When I first started this blog, it was mainly to detail some of the trips we were taking for the convenience of our friends. Since at the moment our focus has been on home projects, we haven’t been traveling as much as we would like (and to be honest, I don’t like leaving my dogs. Sue me.)
Anyway, I do keep a list of places I wanted to write about when I had the chance. Since today my wife is out of town and I’m hanging out with my dogs and a glass of scotch, I thought I would knock one of these places out, and the perfect place to start is the village of Eze, in France.
Step Back in Time
Eze is a scenic coastal mountaintop village, located between the city of Nice and the Principality of Monaco. Built at the top of a high bluff overlooking the Mediterranean, Eze has been a strategic stronghold for much of its history. First inhabited at about 2000 BC, Eze has been controlled by the Greeks and the Romans. Even the Moors inhabited Eze for a short period in the 900s AD.
During our visit in Nice, we were delighted to find out that Eze was a short bus ride from Nice, along the same narrow coastal road made famous in the Cary Grant/Grace Kelly movie “To Catch a Thief”.
Arriving at the bus stop at the base of the village, our eyes scanned upwards to the daunting uphill climb to the walled part of the village. The climb is not for the faint of heart, so take your time if you are not an active person.
Arriving in the walled part of the village, you encounter narrow streets paved with uneven cobblestones, buffeted by stone walls dotted with little gifts shops and cafes. Unlike cosmopolitan Nice, ritzy Monaco or glitzy Cannes, Eze is the place of the French Riviera that time forgot.
The highlight of our visit to the village is an exotic botanical garden (Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze) situated at the very top of the village, set among ancient Roman fortification ruins. From the garden vistas there are breathtaking views of both the Mediterranean on one side and picturesque hills and bluffs of the rocky French Riviera coastline on the other.
Outside of the garden, there isn’t much else that is “must see” in Eze. There is an excellent little church from 1764 that dominates the skyline of the village, but that is about it. No, Eze itself is the main attraction. It is a step back in time, a special little gem in an area that is known for physical beauty.
Eze is a perfect day trip for any visitor to the Cotes d’Azur region of France. Go; you will be glad you did.