Spectacular views from Èze, France

Just a short distance from Nice, after a dramatic and spectacular drive along the Moyenne Corniche road that alone make the trip worthwhile, lies the charming medieval town of Èze.

At 470 metres above sea level, Èze – frequently referred to as the eagle’s nest – is a picture-perfect village perché (perched village), with breathtaking views down below to the beautiful coastline.

The lovely streets and vaulted cover ways remind visitors of the original defensive purpose of these fortifications. The only danger of invasion Èze faces today is from the tourist onslaught during the summer season (we avoided this by visiting in the off-season and by getting here early in the day, and we  felt as if we had the town to ourselves – at least for a while).

But throughout much of its history, this pretty, peaceful town was the subject of brutal attacks. The Moors invaded in the 10th century and stayed for 80 years. The “Moorish door” marking their entry survives to this day. In 1543 Èze was invaded by the infamous Barbarossa and his Ottoman fleet.

For today’s visitor, the winding cobblestoned streets are a pleasure to explore. There is a pretty church and a dramatic cemetery overlooking the valleys below.

Èze was a fashionable place to stay in the Belle époque. Artists, philosophers and European nobility all spent time in lovely Èze at the turn of the 20th century.

The start of the Nietzsche Trail

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche spent time here in 1883. There is a path named after him, where he was said to often hike, that leads down to the sea. We hiked down this and it truly is stunning. Alas, my hike did not result in a book, as he claimed his hiking inspired him (Thus spoke Zarathoustra). Now at least in have a god excuse to come back and try again…

Unfortunately, Èze’s castle was destroyed in 1706 by order of King Louis XIV. Today, upon its ruins lies the pretty Jardin exotique (admission 3 euro, children free) with cacti from all over the world and unparalleled views over the coast.

Don’t miss out on a trip to the eagle’s nest – and the stunning views it affords – on your next visit to the French Riviera. Èze is an easy day trip from Nice on frequent public buses. The number 82 leaves from Nice’s bus station and makes the 20-minute trip to Èze village.

Alternatively you could stay in  Èze. The silence must be lovely when the tourists leave at the day’s end.


  1. Mindy on October 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Gorgeous! You know how I love France. 🙂

  2. kimberlysullivan on October 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Makes two of us, Mindy! I’ll never grow bored of exploring little hill towns, or chateaux, or museums, or outdoor markets in beautiful France… : )

  3. […] If you’re on your way to Nice, you may want to look at my earlier posts about the outdoor market at the Cours Saleya and taking a day trip to nearby Èze. […]

  4. […] If looking for other Nice tips, enjoy past tips to visit the market at the Cours Saleya, eat at the Café de Turin and take a day trip to stunning Eze. […]

  5. […] For some of my other tips about travel in this gorgeous reason, see my earlier posts on visiting Les Beaux de Provence, hiking in the Gorges du Verdon or exploring the coastal city of Nice, and its markets and seafood restaurants, or neighboring, hilltop Èze. […]

  6. […] For more tips on what to do in Nice, see my earlier posts on visiting the Christmas market and taking a day trip to Eze. […]

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