Day trip to Eze
The perched medieval village of Eze offers epic views of the entire French Riviera. Here’s what to do, what to skip, and some cliff-perched lunch options.
After the spectacular 30-minute bus ride from Nice, the village entrance beckons, but first you will be tempted by dueling ‘perfume factories’ offering free tours. These particular factories make perfumed soaps, so unless you want your head spinning with olfactory overload, I’d save these for the last, if at all.
Just head straight up into the village and start exploring. Walking up the cobblestoned steps into village of Eze feels like literally stepping back in time, and you will be happy to have worn flat walking shoes as the stone steps are uneven and have been worn slick from 1000 years of foot traffic!
On your way up, pop into the tourist office for a map and to see if there are any special happenings you should be aware of. In case you were wondering, the donkeys are there to take the luggage for the guests staying at Hotel Eza, as cars can’t even get close!
The village is full of quirky little shops and unusual art galleries, including one where the paintings are in negative: to see the art you need to stare at a dot for 30 seconds then shut your eyes to see the image appear. Around every winding turn is a breathtaking view, or an odd medieval artifact.
Continue to the top for the Eze Exotic Gardens. If cactus is your bag you will love the surreal prickly landscapes and panoramic unobstructed views, but otherwise you might want to use that 7€ ticket price elsewhere like sipping a glass of chilled rosé while soaking in the scenery from the comfort of a bar.
Lunch with a View
Forget that old adage about ‘view’ restaurants, where the quality of food is in inverse proportion to the quality of the view… In Eze you have stars in your eyes and stars on your plate.
Splurge for a two-Michelin starred lunch at the Chevre d’Or, or you can opt for their more casual venue Café Remparts.
The Chateau Eza, which was just recently awarded a coveted Michelin star in 2023, has sweeping vistas and gastronomy to match, and offers a 3-course lunch menu for 79€.
But the killer cliff-perched lunch deal is at Le Tilliac at the Terraces du Eze Hotel, with their ‘Retour du Marche‘ 3-course gourmet lunch menu for just 40€ (Mon-Sat).
Now that you’re sated, and you leave the village you could consider the perfumed soap factories, especially if you have a little time to kill before the bus arrives. Galimard has a little museum to see, and Fragonard Cosmetic Laboratory gives a free tour every half hour until 6pm.
Getting to Eze-Village from Nice
There are two buses from Nice to to Eze Village, the #82 Plateau de la Justice or the #602 Monaco Casino. Don’t be misled into taking the Bus #607 Monaco which looks like it passes Eze on its way to Monaco: this bus goes to Eze-sur-mer… which is at the seaside! (…unless of course, you want to hike up the famously steep Nietzsche trail to get to the famous perched village!)
To get to Eze Village from Nice, take the Bus #602 Monaco Casino or Bus #82 Plateau de la Justice, which alternate to leave about once an hour.
Where to Catch the Bus
Both buses, rather inconveniently, start from the Vauban bus station (tram stop Vauban) on the east side of town. The easiest way is to just take tram line 1 to the Vauban stop then cross the shopping area and go through the tunnel under the train tracks to get to all the buses. Once on the road, the bus makes a few other stops in town but none of them are really convenient, plus by then the bus is already packed, so this is really the best way to catch it. The two buses alternate, and leave every hour right at the top of the hour, except for at lunchtime when instead of leaving at 1pm it leaves at 1:30pm. …but note that on Sundays and French holidays only the #82 runs, and on a very limited schedule.
To double check the bus timing, just use Google Maps which is much easier, in English, and has up to the minute real-time info. Other apps with reliable real-time info include Moovit (in 35 languages!), Transit App, Zenbus, and others.
If for some reason there is no bus, or it’s too crowded, check the price of an Uber to Eze Village, which from the Vauban stop can be as little as 10€. Even better: first-time Uber users can click here and save 7€ on each of your first 5 rides!
The ride to the spectacular village of Eze will take around 30 minutes. Push the red “stop requested” button when you see the perched village getting close.
You can use your Nice rechargeable bus card for 1.70€, and your trip is included in your Nice day-pass or week-pass. Load up your rechargeable card ahead of time at any tram stop because if you buy a ticket from the driver it will cost 4€ a pop. Also note that your bus/tram ticket gives you unlimited transfers in Nice for 74 minutes, so if you take the tramway to get to the bus stop for Eze, it will not cost extra.
You can catch either Bus #602 or Bus #82 which between them leave approximately once each hour for the 30-minute drive back down to Nice. Drop into the Eze tourist office when you arrive for printed bus schedules to make it easy.
Side trip to Monaco
If you time it right, from Eze you can also pop down to Monaco, just hop back on Bus #602 Monte Carlo and continue another 20 minutes in the same direction (leaving Eze at 11:30am, 2:30, 4:40 and 7pm Mon-Sat). For this bus going into Monaco (as it is a different country), you will need to buy a 2.50€ ticket from the driver as you board. The end of the line is the Casino in Monte Carlo, where you can explore and then get back to Nice on the Bus #607, which leaves every 15 minutes until 8pm, or come back by train even later. Here is a page on a Day Trip to Monaco.
Side trip to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Or, time your descent from Eze to coincide with Bus #83 Baie des Fourmis and visit beautiful Beaulieu, and then change to the Bus #15 to visit Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Bus #83 leaves Eze at 11:50am, 1pm, 2:10pm, 3:25p, 5:55pm. Here is a page on a Day Trip to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Events in Eze
Eze Gourmand Festival Mid-October – Free entry, with demonstrations, tasting, contests, music, art, and a gourmet food court, but chef’s cooking workshops are 15-20€ each.
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Photo Credit: Eze Village by Jimi Magic licensed under Creative Commons.