Eze, Provence: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Eze in Alpes-Maritimes

Visit Eze (Provence, France)

PHOTO GALLERY MAP & PLACES TO VISIT

The medieval village of Eze is perched high on a hill above the French Riviera in south-east Provence from where it has lovely views along the coast and out across the Mediterranean.

France This Way comment: Eze receives less recognition than it might if there were not so many other very lovely places in the region, but in our opinion it is one of the most beautiful villages in France and an unmissable highlight of a visit to south-east France. We urge you to get away from the beach for an afternoon and see for yourself!

Exploring Eze

The whole medieval village itself is entirely pedestrianised so you will need to park in the car park below. Next to the car park you can also find the Eze tourist office.

Village from across the valley

As you climb towards the village you can see the church on the hill ahead of you, and you soon enter the narrow paved streets of the historic centre. One of first views across the coast is also to be seen from here.

There are numerous streets and alleys to explore in Eze itself, with another beautiful courtyard or picturesque house to be seen and photographed 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 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 but I can't blame people from wanting a bit of privacy when they sit chatting, or from staying and wanting to make money from tourism!)

The rather 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 where you can see several interesting decorative features including paintings and frescoes.

courtyard in center of Eze

When you get close to 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 itself, 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 of all

Don't visit Eze and choose not to pay to enter the gardens, you don't know what you will be missing! 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 also notice the small belltower above the rooftops - this is the small Chapel of Penitents Blancs.

Eze visitor notes & accommodation

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.

Chevre d'Or hotel in Eze

Despite all this it really is an exceptional village and the visit is worth the effort. If you can visit Eze in spring it will be a more pleasant experience.

The village is NOT listed among the plus beaux villages in France which includes about 170 of the most attractive villages in France. Of these we have visited more than 100 and believe that Eze should be in the top 10, not omitted altogether!

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 is 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!

Attractions nearby

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. and at nearby La Turbie you can see the 2000 year old Trophy of the Alps

On the coast we suggest a visit to Villa Ephrussi on Cap Ferrat. Roquebrune is another attractive medieval village in the region, and within easy reach you will find many other famous destinations such as Nice and Monaco.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Alpes-Maritimes guide and the Provence guide.

See also:

Map of Eze and places to visit

Visit near Eze with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Alpes-Maritimes

Address: Èze, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence, 06360, France || GPS: latitude 43.7286, longitude 7.3617

Plan your visit to Eze, Provence

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • 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)
  • Cascade de Gairaut: site of natural beauty (8km)
  • Sainte-Agnes: most beautiful village (11km)
  • Palais Carnolès: remarkable garden (12km)
  • Serre de la Madone: remarkable garden (12km)

The French version of this page is at Eze (Francais)