Eze France is a lovely, small, fortified, 14th-century mountain town that is perched high over the Mediterranean. At under 8 miles from Nice, it is an easy-to-do day trip.
Getting to Eze
The best way to get to Eze from Nice is by taking the breathtaking Moyenne Corniche (Cliff Road). This French Rivera road winds up the mountains from Nice to Eze and several other mountain towns, ending in Monaco. Every curve yields lovely views of Nice and several smaller towns along the Mediterranean far below. We recommend taking the bus as parking can be difficult in Eze. Plus it allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The bus deposits you right by the entrance to the charming medieval portion of Eze, which is the part we most wanted to see.
Exploring Medieval Eze
Medieval Eze was built from limestone blocks recovered from a fortified wall built during the Iron Age. Buildings line the vine and flower-draped stepped cobblestone walkways that now house boutiques, galleries, and cafes on the ground floors beneath living quarters.
To enter the medieval portion of Eze, you start by climbing the hill just past the beautifully decorated bronze gates of a 5* resort.
You enter the old town through a formerly fortified gate.
The winding steps take you and hundreds of other tourists along slender cobblestone/brick-lined passages that go past dozens of nicely maintained limestone block buildings and historic sites.
These include the carved, low-relief door of the Riquier residence (where the Lords of Eze lived in the 12th and 15th century), a former residence of the Prince of Sweden, the Saint Croix Chapel, the oldest of the town’s buildings (1306) with its patterned cobble stoop and the lovely 18th century Church of Notre Dame.
As you exit at the top of the village, you reach a lovely exotic garden that clings to the cliff face. Walkways wind through lovely succulent and Mediterranean gardens and fern-lined grottoes.
At the 1,400-foot peak are the ruins of a 1913 mansion built for Consuela Vanderbilt and yet more amazing views.
The summit yields even more magnificent views of the sea, the surrounding mountains, and the 265-foot-high Moyennes Corniche aqueduct.
Towering above it all on a nearby mountain is the huge, roman Trophee d’Auguste a La Turbie. It was built in 6 BC to honor Octavius, the future Emperor Augustus after he defeated Alpine tribes and unified the frontier between Gaul and Italy.