I love the French Riviera and its frozen-in-time perched villages! After the beautiful Eze Village for many years in a row, I finally decided it’s time to write about it. After all, there are so many things to do in Eze Village! Why not let other people know about this charming village?
Where is Eze Village?
Eze Village is one of the over 120 perched village on the French Riviera. The village sits about half distance between Nice and Monaco, which makes it an easy day trip from both these cities. The little village hangs on an impossibly steep peak, at about 1,500 feet above the Mediterranean. That makes it the highest seaside village in France.
How to Reach Eze Village
In order to reach Eze Village you have to drive the winding and narrow Moyenne Corniche. This is one of the three mountain roads that run somewhat parallel to each other, following the coast. The Corniche Roads stretch from Nice to Menton, creating one of the most dramatic views in Europe.
Moyenne Corniche is not a particularly difficult drive, but it’s an accident black spot. That is partly due to the tourists gazing at the tremendous views rather than the road itself. Therefore, if you are not accustomed to the narrow European roads, I would suggest taking the bus. There is bus service that runs from Nice and Cannes to each of the perched villages in the Riviera, so you may check the schedule here.
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Things to Do in Eze Village
One of the first things that will amaze you in Eze Village is the thickness of the fortification walls. Not only are the walls huge, but they also have a sheer drop of 60-79 meters. That makes the village look like an impenetrable fortress.
Walk Around the Streets
Walking around the narrow, cobblestone alleys is the best way to explore Èze Village. Souvenir shops, small restaurants and cafés, art galleries and boutiques, all cram into each other on the main street. But if you wander a little further away from this area, you’ll discover a unique world, completely frozen in time. Like most of these perched villages, Èze Village is small enough to walk along its every street without getting lost.
Visit the Boutiques and Art Galleries
The boutiques and art galleries showcase works of the local artists, mostly modern style paintings, art objects and ceramics. Most of the stuff they sell in these shops is outrageously expensive, but of excellent taste and very high quality. Whatever you buy here will surely turn heads later on.
Check Out the Fragrance Outlets
Two famous perfume factories have branch stores here: Galimard and Fragonard. They each offer free tours of their perfume factory with explanations of perfume-making techniques. Here is where my husband fell in love with his dear Eau de Hongrie, which since then we keep ordering from France.
Visit the Exotic Botanical Garden
The main attraction of Èze Village is an Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique) located at the top of the village. The garden displays a wide varieties of succulents and cacti. If there is one thing worth visiting in this village, it’s this beautiful garden. Not because you haven’t seen better cacti, but because you will rarely see such spectacular views!
The garden has a monopoly over this hill which is the only place from where you can admire this 360º panorama. Èze is the only perched village with a direct sea view. On a clear day, from this point you can see all the way to Italy.
Visit the Catholic Church
At the end of one of the little streets in the village you’ll find the Church Our Lady of the Assumption. It’s impossible to miss this baroque-style church with a yellow-cream façade.
The church has a tall clock tower that dominates the entire hill of Èze Village. The clock tower is very easy to spot from the Exotic Garden.
Walk the Nieztsche Path
If you traveled by bus and want to see some more of this beautiful area, you may skip the return trip and hike down the Nieztsche Path. The path will take you from Eze Village to Èze Bord de Mer.
Once you reach the main road you’ll see a bus stop that’ll take you back to Nice or other places. It takes about an hour to reach the bottom of the hill and the trail is very easy to follow. We hiked this path in reverse (uphill) and enjoyed it a lot. There were no crowds and the views were picture perfect!
Practical Information About Eze Village
The streets of the Èze Village are pedestrian-only. Parking is available only at the edge of the village. Most of the parking is metered, with some free spots that fill up quickly, especially in the summer months.