This beautiful hilltop medieval village in the south of France is a great half-day excursion and only 30 mins away from bustling Nice. Famed for its spectacular coastal views, walk the narrow paths or hike the Nietzsche path
A charming hilltop town on the Cote d’Azur, Èze is a commune in the department of the Alpes-Maritimes located in southeastern France.
With amazing views of the Mediterranean, the little town is a popular tourist spot on the French Riviera and stretches out along the coast from Cap Roux to the Cabuel point.
Around a 30 minutes’ drive from Nice and in the direction of Menton, Èze village is one of the most picturesque spots in the region.
This small provencal village boasts everything from perfumeries and craft boutique shops to restored stone houses, ancient fountains, narrow archways and cobbled paths.
Offering a charming half-day excursion from Nice, this medieval village that once surrounded a 12th century fortified castle offers spectacular views and impressive architecture.
TIP: The village and its ochre church can be seen from afar. To find the entrance, take the small, rocky path that enjoys the view of the gardens surrounding the Chateau de la Chevre d’Or. The entrance to the village is marked by the double gate of ‘La Poterne’.
By car: From Nice, take the A8 route then choose the lower, middle or high coastal road. To follow the sea, take the lower coastal road. The drive should take around 30 minutes.
By bus: The no 82 or 112 bus from Nice to Èze Village takes around 30-40 minutes and costs €1.50 each way per person. Bus 100 goes to the beach at Èze -sur-Mer, but this means you will have to take the steep hike back to reach the village. Buses 82 or 112 leave Èze approximately once every hour for Nice, but the tourist office offers a bus timetable.
By taxi: Getting a taxi from Nice to Èze can be easily arranged with your hotel. A single trip will costs between €90-100.
By train: Fast trains from Nice-Riquier station to Èze take around 10 minutes. A single trip costs €2.50 per person. The Èze train station is situated on the coast, so again, it’s a hike up to the village.
TIP: The climb to Èze is not easy. Walking to the village includes steps and cobblestones so plan to wear comfortable shoes. The steep, narrow winding pathways to the top of the rock may not be possible for some who have trouble walking. The trail down to Èze-sur-Mer takes around 45 minutes.
What to see:
Take in the view
Èze is famed for its marvellous views of the Mediterranean Sea and the French Riviera.
The village is located on a hilltop of a high cliff around 1,400 feet above the sea level, enabling such amazing sights.
Jardin Exotique and castle ruins
Situated at an altitude of 400m, this panoramic garden offers unrivaled coastal views. There’s a small fee to enter, but it’s well worth it to view the impressive collection of cacti, plants and rare vegetation surrounding the remains of an ancient chateau.
All paths going uphill will lead you to the top of this panoramic garden.
It is here where you will find Mediaeval castle ruins.
Chapelle de la Sainte Croix
Built in the 1300’s, this chapel is the oldest building in the village. Also known as Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs, it consists of a single nave and a porch decorated with pebble mosaics. The chapel hosted the brotherhood of the white penitents of Èze shortly after their creation in 1306.
Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church
This neo-classical 18th century building is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and was classified as an historical monument in 1984.
The two-story tower was built in the 19th century and was repeatedly struck by lightning, which removed the original dome. Inside, there is a single nave with side chapels and a triumphal arch characteristic of Baroque architecture.
Dine at Château de La Chèvre d’Or
Known for its beautiful gardens and exotic animal statues, this hotel also has a bar and restaurant, awarded with 2 Michelin Stars, where you can relax and enjoy the views while drinking French wine and cheese.
Each suite in the hotel is named and decorated according to one composer, philosopher or writer, such as the Nietzsche suite, the Cocteau suite and Luis Navarro.
Prices for rooms start at €490. On hotel search sites, rooms start at €373.
Walk the narrow streets
The winding, interweaving streets are dressed with vines, flowers and lanterns. Walk under the archways and across the uneven terrain, which only adds to the charm of this ancient little village.
German philosopher and poet Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a frequent Èze visitor and found inspiration for his third part of “Thus spake Zarathoustra” while climbing to the village by the path.
The climbing of Nieztsche path from Èze station to the village takes approximately one hour, with the descent about 45 mins.
Checking out C & J.