Eze lies between Monte Carlo and Nice on the French Riviera, a French Riviera mountain top village whose slopes plunge into the Mediterranean Sea below and whose tip can be seen from miles around.
Eze – pickled in the past
A little bit of paradise in the South of France where an ancient village of winding roads and time stained ochre buildings, flowers hanging from every window and post, steep steps leading to charming little buildings and shops will delight and captivate you.
Perched high up on rock 1,400 feet (429 metres) above sea level, Eze is a place of labyrinthine little streets of stone, where narrow passages lead to hidden squares, where the sound of cool fountains will relax you and where the deep pink bougainvillea clad villas and buildings will make you want to stay and drink in the ambience.
The views from the town which is built around a 12th Century ruined castle are breath-taking from the village known as the “Eagle’s nest”. The turquoise blue of the Mediterranean Sea, the alpine mountains, Cap Camarat near Saint-Tropez and Corsica – it might be a bit of a hike to get up to this little village but the sights are worth the effort.
There are two parts to Eze – the gorgeous hill top town but also down the hill, a pretty seaside town.
In the hill top town, stroll the streets to your heart’s content and climb to the very top and the lovely Jardin Exotique with its exquisite views and glorious plants – succulents and cacti in abundance.
There are lots of little shops, very touristy, arts and crafts, soaps, pottery, ceramics and jewellery located in very inviting cave like buildings with beautiful signs and welcoming staff. There are two perfumeries, Galimard and Fragonard, where you can take a tour and try your hand at creating your own fragrance or buy something in the perfumery shops to remind you of this beautiful little village long after you have left.
There are more than a dozen restaurants in this little town and several hotels. Restaurants range from pizza to gourmet and most of them offer fabulous terrace views. The Chateau de la Chevre d’Or hotel was a restaurant that Walt Disney loved and suggested it would make a magnificent hotel. Today it is both a restaurant and hotel and very pretty with a gourmet dining experience. Sitting in the sun, perched up in this stunning little town it is easy to imagine that you are one of the jet set who live here or holiday here from Bono of U2, supermodel Naomi Campbell to chanteuse Tina Turner and many more.
You can wander down the hillside – allow at least an hour or take the bus down from the upper town of Eze. You’ll find a very nice beach, restaurants and shops. Sheltered by a pine forest, the scent of bougainvillea, jasmine and wisteria fills the air in the summer months and impressive belle époque villas belonging to the rich and famous celebrities who flock to this lovely area can be peeped at through wrought iron gates, shaded by orange and lemon trees.
Best time to visit Eze
Head for the hills in spring or at the end of summer and avoid the coach load of tourists arriving off of cruise ships. You will also find cheaper flights and cheaper accommodation but the weather will still be glorious and you’ll be able to take photos without too many crowds. If you do go in the summer try to get out and about early before everyone else arrives.
Don’t miss the Jardin Exotique set around the 12th Century castle ruins, the views are spectacular. Visit a perfumery and just wander the streets and enjoy the magnificent views and the ambient Provencal atmosphere.
Do pop into the Tourist office to pick up some handy leaflets on what to see and do while you’re there.
Tourist office website www.eze-riviera.com