The French Riviera, the Côte d’Azure, the jewel of France. A brilliant blue coastline dotted with beauty, glamour, and luxury. So alluring is the charm of this Mediterranean jewel that people have been drawn towards it time and time again. And each time they came back, they had accumulated tales so rich and pictures so colorful that we can’t help but wonder if they stepped into a cupboard and discovered a fantasy land.
Living up to its reputation, the French Riviera offers one gorgeous attraction after the other. Cannes, Nice, Antibes, Saint Tropez, and Monaco are all popular destinations for the lusty traveler, and they give you a peek into that high-flying lifestyle that France is famous for. But if you’re the kind that seeks out quiet spots and tranquil locales, may we suggest the less known jewel of the French Riviera – Eze.
Eze (pronounced quite simply ‘Ezzz’, not ‘Ezee’) is everything you would imagine a medieval town would be. In fact, if the dictionary had to visually depict the word ‘quaint’, they could just put up a picture of this village and be done with it. It honestly doesn’t get any more accurate than that.
Located between Monaco and Nice, Eze is like a breath of fresh air, both literally and metaphorically. At a dizzying 1400 feet above sea level, the village promises adequate supply of all the brisk, fresh air you could possibly want, along with bird’s eye view of the Mediterranean.
Getting to Eze is quite convenient, and the ride to this town along the corniche is absolutely breathtaking. Even if you have a car, we’d recommend ditching it and hitching a bus ride, so you can enjoy view undisturbed. If your jaw doesn’t hit the floor … we declare you don’t have a beating heart in your chest!
As you approach the craggy cliffs, you can feel the anticipation building up inside you. But persevere just a bit longer, for a treat awaits you when you step into the town. At Eze, you’re greeted by sights of cobbled streets, stone structures, ochre houses, and bougainvillea clad walls. The buildings in this picturesque town are stamped with time, and if the walls could speak, what tales they would tell!
The town is designed for exploration. It’s extremely pedestrianized. Walk up steep roads, turn into winding alleyways, discover narrow passages, skip down uneven steps, and lose yourself in this labyrinthine world that seems to have materialized out of a medieval tale of fantasy. Be warned: there’s a fair bit of walking to be done here, so put on your most comfortable pair of walking shoes for this trip.
There’s plenty to see in Eze. You can while away a considerable amount of time here just looking at the houses, stores, galleries, churches, and courtyards scattered around the villages. The buildings are extremely well-maintained, and the shops offer up interesting ware, like jewelry, handicrafts, soaps, pottery, and knick-knacks. The two perfumeries – Fragonard and Galimard – are also worth checking out. You can create a fragrance of your own or pick up a blend of theirs for someone back home.
As likely as you are to lose yourself in all that there is to see at Eze, don’t forget to check out the Le Jardin Exotique. This exquisite terrace garden was developed by the village mayor in the 1950s. It’s home to 400 exotic plants, including a selection of extremely rare cacti. Sit here and bask in the sun or climb all the way to the top of the garden for some gorgeous views of the town, because we know you can’t get enough of those!
Eze is a paradisiacal destination. A picture perfect vision. A place you’d call heaven and then stop to consider if even that was a just enough description. Standing at the highest point in the town, looking at all the beauty spread out in front of you, gives you that giddy feeling that comes from knowing that life just doesn’t get any more perfect than this.
So, make the most of this town, friends. Explore away, and take all the pictures you want. Each nook, each cranny is Instagram-worthy. Each snap is share-worthy. But even more worthwhile are the memories you’ll carry with you in your heart, long after this delightful, picturesque town is left behind.