Eze, Cote d'Azur, Riviera | All Things French

The Enchanting Village of Eze on the French Riviera.

If you haven't been to Èze yet, it's time it was on your list.

This beautiful village dates back to the middle ages and clings impressively to the mountainside above the Mediterranean Sea, between St Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco. Panoramic views, ancient façades, and an unbelievable attention to detail are some of the most memorable features of this lovely village. Eze's cobblestone streets transport you to a bygone era, where medieval architecture whispers tales of centuries past. Wander through narrow alleys adorned with vibrant flowers, and you'll find yourself enchanted by the preserved authenticity that defines this beautiful village.

Drive along the Moyenne Corniche and enjoy spectacular scenery.

Getting to Eze this way is worth the trip alone. Spectacular!

The first time I visited Eze, I arrived on the bus from Villefranche, having been treated to exceptional views of the magnificent coastline of the Côte d’Azur as the Moyenne Corniche winds around the rocky outcrops above St Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu sûr Mer, and Eze sûr Mer. The Côte d'Azur unfolds below like a canvas, inviting you to savour every moment. Whether you're an avid photographer or just a romantic at heart, Eze's panoramic vistas promise an unforgettable experience.

It is literally like something out of a movie, and sets the scene for the extraordinary experience about to come. I actually recommend the bus, because it can be tricky to find a carpark near Eze (go early) plus you won’t miss the view because, happily, you’re not at the wheel.

Unless, of course, you can find some uber-cute guy with a sports car to get you there … One day I'll do that drive in a convertible - with a reliable *someone else* at the wheel. 

Medieval architecture and stunning details give Eze its universal appeal.

Walk up from the bus stop in Eze. Even if you drive, it's obvious where you'll need to pull over and park your car.

Cross the street, up past some lovely shops, a delightful refreshment spot, as well as the Tourist Information Centre.

Up the steps, dear. Oh! It is a bit of a climb. (Note: terrain includes steps and ancient cobblestones, remarkably well-laid, but do wear comfortable shoes and be careful).

Immediately, the architecture is enthralling. Centuries-old stonework is set off beautifully by sublime detailing. Exquisite wrought-iron street lamps hang everywhere, pastel shutters gleam in the morning sunshine, and hints of history abound - in carvings, plaques, and dedications to characters from the past.

There are no cars allowed within the precinct, so (especially if you get there early) the silence is tangible. Only the sea at times, a bird, footfalls ... the sound of yourself moving through a sacred space.

What bliss it is to stroll quietly along the slender passages, musing over the lives of the lucky people who dwell in this precious place. There is something extraordinary to see at every turn, some delightful detail to inspire the creative mind, like stepping back into a beautifully cared-for historical timeline.

If you are a shopper, you won’t be disappointed with Eze.

The shops and galleries in Eze offer beautiful, quality goods to tempt you.

Art, clothing, homewares, and ateliers are dotted along the winding streets amongst closed doors - which lead to other, private lives. Colourful displays, delightful windows, and desirable things call you into the unique shops, some of which are hidden in tiny basements within the extraordinary buildings. There is so much history here...For art enthusiasts, the Galerie de l'Annonciade showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional artwork. Immerse yourself in the creativity inspired by the beauty of Eze.

I'm not a shopper. I was born in Scotland but have lived most of my life in Australia. Je suis né en Ecosse mais j'ai vécu la plus grande partie de ma vie en Australie. (I was born in Scotland but have lived most of my life in Australia). Makes me inclined to being a bit frugal ...

In my soul, however, I am a Francophile.

I prefer to travel light. I savour getting organised before I go. Or, 'organized' as my American friends would spell it. I love to take the opportunity to comb through my possessions and simplify more. I love to let things go.

Intentional living, with a touch of cashmere.

Enjoy incredible views from the Chateau Eza.

I visited the Château Éza, an outstanding 5-star hotel in Eze, offering only 14 rooms and suites, many of which have private balconies with spectacular views of the Mediterranean for your personal enjoyment. In particular, there is a beautiful terrace where mere mortals (like you and I) can go and enjoy coffee, croissants, lunch, or a superb dinner in their Michelin-starred restaurant.

Be prepared with your credit card, however. Coffee and croissants cost me €18. The coffee is reasonable (as a fussy latté drinker myself), but les petits croissants were superbe, too many for me, several different types. So just take your time, enjoy the view, and feel utterly blessed.

And, it's all about the view. Because you're worth it. X

Eze's Crown Jewel: Jardin Exotique and Panoramic Splendour.

Experience the views and beauty of the Jardin Exotique.

Literally the pinnacle of the Eze experience is Le Jardin Exotique. Nestled on the cliffs of Eze, the Jardin Exotique stands as a testament to the region's natural beauty. As you wander through the terraced landscapes, each step reveals a burst of vibrant colors and unique flora. The scent of exotic blooms fills the air, creating an enchanting atmosphere that captivates the senses.

Located at the very top of the village in the ruins of the original castle walls, the chateau dates back to the 12th century, however local people (the Èzasques) have occupied this area since 220BC. The gardens showcase a wonderful variety of exotic succulents and xerophytes from around the world, as well as a variety of local species.

Beyond its botanical treasures, the Jardin Exotique offers unparalleled panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. Perched on the cliff's edge, you're treated to a visual feast that spreads all the way along the Côte d'Azur. The azure waters below, coupled with the lush greenery of the garden, create a breathtaking vista. Enjoy the most stunning views you’ll see anywhere on the French Riviera, and experience the serenity and beautiful sculptures as you meander along the pathways.

The Jardin Exotique is not only a feast for the eyes but also a cultural bridge. The garden's integration with the historical Eze Village provides a seamless blend of nature and heritage. You can explore the garden's nooks and crannies, then seamlessly transition into the medieval charm of Eze, creating a total you'll thoroughly enjoy.

In essence, the Jardin Exotique is more than a garden; it's a sanctuary of natural beauty and a vantage point that encapsulates the allure of Eze.

Just Beautiful!

Eze's Vibrant Markets: A Culinary and Cultural Feast.

Weekly Markets in Eze: A Glimpse into Local Life.

On Sunday morning, Eze has a small market, with vendors lining the streets to showcase an array of local produce and handmade crafts. Experience the lively atmosphere as locals and visitors alike shop the stalls brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and artisanal goods.

Èze Village market is located on the Place de la Colette with only a limited number of stalls (around 20, although this number may change based upon the season or even the weather) so get there early to find the best produce.

Or, head down to Eze-sur-Mer on Fridays to explore the coastal market. With the Mediterranean as your backdrop, indulge in seafood delights, Provençal specialties, and handmade crafts. The market's seaside setting adds a unique charm to the shopping experience, making it a must-visit for both gastronomes and those seeking picturesque views. Follow in the footsteps of the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who found inspiration in Eze. Nietzsche's Path is a scenic trail leading from the village to Eze-sur-Mer, offering a contemplative journey with spectacular views.

Exploring Beyond Eze: Enchanting Excursions and Hidden Gems.

Day Trip to Wonderful Places on the French Riviera.

Embark on a short journey to the glamorous Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, just a stone's throw from Eze. Wander through the renowned Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, surrounded by stunning gardens and panoramic sea views. Take in the unparalled beauty of Greek architecture and design at Villa Kerylos. A visit to the iconic Paloma Beach adds a touch of Riviera elegance to your day. Of course, Villefranche-sur-Mer is not to be missed.

 

Or, give yourself a real treat and immerse yourself in the French language for 4 weeks at the incomparable Institut de Francais, a truly memorable experience. I went back in 2013 and vowed to return, but you know how life is! There are so many other areas in France to discover. But I would love to return...X

Don't Miss Èze-sur-Mer: Seaside Serenity.

For a tranquil escape, venture down to Èze-sur-Mer. Relax on the pebbled beaches, indulge in fresh seafood at local bistros, and explore the hidden coves along the coastal path. As I mentioned before, you can hike the Nietzsche Path that connects Eze Village to Eze Sur Mer beach.  but I DO recommend going downhill, unless you LOVE a workout. It's about 5 kms.

Trophy of Augustus, La Turbie.

Just a short drive from Eze in La Turbie, you'll find the Trophy of Augustus, a massive Roman monument built in 6 B.C. to commemorate the victory of Emperor Augustus. This impressive structure, often overlooked by visitors, stands as a testament to the region's ancient heritage. The village itself is beautiful also. Don't let the main road running towards the east fool. Park and walk down into the old town.

Beautiful Places to Stay in Eze.

Ideal for Honeymoons, Anniversaries and Special Occasions. Treat Yourself.

Here's a taste (with links) to what awaits should you decide you cannot do without a 5-star holiday in one of Eze's fine hotels.

  1. Château Eza is the absolutely stunning, completee with a Michelin-starred restaurant, in truly one of the most enchanting locations on the Cote d' Azur. It's absolutely exquisite offers only 14 rooms and clings to the side of the ancient rock walls of Eze with unparalleled views.
  2. La Chevre d'Or's setting is incredible. The service and attention to detail in this restaurant and hotel is amonst the finest you will find in the world. The food is outstanding and the surroundings just beautiful. This is probably the best restaurant I have ever eaten in in my life.
  3. Le Cap Estel is located downhill in Èze-Bord-de-Mer and is set in a sublime sanctuary. The concierge service is exemplary, and every detail has been considered. You'll feel as if you're a beloved guest being welcomed into a luxury dream. You'll never want to leave!
  4. Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat is easily one of the best hotels on the Rivera. The hotel covers and extensive property and has the most amazing views. The staff are extremely helpful. The pool is like something out of a movie with remarkable views. The last word in Cote d'Azur luxury.

Eze: My Enchanted Escape in the French Riviera.

A Hidden Oasis of Timeless Beauty.

Eze captured my heart from the moment I wandered through its medieval streets. The village, perched on the cliffs of the French Riviera, exudes an undeniable charm that transports you to a bygone era. Cobblestone pathways, ancient architecture, and vibrant flowers at every turn create an enchanting atmosphere that feels like a living, breathing piece of history.

Why I Fell in Love.

What struck me most was the seamless fusion of history and natural beauty. The Jardin Exotique, with its rare succulents and breathtaking views, became my haven for moments of reflection. The Trophée d'Auguste in nearby La Turbie spoke of ancient stories etched in stone. Every corner of Eze seemed to unveil a new facet of its rich tapestry, from the artistic haven of Galerie de l'Annonciade to the philosophical trail of Nietzsche.

Why You Should Visit.

I can't help but recommend Eze to anyone seeking a truly immersive experience on the French Riviera. Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply someone looking to escape into the tranquility of a medieval village, Eze offers it all. Stay in absolute luxury, indulge in the gastronomic delights of one of the exquisite restaurants, take leisurely strolls through the weekly markets, and enjoy the absolutely panoramic views that will stay with you long after you leave.

Comme toujours, my advice is to go early.

I like to arrive very early (haven’t made it at sunrise yet, but – oh! – what a spectacle that would be). Everyone else starts arriving at 10:30, and you will be tout seul no more…

How to Get There.

By Car:

Eze is easily accessible by car, and the journey provides stunning views along the French Riviera. From Nice, take the A8 motorway, then exit at Eze and follow the signs to the village. Alternatively, enjoy a scenic coastal drive along the Moyenne Corniche (Middle Corniche) for breathtaking panoramas.

By Bus:

There are two bus routes from Nice to Eze. No.112 and No.82, though on Sundays and holidays only the No.82 runs on a very limited schedule. Don't catch the No. 100 - which goes to Èze sûr Mer - unles you fancy a hike up the mountainside. 

Important note for people planning to take the #82 bus or #112 bus from Nice to Eze and its medieval village: Check the online map for the departure point. There are no directions at the Vauban tram station: Starting at the tram line 1 Vauban stop, walk west past the tram station to Rue Jules et Aline Avigdor (one lane, one way – no street sign). Follow the lane south. You will come to an old tunnel (very short) called Gare Routiere. Beside the tunnel entrance is a map showing the terminal’s bus stops. At the other end of the tunnel are the bus stops. There is also a map on the outside of the small information building (closes for lunch). The sign for #82 is on the roof of the bus shelter in the sea of bus stops. You can also check the map at lignesdazur.com.

By Train:

The nearest train station to Eze is Eze-sur-Mer. Visitors can take a train from Nice to Eze-sur-Mer, followed by a bus or taxi (or a walk!)up to Eze Village. The train journey offers picturesque coastal views, making it a delightful option.

Le Jardin Exotique is open:

January, February, March, November, December: from 9am to 4.30pm

April, May, June, October: from 9am to 6.30pm

July, August, September: from 9am to 7.30pm

Admission is between €4 - €7 (2024) depending upon the time of year, with group discounts available. Children under 12 are free.

What do you think? Have you visited Eze?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments 43

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  1. Please add me to the email list too. I loved your article on Èze and the pictures are superb! Can’t wait to visit.
    Could you recommend a really nice non touristy small town to stay in the region please. Thank you.

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      Bonjour Heather. I will indeed add you to my email list. I don’t email too often but it will be lovely to stay in touch :). I’m afraid that there aren’t a lot of places on the Riviera that aren’t very touristy, although it is more the time of year that is the crucial factor. Consider travelling around September/October or April/May for the best experience all around. If you have a car, and really want a small-town experience I do recommend Tourettes-sur-Loup. Divine and quiet. See my video here.

  2. Hi Louisa,

    This article was absolutely captivating, and I must admit, I’m thoroughly charmed by it. My journey here was sparked by an Instagram post about Eze, which piqued my curiosity. This curiosity led me to explore more about this charming French town online, and eventually, I found my way to your wonderful website. Although I’m not proficient in French, I have a passion for uncovering hidden treasures around the globe, and Eze has certainly made it to my travel bucket list. I’m eagerly looking forward to more of your articles that promise to keep your readers engaged and informed.

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      Bonjour Louisa and thank you for your very kind words. They certainly made me feel good and got me back on the computer and working on another post. You will certainly enjoy Eze when you visit (make it early if you can, and certainly out-of-season if possible. It’s soooo busy now! Do you have any other areas you’d like to visit? I’m always on the lookout for recommended destinations in France and I’m hoping that you can recommend one to me 🙂

  3. My wife and I visited Eze on June 16th, 2023. We had never been to Europe before (We live in Tennessee in the US) and spent a month working our way from Rome to Dublin via Florence and Lake Como and Nice and Paris and London.

    While spending a week in Nice we took the bus to Eze (experience all in itself!) and we were not prepared for the beauty and wonder of what we would experience. Pictures just do not represent the magic and awesomeness that Eze has to offer.

    Eze was probably the highlight of our entire month in Europe!!!!

    Quick Side Note……We decided not to take the bus back to Nice and instead hike the Nietzsche Trail down to the train station on the coast. Unless you are a Mountain Goat or in great shape and have plenty of water…..I can’t recommend. With that being said it was AMAZING!!!!!

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      Bonjour Eddie

      What an interesting tale and I was really attentive to what you said about the trail down to Eze-sur-Mer. I’ve thought about it in the past (some people actually go UP it!) but I’m very happy that you have given me the thumbs up to think twice! I’m 63 and definitely no mountain goat 🙂 Bonne journee a vous!

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    2. Hi Eddie. Thanks for sharing your information. May I ask what we would need to save to spend a month in Europe and follow your trip? We are close to retirement and would like to do a trip to Europe.

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          Bonjour Joanna, I haven’t done this walk myself but be aware that it is all uphill. The village is connected to the station by a steep, rocky hiking trail known as the Sentier Nietzsche. This 1,400 (426m) climb requires sturdy shoes and sunblock, but reaches the village in about an hour and certainly provides unforgettable views over the Côte d’Azur below. I would take a bus from Nice and consider walking down from the village, if that interests you. Here is a link that may be helpful: Nice to Eze

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  4. I would love to be on your email list. I will be in Nice May of 2024. I am hoping to plan some day trips such as Exe, Grasse and Villefranche. I love your site.

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      Bonjour Terri

      I just saw your comment on my website and thought that I would check…did you want me to add you to my mailing list? You said ‘add me to the website’ and I just wanted to check…

  5. Please add me to your email list. We will be there the last week in July, the 22-31st. So far, your website has been great information for us.

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  6. Bon Jour,
    My husband, 21 year old daughter & I will be in Nice in May and this town has been on my radar for awhile. I appreciate all of your insight and look forward to a spectacular time exploring all that the South of France has to offer.

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  7. Je voudrais visiter Eze, mais je préférerais y rester pendant deux ou trois semaines. Le calme et la beauté de cet endroit m’attire comme un aimant.

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      Bonjour Jacquelyn. Je suis tout à fait d’accord, mais c’est devenu très cher de rester à Eze donc j’adore rester à Villefranche, Nice ou Antibes. Vous avez beaucoup de chance si vous pouvez y rester – j’espère que vous le pourrez. XX

  8. Hi Louisa,

    Such a lovely piece. I must say that I am completely enamoured. What brought me here is an Insta post on Eze, which intrigued me. That led me to looking up this quaint French town on www and I meandered onto your lovely website. Though I don’t know French, I love to discover little gems of the world and plan to travel there someday soon. Waiting for more such articles that will keep your readers engrossed and enlightened.

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      Bonjour Jayshree, thank you for your kind words. I love getting such feedback about my site, which I built myself and still find very pretty. I do hope that you get to visit Eze one day, you will LOVE it! XX

  9. Pingback: A very long day in Eze, Nice and Monaco – J&K Travel

  10. Important note for people planning to take the #82 bus or #112 bus from Nice to Eze and its medieval village: Check the online map for the departure point. There are no directions at the Vauban tram station so here are directions: Starting at the tram line 1 Vauban stop, walk west past the tram station to Rue Jules et Aline Avigdor (one lane, one way – no street sign). Follow the lane south. You will come to an old tunnel (very short) called Gare Routiere. Beside the tunnel entrance is a map showing the terminal’s bus stops. At the other end of the tunnel are the bus stops. There is also a map on the outside of the small information building (closes for lunch). The sign for #82 is on the roof of the bus shelter in the sea of bus stops. You can also check the map at lignesdazur.com. Beware that Google Maps street view is out of date. Good luck. BTW, the trip was well worth it. Incredible botanical jardin where you wouldn’t expect to find one – and the view! Posted 2022 Mar 9 by a tourist from Canada..

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      Wow! That’s amazing that you commented now, Patricia. I value your opinion *so much. At the same time I have published this post probably 6 or 8 times over the years, and I worry that I’m saturating my story with it. I’m so happy to hear you offer such a thoughtful comment. I’m proud to say, if you look up Eze, I may come up on the front page! Same for ‘Francophile’. Yay! I so appreciate your support and look forward to meeting you soon 🙂

  11. The music is beautiful as well as very relaxing and soothing. Could you tell me what music you played during this presentation?

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