èze, france

Èze was our fourth stop as we took the train along the French coast from town to town all day.  The train station is located near the coast, but the town itself sits high up on a hill, and is best reached by car or by bus (some kind of wheeled transport), or for the hearty, by foot.  I don't know if we're necessarily hearty, but we are frugal, so we took the Nietzche path all the way to the top, and I believe it took us around an hour.  

D - Yeah...I'm not going to sugarcoat it, the hike up to Èze was pretty intense.  I think an hour is probably a bit on the optimistic side, but I can't remember well enough to contradict that time.  I can say that pretty much the entire path is uphill though.  That being said, it does offer some pretty gorgeous views!  Especially of that beautiful blue water!

The entire medieval village at the top of the hill is pedestrianized, which gives the town a really nice feel, but because it has become so popular over the years, it is also quite touristy - in fact, I'd be surprised if many/any local residents are still living in the old part of town, although it certainly oozes charm.  

Even though we'd visited Monaco's botanical garden the day before, we decided to check out Èze's, because it really seemed to be a must-see not only for the town of Èze, but for the French Riviera area in general.  We found Le Jardin Exotique d'Èze to be more crowded than Monaco's, but honestly that's probably because we visited in the afternoon and we got to Monaco's  in the morning the minute they opened.  I also think that Monaco's botanic garden is larger and offers better views, and if you were going to visit just one while in the area, I'd probably pick Monaco's, but, just my opinion!

After walking back down the Nietzche path (much quicker going down than up, so maybe consider taking the bus up and the path down if you're not one for uphill hikes but still want the views?), we took a quick detour down to the beach while we waited for the train.  We were really keen not to miss our train that was coming shortly, so we couldn't really enjoy our time there as we were anxiously listening for it, but the wave-beaten pebble beach sure was pretty, and we were some of the only ones there (it was April, after all).  

See more from our road trip around southern France: our day in Toulouse here, and all of our stops on our first day: Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Bouzies, Rocamadour, Padirac CaveLoubressac, and Figeac.  We began our second day in Marcillac-Vallon and Belcastel, made a stop at the Viaduc de Millau before heading into the Gorges du Tarn, and finally checked out the lovely Sainte-Enimie.  That night, we stayed in Le-Pont-de-Montvert.  

We started our third day in Labeaume before driving through the Gorges de l'Ardeche and stopping afterwards in Aiguèze and then spending some time checking out Roman remains in Orange and staying the night in Vaison-la-Romaine.  The next morning we explored Vaison-la-Romaine, drove on to Sisteron and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and through the Gorges du Verdon and stayed the night in Castellane.

The morning of the fifth day of our road trip, we drove to Grasse, onto Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and then to Antibes and finally onto Nice for the night.  On our first morning in Nice we took the train to Monaco and then started explored Nice in the afternoon.  

We started our second day in Nice by taking the train along the coast and visiting different towns, the first being Villefrance-sur-Mer, traveling onto Menton, and then to Ventimiglia and finally Èze.