Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Section
Eze village - French Riviera
Eze village - The Eagle’s Nest
Built 427 meters (1,401 feet) above sea level, Eze village is often referred to as 'The Eagle’s Nest' as from its location you can enjoy a great view over the Mediterranean Sea of the Côte d’Azur.
As a 'village perché' Eze is located on top of a hill on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco and is a renowned tourist site for its magnificent view, medieval village and Exotic Garden.
A historical village perché
In the war of the Spanish succession in 1706 Louis XIV had the medieval castle destroyed, as well as the walls surrounding the city.
Nevertheless, one can still admire the impressive architecture nowadays, which combines beauty and charm with its narrow streets, art galleries and little workshops.
Passing by the cafés and restaurants will make you feel like you’re back in time experiencing history from a modern perspective.
You will need to stroll mindfully in order to entirely appreciate the old stonework containing sublime details.
The local dialect, which is similar to the Monégasque language, is nearly extinct and only few local people remain in the village today.
Unless you visit in the early mornings, you will see multitudes of tourists flocking to the village’s main tourist attractions; one of which is the neoclassical church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption.
The church, which dates back to the 18th century, stands out of the 'eagle’s nest' because of its neoclassical façade.
Its interior, however, is richly decorated with trompe l'oeil paintings and creates a dramatic effect fitting for the Baroque period.
If you are up for a walk, why not consider taking the Nietzsche Path!
This picturesque path connects Eze-sur-Mer with Eze Village and acquired its name through Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) who, while staying in one of the houses of Eze, found inspiration for his writing when climbing the path.
The hike up will approximately take an hour to an hour and a half whereas the walk down usually takes 45 minutes.
The path is narrow and rocky but offers a great view over the entire area and is definitely worth a hike.
Le jardin botanique d’Eze - Exotic Garden
Another site that Nietzsche was known to have enjoyed was the Exotic Garden of the 'village perché'.
Le jardin botanique d’Eze is located at the top of the hill within the ruins of the original castle walls.
It comprises a collection of cacti and succulents, which, however, are not the main reason why numerous tourists are attracted to this site.
The panoramic view will leave you in awe of this place, just as it did with Friedrich Nietzsche when he created his outstanding work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
One can enjoy the view from comfortable wooden lounge chairs and admire the breathtaking view over the Mediterranean Sea, Nice, the Esterel Massif and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Besides plants many sculptures of women by Jean-Philippe Richard can be found in the garden.
All in all, the Exotic Garden is probably the most popular site of Eze and offers the most interesting spots to take pictures.
Even if one may not meet many locals when visiting Eze village, this beautiful town will let you immerse in its medieval history.
When wandering the twisting paths leading up to the Exotic garden, you will experience the charm of little shops and galleries as it is typical of a 'village perché'.
Both climbing the Nietzsche path and enjoying its view over the sea are known to be very inspiring. If you believe in the Nietzsche magic, you might just want to do the same.
How to get to Eze village?
Accessing Eze village can be tricky if you arrive by train since the train station is located in Eze-sur-Mer whereas the village is on top of the hill, a hike of an hour away.
Either be ready to mount the Nietzsche Path or take Bus N° 83 up to Eze village.
In case you arrive from Nice, I recommend taking Bus N° 82 which will also take you to the medieval village. In any case, the bus ticket costs € 1,50 (rate 2019) and is probably worth it for it least one way.