Road trip through Europe: Èze, France

In summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: BerlinWeimarHeidelburgFreiburgLucerne Lake ComoLa-SpeziaCinque TerreBussana VecchiaMonaco – Éze – Gorges du Verdon – Moustiers-Ste-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin.

On day 6 of our road trip, we drove from La Spezia in northern Italy to the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France – the French Riviera – where we would stop for the night in the charming medieval village of Éze. Before reaching Éze, we drove through Genova, stopped for a walk in the artists’ colony of Bussana Vecchia and took a quick walk around the principality of Monaco. It had thus been a busy day and we were tired, but we perked up as soon as we reached the pretty hilltop town of Éze, with its cobbled paths and stone buildings.

We were staying in a hotel outside of the old town, but walked up to explore its beauty and have dinner before heading  back down for the night. If you book in advance and have a higher budget than us, there also seems to be quite a few fancy hotels in the old town itself. One of these seemed to have particularly lovely gardens, which we could peer down into from above.

The new town

Éze is the perfect place just to wander around, enjoying narrow cobbled lanes, medieval architecture and window shopping, sometimes catching a glimpse of the blue sea in the background, as it is located on a cliff 427m above sea level above the along the Cote d’Azur. Expect to climb some steps!

The area of Éze has been inhabited since at least since 2000 BC, with evidence of ancient Greek, Phoenician, Roman and Moorish inhabitants or visitors. At the highest point of the village is a botanical garden, the Jardin Exotique d’Éze, although unfortunately it had closed just before we arrived. Also near the top is the Notre Dame de l’Assomption church, built in 1764, with a beautiful cemetery nearby.

If we go back, I’d like to visit the gardens. Even walking around, you can enjoy seeing lots of succulents, bougainvillea and other warm-weather plants. Keep a look out for the golden goat too!

If you are near Nice or Monaco, it’s definitely worth paying a visit to this charming village. It’s also very pretty when the sun goes down and the moon rises above the sea, so it’s worth hanging around for an evening meal and then enjoying the streets by night.

After enjoying a meal in Éze, we headed back down to the newer part of the town for a good night’s rest. More adventures would await us the next day – swimming on the Cote d’Azur, driving over the mountains to a canyon where we pedal-boated on aquamarine water (the Gorges du Verdon), visiting a beautiful village tucked into a gorge (Moustiers-Sainte-Marie) and ending our day in the lavender region of France: Provence. Read more about that next time!

For our full road trip itinerary, see here.


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