The French Riviera needs no introduction. It is known worldwide. Cannes, St. Tropes or Monaco are famous as a summer destination for many celebrities. We, in turn, decided o take a different approach. Instead of visiting the obvious, popular spots, we explored the region to find something unique. And we discovered that this beautiful coast hides surprising gems - magnificent little towns, virtually unknown, without hordes of tourists. One of such town is Eze - beautifully situated on a steep hill that overlooks the intensely blue Mediterranean sea.
How to get to Eze
Eze is a medieval town located between Nice and Monaco. Getting there is extremely easy, cheap and convenient. You can take a public bus that takes you right to the town from Nice in around 40 minutes. This is what we did. It won't cost more than 2 EUR. On the way, you can admire some beautiful views over the coast and brightly colorful houses of the riviera. The journey itself is very pleasant. Note that all the photos here were taken in the middle of winter - in January. It's great to visit such places in low season as it has a more local feel and it's definitely less crowded.
What to see in Eze
Eze itself is tiny so to visit the whole town you will need only a couple of hours. The bus stops right in front of the old town and the tourist information center (number 1 on the map) but I would recommend that you either get off one stop earlier or just walk back down the winding road in order to get the best, postcard view of Eze overlooking from the side.
The first thing you'll see after entering the old town is the medieval church of the Holy Cross - Chapelle de la Sainte Croix (number 2 on the map). It dates back to the beginning of the 14th century and is the oldest building in the village.
When you've visited the church, head up to see the Exotic Gardens (number 3 on the map) full of succulents and cacti. The garden itself wouldn't be anything special, however, what makes it so amazing is the view - the exotic plants with red tile roofs of the old town and the turquoise Mediterranean Sea in the background. Unbelievably beautiful view, probably the best I've seen in the French Riviera. The entry fee to the gardens is 6 EUR (7 USD) but it's worth it.
Exit the gardens and get lost into the maze of little narrow streets is the Old Town (number 4 on the map). This part is exceptionally nice, it has the typical medieval atmosphere and the way the buildings are connected with the rocky cliff walls is incredible. It's also a great place to have some rest and enjoy a meal as the next part will be a bit tiring -however don't miss it.
Now, to go back, you have two options. You can either take the bus back or there's a much better way - to walk down the Nietzsche's footpath - number 5 on the map to the train station (note that you can also do the visit the other way around, but hiking up will be a bit more difficult). I marked the train station as number 6. This little trail provides breathtaking, bird's eye views of the area (especially the turquoise Papaya beach) - I would highly recommend that you do it.
When you reach the station, before taking the bus or train back - go and have some relaxing time at the beautiful Papaya beach (number 7 on the map) which you admired from up above while in Eze village. It's a rocky - not sandy beach, but very pleasant with crystal clear water.
Eze was so beautiful that if you asked me - you can skip Cannes or Monaco but don't skip Eze!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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