A Guide to visiting Eze, France’s beautiful Medieval village

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So much for the 330 days of sunshine out of 365! We’d somehow managed to time our 4 day visit to the French Riviera to coincide with the area’s rare no sunshine days. And even worse it wasn’t just cloudy, it was raining. Again.

After spending a wonderful couple of days in (rainy) Nice, it was time to head for a day trip. There was one top choice for me, beautiful Eze. I’d seen many photos of the beautiful blue sea and incredible views, and whilst in the rain it was undoubtedly not as beautiful as the pictures, I still think it’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever visited and would highly recommend it as a day trip.

Views along the coast on the way up to Eze

  1. Contents
  2. How to get to Eze from Nice
  3. Things to do in Eze
    1. Stroll the Old Town
    2. Visit the Jardin Exotique
    3. Hike the Nietzsche Way
    4. Enjoy the traditional food and markets of Eze
    5. See more of the French Riviera
  4. Other Important Information

There are three ways to get from Nice to Eze.

  • By Car – Eze is easily accessible by car, and the journey provides stunning views along the French Riviera. From Nice, take the A8 motorway, then exit at Eze and follow the signs to the village. You will have to park outside the village in the local car park as it is pedestrianised, and the short walk up is steep. Car parking is limited so if you’re driving it’s important to arrive early (pre 10am).
  • By Bus* – There are two bus routes from Nice to Eze – route 112 and 82 which leave from Vauban bus station semi regularly (though there is a less frequent service on Sundays and holidays). Both routes drop you off just outside the village centre.
  • By Train* – The nearest train station is Eze-sur-Mer, which is a short 15 minute trip along the coast from Nice Ville train station. However, this option drops you at the bottom of a hill with a 5km, heavy climb in front of you – so you can either get an Uber up to the village or face some strenuous exercise to start the day. Even in low season, the train was packed so full we were squished in, so I do recommend the bus.

*Note: Buying both bus and train tickets in Nice was challenging.

For the bus, it took us a good hour to figure out where the bus stop at Vauban even was and buy our tickets! Please check online at lignesdazur.com for both schedule and departure point maps ahead of time so you don’t get caught out like we did.

For the train, you will need to go to the blue ticket machines at Nice Ville station. They require operation with a circular toggle button, and there are no staff on hand to help. Even in low tourist season, queues were 15 people deep. It took us around 45 mins to buy tickets! (Note, you can buy tickets online however the QR codes did not allow us through the ticket gates and there were no staff to let us through so we had to purchase tickets from the machine anyway).

(Ah Germany, how I miss you).

At the entrance to Eze Old Town

Eze is a beautiful hilltop town founded in Medieval times. It’s famous for its location overlooking the French Riviera, between Monaco and Nice. It was fortified in the 1300s by The House of Savoy and over the years the area has passed hands between Italy and France multiple times.

Strolling the Old Town is one of the best things to do along the whole Cote D’Azur, and it really didn’t disappoint. Highlights include the ancient Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, peaking in to the luxury hotels in the town like Chateau Eza for a drink, and all the winding streets.

Looking down on the Chapel

The exotic garden is located in the original medieval fortress right at the top of the village. Set 450 metres above sea level it provides stunning views out to sea. Even better it’s home to a huge array of cacti and beautiful flowers, all amongst the ruins of the fortress.

Not the majestic blue normally seen from the top, but beautiful anyway!
More garden views

If you come in by train and decide to hike, it’s the Nietzsche Way you’ll be walking. Not ones for scrimping on our steps, we decided to hike up and then get the bus back down. It was brutal – over 5km of pure ascent without much of a path. Even more fun in the rain (not!).

Living the dream with just a towel for protection as I had no coat with me (fail)!!!

If you want the hike without the exhaustion, I recommend getting the bus up and the hike down. It’s beautiful and provides stunning views.

Views in the rain (there’s sea in there somewhere!)

On Sunday morning, Eze has a small market selling lots of local produce. The region is famous for olives and olive oil, as well as traditional breads, chocolates and flowers. We went to an olive oil tasting to escape the heaviest spell of rain, and it was lots of fun.

If you have the time and aren’t doing the hike, or have a car so it’s a bit quicker to get around, you can explore more of the French Riviera in the same day. Or choose to stay a night in Eze and explore a bit more widely.

  • Villefrance-sur-mer: Just 2 train stops along the coast and a 5 minute walk is this beautiful village, particularly so on a hot day for a visit to the beach.
  • Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild: Just one train stop and a 30 minute walk away is the stunning Villa, with its extensive gardens and interesting history.
  • Nice: If you’re staying in Eze you could take a trip back to Nice
  • Monaco: Only 20 minutes by train is Monaco, another perfect place to spend a day or half a day if that’s all you have.
Picture perfect Villefranche-sur-mer

  • If you’re intending to walk to/from the train station, be sure to wear comfortable footwear. You won’t be able to complete the hike in sandals.
  • Arrive in Eze early as it does get busy. Even on a rainy day it was pretty packed so I dread to think what it would be like in summer.
  • Eze is not suitable for those with mobility issues. It’s very steep and full of steps with no accessibility support.
  • Make sure you have cash with you – the markets and many of the shops/restaurants only take cash.

What do you think of Eze on a grey and rainy day? I absolutely loved it and whilst I wish it could have been sunnier, it was still beautiful. Thanks for reading – stay safe and happy travelling!

21 responses to “A Guide to visiting Eze, France’s beautiful Medieval village”

  1. I really enjoyed visiting Eze and have been twice now. The last time we also had great difficulty locating the bus stop in Nice, it was very confusing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s amazing you’ve been twice – I do love it there too, apart from the buses! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Èze is pretty, no matter what weather you visit it in. I went during the hot summer period years ago as a kid, and I enjoyed it! The small, medieval town vibes are so charming, and I’m glad you made the most of it, despite the rain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really such a charming place isn’t it – even in the rain was beautiful so I can only imagine on a beautiful summer’s day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even in the rain Eze looks beautiful! What a delight to spend some days adventuring with a friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really lovely, and a great day trip with my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bummer about the rain. Eze still looks lovely though. The exotic garden sounds pretty cool with all the cacti among the ruins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really beautiful, in spite of the rain. The garden was super unique and fun to explore! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so pretty! I’ve never even heard of Eze, but I can see why you chose it. That’s frustrating that it was rainy though, and your ticket purchasing experiences sound rather unpleasant too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yet another magical spot. You are spoiled for choice. Thanks for the inspiration, Mel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many beautiful places across Europe, and just not enough time to get to them all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you are only young and I am sure you will visit them all before you arrive at the nursing home! 🙂


  7. I just love Èze; it’s all of France’s best rolled up for our enjoyment. I’m sorry to hear that the weather was rainy for your visit, but it sounds like you had a good time. I would go back in a heartbeat; it’s just so gorgeous. Lovely post Hannah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree with that, it’s like France in a microcosm. I’d go back too – hopefully in the sunshine next time! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How pretty! I went to Eze when I worked in Nice one summer, but I don’t remember any of this, so now I’m unsure what exactly I did all day! 🤨😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw lovely – hehe you’ll just have to go back! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Medieval is marvelous, and you’ve captured such beautiful scenery, Hannah 🙂 Vintage structures, trails to hike, scenic vistas…wow!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It still looks so pretty despite the rain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in the sunshine…but probably also a lot more crowded!


  11. If it looks so beautiful on a rainy day, then Eze is definitely a place one should visit! I love the Old Town streets and the garden views from high above (and yes, I could definitely see a few splashes of colour on your grey day – not a wasted day at all).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was Corna, such a lovely old town and amazing to see such ancient buildings. Even in the rain, it was a really lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

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About the author

Hi! My name is Hannah, I’m a travel blogger from the UK who fits travel around a full time (and full on) job. In this blog I share my adventures around the world and hopefully help you to find some inspiration for destinations, things to do or places to stay. Thanks for stopping by – stay safe and happy travelling.

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