The Village of Eze, France

A day in the village of Eze, France

I didn’t often venture inland during my stay on the French Riviera, but I did make an exception for the Medieval hilltop Village of Eze (not to be confused with the seaside town of Eze, called Eze-Bord-de-Mer or Eze-sur-Mer).

I got up early in the morning and since I was staying in Villefranche-sur-Mer, I just walked over to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and took the #83 bus from the marina (it runs from the beach in Beaulieu to the Plateau de la Justice, via Eze Village). The village sits 1,400 feet above sea level, and it’s a beautiful ride up with many twists and turns and views.

Once in town, I walked up to the old town and started wandering along the narrow cobblestone streets. It’s a very picturesque little village with a fairy tale feel,

beautiful architecture with occasional views of the Mediterranean between the buildings,

and lots of cute little vignettes, details,

and surprises. Most surprising of all was this image of Judy Garland on the side of a building (below ↓).

It’s pretty high up and I wouldn’t even have noticed it if I hadn’t happened to come across a tour group looking up and pointing as I was walking by. Of course I had to take a picture, but I have no idea why she’s there. I’ve googled and googled, but can’t find any information at all. If anybody knows, please share! I’m so curious!

Things to do in Eze Village

There are lots of small shops, galleries, and places to eat, but aside from the town itself, I would say that the main attractions are:

  • The luxury hotels Château Eza, voted one of the 9 best hotels on the French Riviera by Condé Nast Traveler (and, interesting to me at least :-), where Prince William of Sweden spent a lot of time in the early to mid 1900s),
  • and Château de la Chèvre d’Or, both for staying in and eating at the Michelin-starred restaurants with amazing views.
  • The Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption (below),
  • and The Jardin Exotique d’Èze, the botanical garden that sits at the highest point of the village (images below) ↓

There’s also the Galimard and Fragonard perfume factories at the base of the old village, but I didn’t go in. I had already visited the Fragonard factory in Grasse when I studied in Aix-en-Provence, and to be honest, perfume isn’t really my thing.

How much time do you need in Eze Village?

For me, half a day at the hilltop part of Eze was the perfect amount of time. I didn’t shop or stop to eat, just meandered around and probably spent at least half my time there in the botanical garden, which I thought was the highlight of the village. The paths and cacti and succulents are nice, but it’s the views that steal the show. They really are spectacular, and it’s very cool to see the clouds float by below you.

There’s an entrance fee to the garden, at the time of writing, it’s 7€ (free for kids under 12). The ticket lines can be really long in the summer, and you can save a lot of time by buying your tickets online:

If you can, visit Eze as early in the day as possible. It’s a really popular tourist destination, and it got quite crowded in the afternoon, even though it was only May when I was there. I was happy I had gotten an early start.

How to get to Eze from Nice

The Moyenne Corniche seen from the Jardin Exotique

If you have access to a car, driving gives you the most flexibility, and you can mix it up and take the Moyenne Corniche (the middle of the 3 coastal routes) to Eze and then the Basse (lower) Corniche, which hugs the coastline, back to Nice.

If you’re taking public transportation, the most direct route is the number 82 bus from Nice, which leaves from the Vauban bus station and makes a stop right in the village. The current schedule is here, and here is the route on a map where you can see the stops.

You *can* take the train from Nice, it’s a quick trip (around 15 minutes), but it will only take you to the seaside Eze-Bord-de-Mer, and from there, you have to either take a taxi/uber, bus #83 (schedule here), or hike up the Nietzsche path to the village.

An Eze Day Trip from Nice

The start of the Nietsche trail in Eze-Bord-de-Mer, France by Cattie Coyle Photography

If I were to put together a day-long Eze itinerary for someone like me, staying in Nice, I’d say, take the #82 bus very early directly all the way up the village. Spend as much time as you want exploring up there, then, if you’re reasonably fit and like hiking, take the [quite challenging] Nietzsche path down to Eze-Bord-de-Mer and spend the rest of the day at the beach there, swim, and hang out and have drinks and dinner at the cool Anjuna beach club, then take the train back to Nice. This way, you get the best of everything: history and culture, scenic vistas and exercise, beach time and a fabulous party! If you don’t want to do the hike, take the #83 bus down from the hilltop village to the seaside village, and walk down to Anjuna beach.

If you love a particular image in this post that you don’t see in my store, and would like it as a print, just get in touch and let me know which image it is, and the size you would like. I’m happy to make a custom print when possible.

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