I was off for a few days at work, and I took the opportunity to go to Éze – something that I have always wanted to do. And of all the time when I chose to visit, I decided to do it during the sweltering summer. For my trip to Éze, I will share with you my experience and perhaps leave some tips that may be helpful to you in the future.
Éze is known for its magnificent panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea. The town and its inhabitants are situated by the hills facing the beautiful blue sea. It has the best of both worlds, especially during summer. If you want to take a challenging hike up to the village, you can take the Nietzsche trail and experience the warm outdoors on the ascending trek; or if you want to cool down, the sea is just a few steps away from the train station.
How to Get There
It wasn’t easy to find tips online before I got here because apparently, most blogs have either taken the bus or have their cars. Since I was coming from Antibes, I took the 45-minute train ride to Éze. The train station that you should get off will be Éze-Sur-Mer. You can check the train schedule at the Oui website and buy tickets from there. Once you arrive there, you have the option to either take a dip on the beach or explore the medieval village up in the hill. If you like the hiking challenge, take the Nietzsche path. I did not do this because I was alone, and I was not comfortable taking the hike alone. You can also take Bus #83 if you took the train, but please remember that this bus line starts late and passes by the Gare Éze bus stop at around 10 AM. I came early and overlooked it with Bus #82 (which was at a different stop and out of the way), and I had to wait for 2 hours (I arrived at 8 AM to avoid the summer heat). I took the Uber instead, which was around 17EUR because I don’t want to wait for 2 hours at the bus station, and I was not interested in going to the beach because I live by the sea. It’s a lesson learned, a minor booboo for me, but I still enjoyed my visit to Éze. Do not also make the mistake of taking Bus #100 if you’re at the Gare Éze bus stop. This one is on its way to Monaco. If you’re coming from Nice, this will be the bus to take, drop yourself off at the Gare Éze bus stop, take Bus #83 and take off at Éze village.
A visit to the village
I stopped by the Tourism office first to say hi to the wonderful people inside (basically, just making my presence known that there’s a tourist dropping by, hahaha! I love doing that 😀 ). I made some friendly inquiries about what to see and ask for maps and interesting brochures.
The route towards Jardin Exotique is a combination of simplicity and complexity. The only way is to go up, and there are marked signs on where you want to go. There are restaurants, interesting small streets and medieval architecture is everywhere. The complexity part probably is if you’re going just to let your feet wander off, you go around in many circles because it felt like a maze when I tried that. I was there as early as 9 AM, and since we’re still in a pandemic situation, only us local tourists were there. There were no big crowds. And when you reached above, you will find one of the best panoramic views in this part of the world. I love doing these little things to myself because I know that not everyone has the chance to be in a beautiful place like France and its surrounding countries, and appreciating what I get to experience every day is such a blessing.
The entrance fee is EUR6 for Adults while Children under 12 years old are free. It is worth it when you get inside. This wonderful garden has a great collection of cacti and succulents from all over the world. You have to stop and appreciate the texts that come with the display of these plants. It has some quotes and stories in it. It is also well-maintained, and I have watched one of the staff doing the gardening work and was just amazed by it. You can visit the website here for more information. The garden is built around the ruins of a medieval castle. Its history is told on the board plaques at the top of the garden while you partake in the breathtaking panoramic view of the Mediterranean sea. The rich history of the garden is linked to the village. You can feel it on your way up the hill.
Where to Eat
If you’re like me who always thinks about where to eat at any place I visit, there is no problem in the village. Near the bus stop, there are already several restaurants and a Casino grocery. Restaurants are also found along the path towards Jardin Exotique. In the reviews I read, they recommend Chateau Eza, which has an incredible view of the Mediterranean sea. That is if you have the budget for that. But if you are like me, who just wants to be in a comfortable place to eat, anywhere is just as good. 🙂
There are lots of souvenir shops around the village, as well as art galleries. I always go for a fridge magnet, like the typical tourist that I am 😛 and also spoiling myself with some of that room spray in one of the shops that remind me of cool nights with fresh bed linens and beautiful flowers. 🙂
I took the bus after a sumptuous meal at Le Pinocchio. Bus #83 comes every hour at this bus stop near the grocery and Fragonard. Since we’re still in the pandemic, the driver doesn’t accept coins/cash, and I have to download the mobile app at 9minutes before the bus arrives! Talking about pressure! Thanks to the English-speaking lady who lives in Cap d’Ail but said she’s born in Monaco. Hehe. Yeah, I made a new friend. 😀
I did not buy a return train ticket because I didn’t know what time to finish exploring. With the Oui app on the mobile phone, it’s just easy to buy and select the schedule of the train. I was back in Antibes before 3 PM. The visit to Éze only took me more than half a day, but it’s worth visiting. I hope that when you get the chance to see the south of France, you will put Éze in your itinerary.