Visit Eze (Provence, France)
Eze is a medieval village perched high on a hill above the French Riviera in south-east Provence.
The whole medieval village itself is entirely pedestrianised so you will need to park in the car park below (limited spaces). The car park is next to both Eze tourist office and the village.
As you climb towards the village you can see the church on the hill ahead of you, before entering the narrow paved streets of the historic centre. There are numerous streets and alleys to explore, with another beautiful courtyard or picturesque house around every corner.
Many of these houses are now shops, restaurants or galleries and I suspect there is very little active population in the old village, Eze having long since been 'abandoned' to tourism.
(This unfortunate tendency for a whole village to become a tourist attraction has affected a few of the more popular Provence villages - personally I think it is nicer and more authentic to see elderly locals walking the streets and hanging out their washing on the balconies!)
The (orange) church in the centre of Eze old village was built from 1764 - 1772 and has a neo-classical facade. The relatively plain exterior conceals an impressive interior, with several interesting decorative features including paintings and frescoes.
When you get near the top of the village you will see the entrance to the gardens which have been established in the ruins of a medieval castle. Although little remains of the castle, the semi-tropical gardens are superb and the views across the village rooftops and the coast are exceptional and more than worth the admission price.
The gardens include a wide range of cactuses and succulent plants and areas for rest and relaxation until you finally reach the belvedere at the top and the best viewpoint.
It was a clear sunny day when we visited and this was the best 6 euros we spent during the whole trip!
From here you might notice the small belltower above the rooftops - this is the small Chapel of Penitents Blancs.
We visited Eze in March and the village was already very busy and parking was very difficult. The car parks are small and there is nowhere to park on the streets heading out of the village.
I imagine in the height of summer it can be exceptionally crowded and challenging to visit, helped by its easy access from so many of the popular riviera resorts including Nice and Monaco.
Despite all this it really is an exceptional village, more attractive than many of the villages that are officially classified as 'most beautiful villages in France' (we have visited more than 100 of these so can judge pretty well) and the visit is worth the effort. If you can visit Eze in spring it will be a more pleasant experience!
Even better, there are two exceptional hotels in Eze: you will see lovely gardens of the Chèvre d'Or as you climb towards the village (picture left) and the Chateau Eza with its private beach a little further.
These would be a magnificent way to enjoy the village, but are rather expensive! See Eze hotels for these (and others that are slightly less expensive) in and near the village. (Note that Eze-sur-Mer is on the coast below the village, a short distance as the crow flies but a long walk or drive, so a 'nearby' hotel in the Eze-sur-Mer doesn't make an easy stroll into the historic village!)
On the edge of Eze (just below the old town and hill) you can visit the laboratory-factory of Fragonard, one of the leading producers of perfume in France. A visit is free and the site is open every day of the year.
At nearby La Turbie you can see the 2000 year old Trophy of the Alps, while on the coast we suggest a visit to Villa Ephrussi on Cap Ferrat. Roquebrune is another attractive medieval village in the region.
Photos of Eze
Click any picture to start the gallery
Address: Èze, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence, 6360 || GPS: latitude 43.7286, longitude 7.3617
Map of Eze & places nearby
Highlights close by
La Turbie 4km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Eze, France
- Tete de Chien - site of natural beauty (3km)
- Trophy of Augustus - national monument (4km)
- Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild - remarkable garden (4km)
- Parc zoologique du Cap Ferrat - zoo or wildlife park (5km)
- Nice - secteur sauvegarde (8km)
- Jardin botanique - remarkable garden (8km)
- Sainte-Agnes - most beautiful village (11km)
- La citronneraie - remarkable garden (12km)
- Palais Carnolès - remarkable garden (12km)
- Serre de la Madone - remarkable garden (12km)
The French version of this page is at Eze (Francais)