Èze Village – A Captivating Town Waiting for You to Discover

Cacti in Jardin exotique d'Èze

If you are looking for a unique way to spend a day in the French Riviera, Èze Village is a captivating medieval village on the top of a rocky outcrop begging to be explored. This destination will have you wandering through the maze of narrow cobbled streets, listening to your footsteps shuffling up the steep steps, smelling the flowers planted by the doorways, or enjoying a hot, steaming cup of coffee or tea at a cafe overlooking the sea. Èze Village is a magical place that will transport you back to the past or at least to a simpler, relaxing way of life.

How to get to Èze Village

Whether you are staying in Monaco or Nice, Èze Village is a quick and easy town to reach. It is approximately 25 minutes from Nice and 18 minutes from Monaco. If you are staying in Nice, you can take the tram to the Vauban tram stop, then walk around the small parking lot and go through the archway to the bus station. It might not look like there is a bus station there, but if you continue walking, you will see it. There are two buses from Nice to Èze Village, the #82 or the #112, which alternately leave approximately once an hour from the bus station on Monday-Saturday. Sundays is a very limited schedule (#82 only), and when I was visiting, there was no bus running. I forgot to check the schedule before I took the tram there on a Sunday, which had me doing the same thing the next day. Oops!

Tickets for the bus cost  €1.50, and you can purchase them from the bus driver. Sit on the right side of the bus to get beautiful views of the sea as you ride the half hour to Èze. When you do get off at the bus stop, head to the right and up. It is a bit of a hike to the village. After you are finished exploring Èze, you can pick up bus #112 to continue to Monaco if you choose.

Èze Village

courtyard in ÈzeWith about 3,000 inhabitants, Èze Village is so small that tourists and even a large portion of the French haven’t heard or visited this tiny medieval village. This village has so much to offer visitors though with charming lanes filled with art galleries, gift shops, and cafes. The whole place feels like a labyrinth as the village is laid out in a circular pattern around the base of the old castle with the narrow streets, twisting and turning, and the steep steps going up and down throughout the village. It is like a treasure or scavenger hunt to see what will be around the next corner and figure out how to get to the exotic garden at the top. The cobblestone streets with high stone walls and older restored buildings really transport you to the past.

Jardin d’ÈzeLe Jardin d'Èze map

The botanical garden is at the top of the village and is the highlight of this charming town. This exotic garden is built directly within the ruins of a castle. The entrance fee is €4. Once you enter through the turnstiles, you have numerous paths to choose. The cacti, Mediterranean plants, and flowers are artfully placed all around the garden. It really doesn’t matter which direction you choose to explore first. Each area is unique and gives you some stunning views which are more spectacular than the plants you paid to see. There is even a waterfall for you to discover. I chose the path with the least amount of people and was able to get a lot of photos without other tourists walking in them. You can easily spend an hour or two in this garden. The garden is large, but there is only one way in and out so you can’t get lost in it.

360° ViewsView from the Exotic Garden in Èze Village

The village of Èze is located between the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Monaco. Built 1,400 feet above the sea it has a commanding 360° view of Southeastern France. The best views can be seen in the Jardin d’Èze at the top of the village or the fortress ruins.Peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Fortress Ruins12th Century castle ruins in Èze

This ancient fortified village still has the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle at the very top. In 1706, Louis XIV destroyed the fortress walls during the War for the Spanish heritage. What is left is sparse, but it does leave you with the imagination of how magnificent this castle used to be perched high up on this rock.Castle ruins on top of the rock

Èze Village is a great stop in the French Riviera that will take you back in time with its charming medieval streets and bring you right back to the present with its cafes and art galleries. This is a great village to spend an afternoon or morning on your way to Monaco from Nice. Definitely take the trip out to see this tiny village on the top of the rock. You won’t be disappointed!

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Further Reading

If you would like to see more of my nomad travels, check out my post on my first month of traveling full-time: One Month of Nomad Travel. If you are coming to France for a visit, check out these posts:

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