What is more attractive than a village perched on a hill, full of charming houses, and has sceneries of the sea? Perhaps none! The name of that town is Èze, and it is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Èze is a famous tourist site on the French Riviera, loved by many wanderers and couples doing honeymoon. There are many quaint structures in the village, from houses to shops, art galleries, and many more!
There are also historical buildings and attractions can be found in Èze. Some of them were built as early as 1306. History lovers will surely be glad to come to Èze, as well!
In this blog post, you will discover the best things to do in Èze as well as the answers to the most frequently asked questions by travelers.
Facts and information (i.e., opening hours, etc.) are based on the official website of Èze unless stated.
I created this post because I’m so captivated by the French countryside, especially medieval villages. Nevertheless, I hope everything in this blog help you plan, visit, and enjoy Èze!
Have safe travels!
Introduction to Eze
Èze is a village in southern France, located in French Riviera or the Mediterranean coast of eastern France. Because it is built on a high hill with an elevation of 427 meters or 1401 feet, people described Èze as the “Eagle’s Nest.”
The village is situated at a high elevation that even from afar, people could see its light. One that is very noticeable at night is the light from Norte Dame de l’Assomption.
Aside from “Eagle’s Nest,” Èze is also called a “museum village” because of the numerous art exhibits, shops, and others that can be found in the village. The village seems like a vast museum because of its preserved medieval houses with terracotta roofs, narrow lanes, calades, archways, and more.
Èze is situated between Nice and Monaco. People often come here on a day trip, but you can always get accommodation and stay for the night.
What is Èze famous for?
Èze is most known for its panoramic view and medieval charm. The picturesque streets and the quaint houses keep the wanderers strolling for hours. At the same time, the scenic views, especially during sunset, make the lovers fall more deeply in love with each other.
Now that you know what and where Èze is, it’s now time to go through to the different things to do in Èze. Alright!
What to do in Èze France?
In this section, you will see the list of things to do in Èze.
Remember that Èze isn’t only the village at the top of the hill. It is a commune that includes even the beaches on the coast.
There might be simple things to do inside the quaint village, but numerous activities await in other parts of Èze! In this list, I mention the things to do within Èze hilltop village first, then the activities outside.
Here is the summary of things to do in Èze:
- Le Jardin Exotique
- Stroll in Vieux Èze
- Église d’Èze (Èze Church)
- Visit Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine laboratoire
- Hike Mount Bastide
- Moyenne Corniche (Bridge)
- Chemin de Nietzsche (Nietzsche hiking trail)
- Fort de la Revère
- Eze Beach
By the way, I wrote an article about the 10 most beautiful villages in the south of France (click here to read). Eze is one of these beautiful villages. If you love quaint villages and medieval experiences, you should also discover the others. They’re just the perfect place to satisfy your wanderlust.
Le Jardin Exotique
Let us start the list of things to do in Eze at Le Jardin Exotique or The Exotic Garden – the highest point in the village. This garden is something not to be missed on your trip to Eze village because going to this garden means three things:
- Discover exotic plants
- Explore the castle ruins
- See one of the best views of the surroundings
Yes, it’s hitting three birds in one stone!
The garden has two sections, both you can see stunning sceneries and unusual plants. Each portion is determined by the kinds of plants growing.
In the north section of the garden, you will see plants from the Mediterranean. Then, on the other half, you’ll find plants living in the desert regions.
If you want to learn more about each plant, you can scan the QR codes beside them using your phone’s camera. Information will pop up in a bit on your phone’s screen.
The view from the southern portion of the garden seems better. Looking south, you can see the meeting of land and sea. At the top, facing south, you can see a map that tells the name of the places you can spot from the garden.
Also, at the top of the garden, you will find the castle ruins. The remains were once a fortress constructed in the 12th-century, erected by the Lords of Eze. After some 500 years, conflicts between monarchs and rulers sparked, leading to war and the castle’s destruction.
Imagine how Eze would look like today if it is still in place!
Today, it’s a sightseeing spot with telescopes and benches. There are statues of maidens on a corner, as well as shaded benches where you can stay in case of scorching hot weather.
Le Jardin Exotique is open every day. Here are the opening hours for each month:
- 9am to 4:30pm – November to March
- 9am to 6:30pm – April to June
- 9am to 7:30pm – July to September
- 9am to 6:30pm – October
Entry is 6 EUR for adults. Children under 12 years old are free to enter. If you have questions/bookings, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the telephone number +33 (4) 93 41 10 30
Stroll in Vieux Èze
After sightseeing in the exotic garden, go explore the old hilltop village of Eze. In my opinion, it is the best thing to do in Eze and the main reason why people go and visit this village.
Eze is an exquisitely preserved village, and exploring it will surely make you feel that you traveled back in time. The things inside will make your fantasies come to life.
Remember the medieval movies you’ve watched? Well, in Eze village, you’re the protagonist of your own story. Wander following your nose, see every little detail. Make that story worth telling!
When you roam in the village, you will go through narrow lanes decorated with colorful flowering plants. You can spot charming old-fashioned lanterns and landmarks attached to the houses.
Don’t you ever forget to bring a camera! It’s going to be really beautiful, especially on a bright sunny day.
You can also encounter different medieval sculptures and ancient arches. There are also painting exhibits and shops where you can learn about the culture of the village.
Église d’Èze (Èze Church)
Another thing to do in Èze is to visit its church. Église d’Èze or Èze Church is located in the northern portion of the village, easily detected even from afar. It’s the most recognizable landmark once you arrive in the vicinity of the hilltop Èze village.
If you are a Catholic, it’s an excellent place to stop by and say a prayer. The Èze church is a peaceful place, and you’ll get some quiet there.
Comparing to other structures in the village, Èze church looks more modern with its neo-classical architecture. That’s because the old 12th-century church (built on the same spot) was destroyed during the wars and conflicts that ravaged the village.
Regardless, the current Èze church, rebuilt in the late 18th century, is still a marvel to be considered.
Outside, it may look simple. But when you come inside, you’ll see numerous beautiful murals and paintings of Jesus, saints, and angels.
The interiors of Èze church embody characteristics of Baroque architecture. It can be clearly seen from the dome ceiling, decorated with the paintings of the four evangelists, angels, and flowers.
Even you are not Catholic, I encourage you to visit the Èze church and discover more about the culture instilled in the village. But please respect the site. Wear decent clothes before entering.
Here is the location of Eze Church in Google Maps.
Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine laboratoire
From the site where Èze church is, you can spot the Fragonard perfumery factory and laboratory – the next destination on this list of things to do in Èze.
The Fragonard perfumery in Èze, inaugurated in 1968, is an enormous perfume factory that allows tours and experiences about perfumes and related products like creams and skincare.
Inside, you will see the different techniques used in manufacturing perfumes and other products. You will discover how raw materials are processed from extraction to distillation and so on.
The one process you will learn is the same as the traditional method the Arabs used to create perfumes. The technique is being used for already more than 12 centuries by now.
The tour inside the factory includes little games like “find-out-the-essence.” Here you can test your nose and try your sense of smell. Check out how much skill do you have in identifying different scents!
At the end of your trip inside the factory, you’ll come into a store where you can buy perfumes they made. The whole tour may look like a marketing strategy for some. But… Nevertheless, it’s for the satisfaction of the visitor’s curiosity about the secrets of French perfumery.
Hike Mount Bastide
If you enjoy the scent of the perfumes from the perfumery, you must also try the scent of fresh air in Mount Bastide. Hiking is one of the things to do in Èze that you can try.
You can expect to have not only fresh air but very scenic views as well! The trail starts from the village and ends up at the mountain’s peak, 570 meters above sea level.
On the summit, you can have an unobstructed view of the French Riviera coast. Hike during the afternoon, and you’ll see the sun dipping down the horizon over the peninsula where Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is.
The hike is easy, and hiking would not take more than half a day. Hiking is most recommended when you are staying for a night in Èze village.
Locate Mount Bastide in Google Maps.
Chemin de Nietzsche (Nietzsche hiking trail)
The Nietzsche hiking trail is an alternative to hiking Mount Bastide. It is a much better thing to do than Mount Bastide if you plan to visit the beach.
Like hiking Mount Bastide, the Nietzsche trail offers beautiful sceneries of the French Riviera Coast. The trail connects the hilltop village and the beach area of Èze.
It’s recommended that you start hiking the Nietzsche trail from the Èze hilltop village to the coastal Èze rather than doing it the other way around. It’s much easier since it’s downhill. Besides, you can return to the hilltop village effortlessly with Bus #83.
You can finish the Nietzsche trail within an hour downhill. However, you must wear hiking shoes instead of your flip-flops. The path is rocky, and it might hurt your feet.
The fun in Èze does not end in the village or in the mountains. There are many things to do in Èze, including water activities sports on the beach.
The water is crystal clear. Swimming and kayaking can be enticing during summer. However, it’s a pebble beach, not sand. Don’t set your standards too high!
There are very few restaurants and shops near the beach. It’s better to bring your own and have a picnic. There are resorts nearby you can try for a better experience on the beach.
Ultimately, it’s an excellent location to rest and have some quiet. There are very few people on the beach, so perhaps it can be your place for soothing. Enjoy hearing the crashing waves and feel the gentle breeze!
See the location of Eze Beach (Google Maps)
On the other side of Èze, back to the mountains, you can find Astrorama, a place dubbed as “a true balcony to the stars.” It is an enjoyable thing to do in Eze, especially for kids and teens.
It’s a totally different experience apart from the quaint village, beach, and hiking trails because what you’ll experience is totally out of this world! It’s going to be all about astronomy.
Astrorama is located 650 meters above sea level, perfect for sky viewing. It offers a 4-hour astronomy experience with the use of various types of telescopes.
Visitors can also enjoy planetarium shows, sun observation workshops, and other astronomy conferences.
It is an 11-minute drive from Eze village. If you prefer public transportation, you still have to talk for half an hour to reach Astrorama. Check this Google Maps route for commute directions.
Astrorama opening hours:
- 6pm to 10pm (winter time)
- 7pm to 11pm (summer time)
- Saturday evenings: From January to May and October to December
- Friday and Saturday evenings: June to July 11 and September.
- Tuesday to Friday Evenings: July 15 to August 31
Admission is 10 EUR for adults, 8 EUR for students, and free for kids under 6 years old. Create reservations from www.astrorama.net or email email@example.com
Note: the data is accurate when during the time it was written. But they are always subject to change without prior notice. Always confirm the schedule through email.
See the location of Astrorama in Google Maps.
Fort de la Revère
At the east of Parsec-Astrorama, you can find the Fort de la Revère, a historical site with panoramic views. Visiting Fort de la Revère is your thing to do in Eze if you want to see broader views of the surrounding landscape.
The fort was built in 1870 to protect Nice during World War II. Now, it usually serves as a picnic ground and leisure destination for some locals and other travelers.
The trails to Fort de la Revère are well-maintained and signposted. You can finish hiking the trail from Èze village to the Fort de la Revère in less than an hour.
The last in this list of things to do in Eze is coming to Moyenne Corniche, a scenic driveway parallel to the Eze coastline. You don’t need a car to go to this road, it is definitely reachable on foot.
From Eze, Moyenne Corniche starts from the picturesque white arched bridge heading to Nice. There are shops along the road where you can eat while enjoying the panoramic views to the south.
This can be your last stop in Eze if you are from the village heading to Nice using a car.
Is Èze Worth Visiting?
A trip to Èze, France, is packed with enjoyable experiences. Here, the fun comes from exploring a charming medieval village, viewing scenic sights, spending romantic sunsets, and discovering historical places. It’s worth a visit, especially if you are curious and you love chill activities.
How far is Èze from Nice? (Nice to Eze Village)
The city of Nice is very near to Èze. You can reach Èze from Nice (vice versa) with bus #82. Travel time is at least 40 minutes. With that, you can make a day tour to Èze from Nice.
How far is Èze from Monaco?
Èze is just 9 minutes from Monaco by train. However, to go to the quaint hilltop Èze Village, you will need another bus ride (#83). It’s going to be another 16 minutes travel time, though.
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