Just seven miles from Nice, Eze was built in the 9th century. The spectacular hill-top location which made it an ideal defensive strong-hold in those days, makes it an ideal vacation retreat today. The views of the Cote d’Azur from here are breathtaking.

If you don’t have a car, there’s both train and bus service from Nice to Eze. Cars aren’t allowed into the village, so if you do drive, you’ll need to park in the lot outside the town gates and walk in. If you take the train, which takes 20 from Nice, you’ll then take the shuttle from the train station up to the village.

With its medieval stone buildings, narrow lanes, beautiful tropical vegetation, and killer views, Eze Village is one of the most appealing towns in the Riviera. And it’s leafy squares, sparkling fountains, artists’ studios, boutiques, and galleries invite you to linger a while.

It’s wonderful to stay here, because you’ll have the village to yourself after the tourists have left. But you’ll need to either be well-off or foresighted. The affordable Eze hotel is booked way in advance.

Eze attractions.

There aren’t a lot of things to do in Eze, but there are a few interesting diversions. In order to avoid tour groups, it’s best to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

The Botanical Gardens are located above the village in the ruined ramparts of a 12th-century castle. There are more than 400 species of exotic plants here, as well as 360-views of the coast from the terrace. There’s a café serving light lunches if you get hungry.

Architecture buffs will enjoy the church of Notre Dame, which dates from 1772. And of course, the shopping in Eze is great. Provencal fabrics, objects made from olive wood, fresh herbs, lavender sachets, and soaps all make good souvenirs.

If you’re feeling ambitious and want some exercise, there are several trails in the area. You can hike up the trail to Mont Bastide or down the Nietzche pathway through groves of pine and olive trees to the spot where he finished Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Eze hotels.

Chateau Eza truly is fit for royalty. The chateau was once the home of Prince William of Sweden. When you first enter the village of Eze, you’ll see two donkeys, which serve as the hotel’s porters. Perched on a 3,000-foot cliff that overlooks St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the hotel is located in a group of restored 13th-century buildings. Most of the ten rooms have private entrances off the winding, cobbled street, and they are intermingled with charming, cave-like boutiques. The rooms are furnished with fine rugs and tapestries, fine art, canopy beds, fireplaces, and balconies with to-die-for views. If you can’t afford to stay, you can enjoy the view by having a cocktail on the terrace. The restaurant has a Michelin star. Chateau Eza is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group. It’s closed from October through March.

Eze has the good fortune of having not one, but two world-class hotels. The second, Hostellerie du Chateau de la Chevre d’Or, is like a medieval village of its own, though part of it was actually built in the 1920s. Many of the 32 rooms and suites are located in small stone houses that are built into the cliffs. With stone walls, arched windows, wood beams, and fireplaces, they transport you to another era. There are three restaurants, running the gamut from marginally affordable to astronomical, a cliff-side swimming pool, tennis, and a fitness room. As a member of the Relais & Chateaux chain, Chateau de la Chevre d’Or offers impeccable service.

One of the most affordable hotels in Eze, La Bastide aux Camelias is a three-room bed and breakfast located in the park that borders the Grande Corniche. Rooms here are nicely decorated. But the real draw is the veranda where you can have your breakfast or an afternoon cocktail, and the swimming pool. There’s also a spa and Jacuzzi, and free parking.
Eze restaurants.

The best known restaurant in Eze, Le Troubadour has been a popular spot since the 1950s, when it was discovered by movie stars, artists, and race car drivers. The three dining rooms in the old house have open beams and creaky floors. The prix fixe menu is a good value and may include braised rabbit, squab, scallops, or John Dory. Reservations are essential.

If Le Troubadour is booked up, Loumiri is a good alternative. Near the entrance to the village, it offers Provencal classics, affordable wines, and great value for money.

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