If there’s a region in France you should not miss visiting, it’s the South of France. It’s where the scenic beauty, historical sites, and quaint villages exist together. Eze is one of the places in the South of France to prove these.
Eze is a village perched on a hill in the French Riviera to give you one of the best panoramas of the Mediterranean sea. It is a renowned destination for honeymooners for its exceptional romantic views, and straight-out-of-a-movie preserved medieval buildings.
But are these enough to say that Eze is worth visiting? What are the things to do in Eze that can be reasons to go there? Worry no more because, in this blog post, you will know!
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Use the table of contents to skip to topics.
By the end of this article, you should have learned the best things to do in Eze, and you’ll be able to decide for yourself if Eze is worth it or not. If you can’t choose, I’ll tell you my opinion if you should visit Eze to help you further.
You can use the table of contents to jump to the list of best things to do in Eze or skip to my opinion about if Eze is worth visiting.
Anyway, if you realize you want to visit Eze or you are already in Eze, this post has your back! I included the practical information for each attraction/experience in Eze. You should find reading this article very helpful! 🙂
So, stay tuned until the end!
Before anything else, let’s first discuss the basics about Eze as a destination. This information should help you make a decision to visit Eze or not.
Let’s begin with the question, where exactly is Eze in the South of France?
Eze is a commune located in France’s southeasternmost corner, 22 kilometers away from the Italian border, within the Alpes-Maritimes department. When you check the map, you will find Eze sandwiched between Nice and Monaco—the places where day trips to Eze begin.
Yep, you read it right! Eze is not only a village but a commune (or township). And for straightforward understanding, we can say that Eze has two parts: the “old Eze” perched on a mountaintop and the “modern Eze” or “Eze-Sur-Mer” located near the beach.
When we say Eze Village, we often refer to Vieux Eze or the medieval village of Eze built on top of the mountain. It is the quaint part of Eze, the main attraction of the commune.
Built on a mountain that’s 427 meters above sea level, Vieux Eze is seen from afar like an eagle’s nest. This is why so many people describe it as the “Eagle’s Nest” village.
However, Vieux Eze is now more famous as the “Museum Village.” All because of its preserved medieval state, which seems like an open museum, and the numerous art museums found within the village.
Lastly, if you plan to arrive at Eze via train, you still have to ride bus #83 to quickly reach Eze Village. Alternatively, you can hike from Eze train station to Eze Village through Chemin de Nietzsche.
We’ll discuss the hiking trails later. But, now that you know the basics, it’s time to tackle the details!
Best Things To Do In Eze
When choosing our next destination, we look at the experiences and attractions the city/town/village has. In this part, we’ll discuss what you can see and do in Eze to help determine if you need to include Eze in your itinerary.
The main attraction in the Eze is the Medieval Eze Village, but it does not end there. Below, I’ll show you the quick list summary of the things to do in Eze to give you an overview of what you’ll read:
- Le Jardin Exotique — Visit the garden with exotic plants on top of Eze.
- Stroll in Vieux Èze — Explore the Vieux Eze and see all the beautiful scenes within the medieval village.
- Église d’Èze (Èze Church) — Admire the architecture and spend a relaxing time in silence
- Visit Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine Laboratoire — Discover the perfume industry using the techniques used by the Arabs for more than one thousand years now.
- Hike Mount Bastide — Behold the breathtaking views of the mountains and the sea!
- Chemin de Nietzsche (Nietzsche hiking trail) — Another scenic hike that links Vieux Eze and the Èze-sur-Mer (seaside).
- Parsec-Astrorama — Witness the sky through various telescopes at a perfect spot in the mountains
- Fort de la Revère — Visit a historic and scenic landmark near Eze
- Eze Beach — Relax on a serene pebble beach
- Moyenne Corniche — Road trip to one of the most scenic roads in the South of France.
Here are some of my recommended tours and guides to help you have fun in Eze (and in the French Riviera):
You can go to the end of this post to know what I think about Eze (is Eze worth visiting?) or continue learning more about each attraction/experience mentioned above.
Le Jardin Exotique
1 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
Let’s kick off the list with the place with the most breathtaking views in Vieux Eze — Le Jardin Exotique.
Le Jardin Exotique is the garden located on the village’s highest point. And as its name suggests, it is a garden filled with exotic plants from different parts of the Mediterranean and desert regions. But there’s more!
Visiting Le Jardin Exotique is like hitting three birds with one stone. You will see breathtaking views of the French Riviera and discover rare plant species. The site is actually a castle ruins to give you some throwback vibes.
The castle was built by the lords of Eze back in the 12th century. If it survived the past wars and conflicts, it would already be more than 800 years old. I can imagine how fairytale-ish Eze would be right now if the castle still existed.
Although the castle is gone, you can still feel the “magic” when visiting.
The houses’ tile-roofed appearances, which you can see below the vantage points, should make a visit to the garden feel more like time-transporting to medieval times. Le Jardin Exotique also has some maiden sculptures that add to the medieval flair of the place.
However, if you’re a plant lover, you should find Le Jardin Exotique even more fascinating. You’ll discover odd, cute, strange-looking plants and learn about them!
The plants in Le Jardin Exotique have their QR codes. You can scan those QR codes with your smartphones. The information about the plant should show up on your screens.
In summary, most of the plants you’ll find in Le Jardin Exotique are succulent. Their family species range from Agavaceae to Saxifragaceae, coming from regions that go as far as Madagascar, China, and Mexico.
The last time I checked the official website of Le Jardin Exotique, the entry fee indicated was 6 EUR/adult. Then, the opening hours vary per month/season. See details below:
- 9:00 am to 4:30 pm — November to March
- 9:00 am to 6:30 pm — April to June, October
- 9:00 am to 7:30 pm — July to September
Are you also interested in gardens in a city? Often they are elegant and full of heritage. Paris has several of these gardens, and one also of them belongs to my list of unmissable places to visit during a trip to Paris. Don’t forget to learn about the rest!
Stroll in Vieux Èze
2 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
If there’s something totally unmissable in Eze, it’s a stroll in its preserved village. Vieux Eze is the main reason to visit Eze for. Here, your physical body and imagination will travel into the world of medieval quaintness.
It’s the part of Eze to give you the best “escapism” experience you might be looking for. Be excited to come because it’s gonna feel like a new reality here. Problems and worries will be gone for quite a while.
And suppose you have fantasies, like the movies set in the middle ages you watched or fairytales you always think about. In that case, Vieux Eze is where they can possibly come true! Just let your imagination do its work. 😀
Vieux Eze’s stone-bricked houses, walls covered with flowering vines, ceramic pathways, arches, and curvy metal decorations are all straight out of the scenes in tales and myths.
The old-fashioned house lanterns and landmarks in Vieux Eze are too captivating for my old “wanderlust” soul. If you have the same, clean up your camera’s digital storage because Eze will fill them with numerous new photos and videos!
What can surprise you in Vieux Eze are the cute shops and museums tucked in the charming narrow streets of Eze. It’s like museum inception, entering another museum from an (open) museum.
A while ago, I mentioned that Eze can give you the best “escapism” experience you might be looking for in your travels. But did you know where else you could find it? It’s in Colmar. Learn about Colmar and the reasons why you should visit.
Église d’Èze (Èze Church)
3 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
Now that the castle in Eze no longer exists, the only major landmark in Vieux Eze is Église d’Èze or Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption. It is the structure, specifically the clock tower, that you can quickly see even if you’re still on the road to Eze.
Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption dates back to the 18th century and manifests neoclassical architecture (outside). It does not parallel the extravagant churches in France’s primary cities. Still, you can have a lot of quiet and peaceful moments here.
Another church stood in the same spot where Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption is built today. It was damaged by previous wars but was rebuilt to what you can see when you visit Eze.
Although time and human conflict changed its physical appearance, beauty still exists in it. Like Vieux Eze, Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption interiors are like a museum filled with religious artworks.
The murals inside Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption exhibit trompe-l’oeil Baroque style. They make this 3D effect that can be deceiving yet seems magical in appearance.
Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption has several chapels where you can see canvases of saints, framed stuccoes, and faux marbles. Appreciating them should give you hints into the kind of the beauty of art the residents of Eze had in mind during the enlightenment age.
Speaking of churches, one of the most historical churches in France is located in Reims. It was in Notre Dame de Reims that the kings of France were crowned. Notre Dame de Reims is totally historical and, frankly, stunning also! I have 10 Fantastic Reasons To Visit Reims and the cathedral is only one of them.
Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine laboratoire
4 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
From Église d’Èze’s front yard, you can see an overlooking view of the area where the Eze bus stop, parking lot, and various shops and restaurants are. In that place, you can also find the next attraction in Eze: Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine Laboratoire.
As its name suggests, Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine Laboratoire is where the Fragonard brand products are developed and made. This enormous factory laboratory of perfumes and cosmetics is open to anyone who wants to bless their nostrils with a smell of luring goodness.
Did you know? Fragonard is one of the best French perfume brands, famous for its quality yet affordable price. It uses a traditional technique used by the Arabs that dates back to the 8th century.
A visit to the Fragonard factory laboratory will give you insights into how the brand’s creams and other skin care products are made. The manufacturing techniques that have been used and improved since antiquity will be yours to discover.
If you’re aware of the process of making whiskey, you will find making perfumes surprisingly similar. You will be given an enormous amount of information during a tour, but it won’t overload you. Just very educational.
Going to the Fragonard factory laboratory in Eze is not only about “just seeing” their machines and collection of perfume products. They also offer games and workshops, like making your own soap or testing your nose with olfactory games.
For budget travelers, you’ll like to come to the Fragonard factory because there’s no entry fee, and the guided tour is also free. You will be accompanied by an expert who can explain it all.
According to the Fragonard Parfumeur’s website, they conduct guided tours every hour from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm (closing time is 6:45 pm). If you want to join, you only have to go to their reception desk (no online reservation).
Hike Mount Bastide
5 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
The scent in Parfumerie Fragonard L’Usine Laboratoire can really please our olfactory senses. But, so as the scent of fresh air!
Eze is surrounded by mountains and beaches, and there you can find less to no pollution at all. Most importantly, you will not only get to breathe fresh air, but breathtaking views will also be there for you to behold!
One of the nearest nature destinations from Eze Village is Mount Bastide.
Hiking to Mount Bastide can realistically take 1 hour to finish (one-way), covering up to nearly 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of a hiking trail to the top. Most parts of the hiking trail are flat; only the mid section is inclined (30%+ gradient).
Overall there will be a 190-meter (623 feet) elevation gain from Eze to reach Mount Bastide’s 570-meter high peak.
You can check this map to guide you well:
The path is rocky and surrounded by shrubs, though.
Hiking to Mount Bastide from Eze Village should feel like a refreshing hike, especially when you reach the top. The view is very scenic along the way and to the summit.
The view on top of Mount Bastide includes the seaside Eze, the turquoise beaches of the French Riviera, and all the way to Villefranche-Sur-Mer and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat peninsulas. Here’s a 360-view of the scenery from the summit of Mount Bastide:
Chemin de Nietzsche (Nietzsche hiking trail)
6 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
Aside from Mount Bastide, another nature activity you can try in Eze is hiking the Nietzsche hiking trail. It is the track that connects Eze-Sur-Mer and Vieux Eze. And like hiking Mount Bastide, you can expect breathtaking views from here.
Maybe, you are also wondering why it is called the Nietzsche hiking trail? I actually found it weird because its name is German, and we’re all talking about the South of France here.
The reason goes back to the late 19th century when the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche went to Eze to be a free philosopher. Also, to find a warmer place to live to ease his migraines. Can you guess what happened?
Friedrich Nietzsche’s decision to stay in Eze made him really better!
He even said, “I slept well, I laughed a lot, and I found marvelous vigor and patience.” And because of this, he was able to finish his book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” which has parts inspired by Eze, most notably the scenic mountain trail locals then called “Le Chemin de Nietzsche.”
With the breathtaking coastline view and tranquil forest trails, there’s no doubt why Friedrich Nietzsche got healing and inspiration on this mountain trail.
So, if you want to experience a sample of nature’s touch that Nietzsche had, Eze is the destination you can put in your options!
Then, if you want to relax on a beach after exploring the charming Vieux Eze, Chemin de Nietzsche is the mountain trail to hike.
Hiking Chemin de Nietzsche from Vieux Eze is less demanding than the Mount Bastide hike because of its downward slope (350-meter/1148-feet elevation difference). The path is primarily rocky, but some parts are made into stairs.
The hiking trail extends slightly more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). And It can take you 45 minutes to 1 hour to finish hiking Chemin de Nietzsche from Vieux Eze to Eze-Sur-Mer beach.
You can use this map to guide you further if you want to hike Chemin de Nietzsche from Vieux Eze to Eze-Sur-Mer beach and vice versa:
7 out of 10 Things To Do in Eze
If it’s summer or if you just want to relax with the calming sound of the sea, going to Eze Beach is a nice thing to do. South of France has many beaches, but if you’re looking for a less-touristy beach, Eze has one.
There are reasons why Eze beach has fewer tourists compared to the other beaches around. First, it’s only a pebble beach. Also, Eze beach is long, yet the part where you can walk is relatively narrow.
Nevertheless, Eze beach is clean, and the views are lovely. You can see the rocky mountains and hills right there from the coast. At the same time, the water is very clear.
If you plan to come to Eze beach, you must bring appropriate footwear, so you don’t feel uncomfortable walking on the pebbles. There are fewer shops around too, so you might want to bring your own food for a picnic.
There are resorts and beach hotels along the beach if you need hospitality. Anyhow, here’s a sample 360-degree view of Eze beach:
8 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
When traveling to the French Riviera with kids, one of the experiences they can enjoy is offered by Astrorama. It’s the place dubbed the “true balcony to the stars,” which is just a 10-minute drive from Eze Village.
Astrorama is managed by parsec, an association of scientific mediation in the fields of Astronomy and Space. With their help, you and your kid can discover so much about outer space.
Attending the program prepared by Astrorama includes a range of knowledge-gathering sessions and actual experiences. There are planetarium sessions and activities to let you discover constellations.
What do I think is the best part? It’s when you and your kid will be given a chance to observe the stars, sun, and moon with their sophisticated telescopes and instruments.
Then, if you want a space observation tool of your own, the experts in Astrorama advise you on what you should buy and teach you how to use it.
Astrorama is located 650 meters above sea level, in the mountains and hills, slightly away from the light pollution from the city—perfect for watching the night sky. Have a look at where Astrorama is:
Remember that you must come to Parsec Astrorama when you know the weather will be okay. Cloud cover can bum the experience. Have your weather app checked before going, or come during the summer when the skies are typically clear.
You can learn more about the programs of Astrorama, the schedule of activities, and reservation tools from their official website (in French).
Fort de la Revère
9 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
Fort de la Revere is a hidden gem destination with historical value and breathtaking views in Eze. It is one of the favorite picnic grounds of locals where you can see an overlooking panorama of the Mediterranean sea all the way to the city of Nice.
If the skies are clear, the view from Fort de la Revere reaches as far as Cap Corse peninsula on Corsica island—180 kilometers away (112 miles).
Located at an altitude of 696 meters (2283 feet), you can expect the view from Fort de la Revere to be much more breathtaking than what you can see from Eze Village. In fact, you can observe Eze Village here with the sea as its backdrop.
The history of Fort de la Revere dates back to the end of the 19th century—the time the French discovered this site perfect for guarding the skies of the city of Nice.
You can find the fort quite fascinating to explore, especially if you want to discover in-person forms of military architecture. You can notice that the fort’s roof is actually soil and grass, making it hard to detect by plane bombers.
Like Mount Bastide, Fort de la Revere can also be a hiking destination from Eze Village. The hiking trail in between these two places stretches for 2.2 kilometers (1.36 miles) with a 330-meter overall elevation gain.
If you’ve been hiking for some time, you can finish Eze Village to Fort de la Revere within an hour. It’s more difficult than hiking Mount Bastide, though. Here’s the map to guide you further:
Hey! I just want to share. If you’re interested in military or defensive structures, you should check out the beautiful city of Strasbourg (I have 22 reasons for you to visit Strasbourg). It has a dam mechanism used to make the river around its old city into a giant moat to keep enemies from entering the city.
10 out of 10 Things To Do In Eze
If you are visiting Eze with a car, you should not miss driving along Moyenne Corniche. It is one of the most scenic roads on the French Riviera, yet feels safer to drive than the Grande Corniche.
Moyenne Corniche is the road overlooking Eze-Sur-Mer, a few hundred meters above sea level, and is parallel to Eze beach. If you want to see the entire road, you’ll be driving for more or less 25 kilometers (15.5 miles), starting from Nice all the way past Monaco.
There are a lot of incredible photo opportunities in Moyenne Corniche. If you have a car, you can park your car at some points along the road. Often, the best spots have a wide road shoulder that is really intended for sightseeing.
Have this part of Moyenne Corniche near Eze as an example:
You can swipe the 360-image above to see more views. Click the forward arrow to navigate along Moyenne Corniche.
If you can’t drive, you can try riding on a French Riviera Bus LR112 (Nice to Beausoleil Route). It passes through Moyenne Corniche. You can check the schedule from moovitapp.com.
Is Èze Worth Visiting?
All travelers have different preferences regarding the destinations they want to visit. In my case, I like historical, old, scenic attractions—places that let me escape reality, fill myself with awe, introspect in tranquility, and, most importantly, grow.
If that’s also what you like, I think you’ll find Eze worth visiting! The German philosopher Nietzsche attests to that, right?!
Without a doubt, Eze is not for everybody. But, if I am asked again, in general without my biased preference, “is Eze worth visiting?” I would say:
Having one of France’s most beautiful medieval villages and the French Riviera’s most breathtaking scenery makes it easy to say that Eze is worth visiting. In addition to that are the free Fragonard factory tours, relaxing beaches, breathtaking hikes, and scenic drives that all make visiting Eze more worthwhile.
Also, Eze is not hard to visit at all, especially if you’re already in Nice or Monaco. Eze is just one train ride away from those cities.
However, if you are coming from other cities far from Eze (i.e. Lyon and Avignon), you don’t have to travel far and waste your time. South of France, in particular, has a lot of charming small towns and villages equivalent to the awe-inspiring medieval beauty you can find in Eze.
Take a look at the list below I prepared for you. May this help you decide if you should really add Eze to your itinerary or visit another:
|Gordes||A scenic hilltop village with a view of the picturesque Luberon Regional Nature Park.|
|Eze||A romantic hilltop village with an overlooking view of the coast of the French Riviera|
|Rocamadour||A breathtaking pilgrimage site and historical village in Lot Department. I really recommend Rocamadour.|
|Moustiers-Sainte-Marie||A village sitting by the foothills and nearest to the spectacular Verdon Gorge (Grand Canyon of France).|
|Aigues Mortes||A walled village with imposing gates located in the wildlife-rich Camargue Regional Nature Park.|
|Carcassonne||The village/town with 2 preserved medieval walls and 2 UNESCO sites. It’s also one of the most popular destinations in France|
|Chamonix||The village/town with the most panoramic views of the Alps in the South of France.|
|Domme||A quaint village in Dordogne Valley known for its honey-colored houses.|
|Saint-Paul de Vence||A village in the French Riviera, home to countless artworks tucked in its preserved medieval narrow lanes.|
|Saint-Cirq Lapopie||A charming village with half-timbered houses overlooking Lot River.|
You may click the names of the villages to learn more. Alternatively, you can also read my article about the Most Beautiful Villages in the South of France for a brief summary of each village.
I also want to share with you the town called Annecy—my favorite city in France. It’s a scenic place that also has a charming historic center, where you can discover some history. I think that you’ll love hanging out at its lake (Lake Annecy). Learn more from my post “10 Reasons Why Visit Annecy.”
Helpful Links In Visiting Eze
South of France, particularly Eze, is an unmissable place to visit! If you wish to stay for a night in Eze or Nice, you can use this link to conveniently bring you to a hotel search app/website.
I recommend you get your accommodation in Nice, especially if you want to see more places in the South of France. Not only does Nice have the amenities, but it’s in this city where the tours typically start (i.e., meeting place, transportation hub).
Do you need help getting around Eze or Nice to see the unmissable attractions?
There are tour packages that let you see not only Eze but also Nice, Monte Carlo, and Monaco—it’s the best deal! You also have options to visit the best attractions in the French Riviera (of course, Eze is included) by road or by boat!
If you are interested in the tours to Eze and the French Riviera, you may check this list of tours/guides for more information.
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Hello, before you go, I just want you to know that I have articles that can help you discover and visit different places worldwide. Mostly, they are about historical cities and scenic attractions. You may click the images below to find your next fantastic destination!
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