Eze: The Medieval Jewel of My French Adventure

June 13, 2024 Travel

My recent trip to France was a mix of experiences—the dazzling allure of Cannes, the sacred serenity of Lourdes, and the timeless charm of Paris. One of the most memorable stops on my journey was the medieval village of Eze

Perched on a hilltop with stunning views of the Mediterranean, Eze is a fairy-tale escape that feels like stepping back in time. 

My initial plan after attending the Cannes Film Festival was to take a train straight to Lourdes. But photos of Eze popped up on my social media feed. I couldn't resist the allure of stepping into a storybook setting. 


So, from Cannes, I returned to Nice. When we arrived in Nice nine days earlier from Manila, we had headed straight to Cannes. This wasn't my first time landing in Nice; years ago, I landed in Nice and immediately went to Monaco. Nice had always been just an airport to me, but this time, I finally had a good reason to stay and explore.


On my first day in Nice, I just walked around and explored. I rested and woke up early the following day to go to Eze. 


I found the most accessible route: It took the tram to the Vauban stop. I crossed the shopping area from the Vauban tram stop and went through the tunnel under the train tracks to reach the bus station. I then took bus #82, which runs from Nice to Eze.


Compared to other incredible spots on the French Riviera, Eze is not on the train line connecting the coastal cities and villages. Only Eze-sur-Mer is located on the main SNCF coastal train line, which differs from the town on my itinerary.


Upon arriving, my first stop was a local perfume laboratory for a brief tour. How did I get there? A person invited me to the entrance, and I just followed people. It was a pleasant discovery, though.


After the perfumery, I checked online to see how to get to the village. I got confused with my maps app, which pointed in a far direction. It's a good thing I decided to walk around the area. I found throngs of tourists walking toward what seemed to be the façade of a church. I followed and then found myself going up the hills.


I saw a local market selling soaps, perfumes, and dried flowers along the way. As a lover of all things scented, I couldn't resist the temptation to explore. After that, I followed the route until I found a cave-like entrance leading to Eze.


This beautiful village, dating back to the Middle Ages, is filled with winding alleyways and breathtaking views. I followed the cobblestone streets without a plan or the map's guidance. 

Exploring Eze truly feels like a step back in time. It is so far removed from the glittering image of the French Riviera with its yachts, red carpets, and opulent lifestyle. 


Eze is small and walkable, filled with art galleries, gift shops, accommodations, and cafes.


After some exploration, I arrived at the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, the highlight of Eze. 


The Jardin Exotique d’Èze is an exotic garden of cacti and succulents designed among the ruins of an ancient castle. 

It also features a series of sculptures by Jean-Philippe Richard, Earth Goddesses. Each sculpture is accompanied by a plaque with an enigmatic message. 

The first sculpture, Justine or Isis, commemorates the Egyptian goddess of fertility, whom some people credit with giving her name to the village of Eze.


The entrance fee is a few euros, but it's worth it for the spectacular views over the sea and the surrounding hills and villages.


After exploring the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, I made my way to the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. Its striking yellow exterior is hard to miss. 


This quaint church has been classified as a historical monument. It has a single nave with side chapels dedicated to a particular saint. There are several mural paintings in the altars and ceiling. 

The current bell tower, which can be seen from afar, dates from the 19th century. Lightning struck it several times, destroying the dome that had initially covered it.


After the church, I looked for a map online to ensure I did not miss any attractions. There were Michelin-starred restaurants. I thought I would splurge, but I also saw that it needed reservations. I decided to get lost again and walk.  


Eze is a magical escape from the opulence of the French Riviera. It is really a must-visit on your next trip to France.  

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