Èze (pronounced Ez) is a commune extending from the Mediterranean Sea (Èze-sur-Mer) to the hilltop (Èze-le-Village) in the Alpes-Maritime department in Southeastern France, approximately 12.5 km from Nice. The area around Èze was first populated around 2000 B.C. Originally occupied by the Greeks, successive habitations of Romans and Moors followed. After 80 years of occupation, the Moors were driven out by William of Provence in 973 A.D.
in 1388, the area came under the control of the House of Savoy, who built up the town as a fortified stronghold, due to its proximity to Nice. French and Turkish troops seized the village in 1543, under orders from Hayreddin Barbarossa. In 1706, Louis XIV demolished the village walls in the war of Spanish Succession. Finally, Èze became a part of France in 1860, following a unanimous decision by the populace.
Èze-le-Village has been described as an eagle’s nest due to its position atop a high cliff, 427 m (1,401 feet) above sea level overlooking the French Mediterranean.
Today, Èze is a famous tourist site, with its quaint streets, shops and restaurants, as well as its view of the sea below. The oldest building in town is the Chapelle de la St. Croix, dating from 1306. Population as of 2017 is listed as 2,239.
We first tried to visit here on Tuesday, but unbeknownst to us, there was a wildcat walkout of transit operators, who objected to proposed pension change legislation from Macron’s government. We only found out, because a local Uber driver stopped to tell us, offering to drive us to Èze for 45 Euro. We declined and made other plans, coming back to the same Boyer bus stop on the Thursday.
Both bus 112 and 82 go this way. We chose the 112 and were soon on board…..standing….as many young foreign tourists sat, staring at their phone screens, pretending they did not see us. This should have been an omen for what we would find in Èze. I still managed a couple of photos from the bus trip up.
We arrived and made our way to the tourist center and washrooms to find that we would be sharing the village that day with 7 busloads of tourists. Yikes. The crowds definitely impacted our enjoyment, but, hey, we were part of the crowds and would have to make the best of it. The photos still showcase how beautiful the whole place is.
The view on our walk up from the bus stop.
Views of the hills and sea.
The detail shots
Shots of the shops
The historic church
The coffee stop, because we just have to get away from the crowds. Great cappuccino.
We had planned to visit the Jardin Exotique, while in Èze (a cactus garden at the top of the hill with the best views of the sea), but the line of 3 tour bus groups going in deterred us and we headed for the Neitzsche Path instead…..see you on the next post.