets and ruins.



3. Sentier du Fort de la Revère

Starting point: 63 Avenue de la Marne

Length: 2 km (1,24 mi) one way

Duration: 1 hour to reach the Fort, count 3 hours for the round trip

Difficulty: Low to Medium


This trail starts from just outside Èze and brings you all the way to Fort de la Revère, a military structure built at the end of the 19th century as part of a plan to defend and control the French borders.


Used until the end of WWII, mostly as a temporary shelter for war prisoners, it is now closed and cannot be visited. However, from such a privileged position you can enjoy an amazing view over Èze and the wild side of the Riviera, with its bursting vegetation.


➜ You can hike your way up here from Èze following the directions in the interactive map, or you can start your climb from Col d'Èze, where you can also park your car (paid). Otherwise, it is possible to reach the Fort by car directly, but it's definitely better to reach the top on foot!



4. Sentier du Littoral du Cap d'Ail

Starting point: 12 Sentier du Bord Mer (Cap d'Ail)

Length: 2 km (1,24 mi)

Duration: 45 min

Difficulty: Low


Last but not least, this trail is actually a promenade, a nice stroll by the sea with a non-stop scenic view over the Mediterranean. A perfect solution for the hottest days, if traveling with kids or if just looking for a relaxing moment with no climbing involved.


Located not far from Èze-sur-Mer (15 min by car), this trail can be a good option if you are spending the night nearby or have just arrived at sea level from Èze Village and want to explore further!


Beautiful, less crowded than the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, you will no doubt love this Sentier - the perfect Riviera-style leisure activity!


Sentier du Littoral du Cap d'Ail, Eze, France
Sentier du Littoral du Cap d'Ail


MICHELIN STARS AND LOCAL CUISINE: WHAT TO EAT IN ÈZE


Visiting and hiking can surely make you hungry, and you may be wondering what are your options for a dine-out in Èze! Well, we mentioned a lot that this is definitely not the cheapest area of France, so be prepared to dig into your wallet.


EXCLUSIVE CHOICE If you really want to treat yourself, you have two amazing places to check out right in the heart of Èze Village: Château Eza (€€€€€) with its Michelin-starred boutique restaurant (French cuisine) and La Chèvre d'Or (€€€€€), another gourmet destination. They both enjoy a one-of-a-kind view of the Riviera from above and you can decide to spend one or more nights there, as they are luxury hotels as well.


LOCAL CUISINE Of course, in Èze you may try all kinds of Riviera specialities, including the iconic Nicoise (Mediterranean fresh salad) and the Bouillabaisse (fish soup). Also, it's easy to find a bit of Italian taste everywhere, since Italy is a step distance from here. ➜ For a more genuine experience, try other inland towns, the nearby Nice or head down by the sea. Èze is small and focuses on gourmet experiences and anything else is likely on the touristy side.

➜ Check Le Nid d'Aigle (€€€) for a lunch with a view and La Vieille Maison (€€€) for a low-key option in Èze-sur-Mer.


MARKET Every Sunday morning, Èze's Place de la Colette (basically within Place Charles de Gaulle, at the city's gate) gets crowded with a lively local market. Here, you may decide to taste and buy a few local gastronomy products, a variety of cheese, sauces, and herbs. Among the bunch of stalls, you may also spot some handcrafted goods. Not everything will be handmade or truly local though, be aware of scams! Every Friday, a small market takes place in Èze-sur-Mer.



Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

The Village of Èze on the French Riviera: What's Next



IDEAS FOR A DAY ON THE RIVIERA

Visiting Èze should take you a morning or an afternoon if you plan to soak into the scenery and climb your way uphill through the Nietzsche Trail. But what to do next? How to spend a full day on the Riviera?


There are many options available, but my suggestion is to make the most of your time and avoid useless commuting. Consider these if you like:


  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (10km / 6,2mi from Èze Village): this luxurious small village by the sea is a great option for a relaxing stroll but be prepared for an important bill if you dine here. This is a place of villas, chic boutiques and private beaches, chosen by wealthy visitors and aristocrats since the late 19th century. To visit a noble residence coming straight from the village's century-old golden era, check out:

  • Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (full-price ticket: 17€): an opulent 20th-century mansion in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, completed by 1912 to be used as one of the residences of Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, a noblewoman born into one of the richest families in France. Today, you can enjoy a relaxing visit through the villa and its gardens in a privileged location at a step distance from the sea.

  • Villefranche-sur-Mer (9km / 5,5mi from Èze Village): this small town overlooks a natural harbour and, unlike several other urban centers around, its main structure dates back to the 17th century, so before the tourist boom of the French Riviera. Here you can stroll around narrow streets and a pretty promenade, have a break and sunbathe. It's also one of the best connected to Èze, easily reachable by bus.

  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer (7,5km / 4,6mi from Èze Village): your perfect destination for some Belle Èpoque vibes. Upscale villas, curated gardens, a casino, two beaches, and another residence to visit: Villa Kérylos. This villa was created amidst the 20th-century-Riviera-trend of wealthy aristocrats to have their own opulent mansion built to resemble a palazzo, a royal castle or an ancient domus.

  • Nice (12km / 7,4mi from Èze Village): needles to say, no trip to the French Riviera would ever be complete without a visit to its iconic capital. Nice is not only to perfect place to really feel and understand the 20th-century atmosphere of the area, but it's also a great hub for your peregrinations! A weekend here would be ideal and there are many more options for accomodation.

  • Monaco (8,5km / 5,2mi from Èze Village): technically not France but so close to the overall vibes of the French Riviera, Monaco is unmissable if wandering around Côte d'Azur, but don't you even think about spending the night here unless you are willing to treat yourself! A full day in Monaco would be best, but you may also consider going there after a visit to Èze and then linger here until late at night.






 


References:

Comments


bottom of page