If you’re looking for a French Riviera day trip with to-die-for views, a hint of glamour and a magic age-old feel, Eze is the place. It’s an easy day trip from Nice or Monaco, and a must-see for anyone visiting the Cote d’Azur.
It’s a fascinating medieval village perched on a steep rock above the sea. It’s also one of the best places to go hiking in the area.
The medieval village
Eze, located on the Cote d’Azur between Nice and Monte Carlo, is known for its stunning landscapes, medieval architecture and charming shops. This village is a popular tourist destination, with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
It is perched high above the sea on a rocky outcrop, with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean coast. The ruins of the 12th century castle are the focal point of the village.
Although a picturesque town, Eze has seen its share of troubles throughout history. It was shaped by Romans, Moors and the House of Savoy.
The village has been referred to as an “eagle’s nest” because of its location overlooking a high cliff 427 metres (1,401 feet) above sea level on the French Mediterranean. A light ochre church (Notre Dame de l’Assomption built in 1764) sits on the clifftop, while an Egyptian cross inside suggests the village’s ancient roots. Traditionally, the territory of Monaco was considered to begin in Eze, running along the Mediterranean coast to Menton, on the present Italian border.
The castle ruins
Eze is a tiny medieval village perched on top of a hill overlooking the pristine Mediterranean Sea. Its sweeping views are one of the main reasons why so many tourists come to visit this beautiful French Riviera destination.
The castle ruins in the highest part of the village are a must-see. They offer spectacular views of the surrounding coastline and are a strong testament to the town’s historic past.
You’ll find the ruins of La Revere Fort, a 12th-century castle destroyed by King Louis XIV in 1706. Today, you can walk around the ruins to get a glimpse into its ancient past.
The castle ruins in Eze are an ideal place to escape the bustle of the city and take a moment to reflect. There are a few spots in the garden to sit and enjoy the views and contemplate life, or you can climb up to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the area.
The Exotic Garden
One of the most popular attractions in Eze is the exotic garden, a botanical paradise that was created after World War II. Here you’ll discover cacti, succulents and sculptures by Jean Philippe Richard.
It was a challenge to build this garden because the terrain is very steep and everything had to be brought up by mule or man, including soil and rocks for terraces. The south side is devoted to cacti, aloes and succulents but the north side has more Mediterranean species.
The exotic garden has also been extended with a waterfall and pond. In addition to its charm, the garden is a great place to relax under subtropical plantations and take in an exceptional view over the town of Eze and the Cote d’Azur.
This is a must for any Cote d’Azur itinerary! Go early, if possible, to make the most of this breathtaking spot.
The Fragonard perfume factory
Fragonard perfumes are made from essential oils that are distilled from flowers grown on the French Riviera. These are then blended with other natural and synthetic ingredients to create modern fragrances that we use every day.
- The fragrance industry in Southern France is a massive one. This includes a number of factories that produce soaps, perfumes and cosmetics in Eze and Grasse, a small village in the hills north of Cannes/Nice.
- Free tours of the perfume factory in Eze take place daily and include a visit to a museum which has some historical equipment and displays that illustrate how different scents were developed over time. You also get to see the tanks used to extract fragrances and baskets for filtering the perfume.
- You can also attend a perfume workshop here to learn how to compose your own eau de cologne. This is a great way to experience the art of perfume making and is a good choice for people who want a unique experience in Eze.