The Mountaintop Village of Eze, France

Perched high on a mountain top overlooking the clear, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, lies the very picturesque Medieval village of Eze.  Located on the road between Nice and Monaco and easily reached by train or bus, Eze is famous for it’s quaint medieval buildings and it’s spectacular views of the Mediterranean.  

Medieval village of Eze, France

A visit to the lovely area of Provence and the Côte d’Azur has long been on my bucket list and sadly we only had one day in the area on our Royal Caribbean Cruise.  I wanted to see so much of France, yet I didn’t want to be rushed from place to place.  I yearned for time to relish in the sights, taste and smells of this spectacular place.


So…..after some discussion, RH and I decided to skip an excursion to Monaco to allow us more time to linger in Villefranche and Nice.  You can read about our time in these two charming spots here.  However, I couldn’t miss out on the visit to the medieval village of Eze, perched 1400 feet above the sea, and I am so glad that we went.

View of the Bay of Villefranche.

The ride up the hillside to Eze was remarkable in itself! The winding road was filled with amazing views of the Bay of Villefranche and all the charming homes cascading down the hillside. Once we arrived in Eze, the entrance to the medieval village was just a brief walk from the bus stop.  

Eze, France

After entering the gates to the medieval village, we followed the narrow cobblestone roads up a steep and rocky path and were enchanted with the lovely stone homes that are now filled with charming boutiques, artisan shops and lovely flowers.

The road leading to the mountaintop brings you to the amazing Jardin Exotique d’Eze, a lovely botanical garden on a steep terrain with exquisite views of the coast.  There is an entrance fee of 6 euros per person.  I regret now that we did not pay this small fee to wander around and enjoy the views.  

Eze is one of those places where you think if only the walls could talk what a rich history they could share.  It is believed that Eze was first populated around 200o BC by Celto-Ligurian tribes, and it’s amazing history has been shaped by the Romans, Moors, and House of Savoy.  The Medieval town we see today was built around the ruins of a 12th century castle and you can an influence of Egyptian and Middle Eastern architecture. 

Eze, France

I believe I could have wandered the cobblestone roads around the medieval village for days taking in the ancient stone structures, the beautiful flowers and the incredible views!

Flowers of Eze, France

  Eze can get quite crowded so I would recommend arriving early in the day and allowing yourself plenty of time to wander and enjoy this fascinating spot!

I have to say, I truly enjoyed my brief time in Eze and sincerely hope I have the opportunity to return someday!  Thanks for reading and until next time – Au revoir!  

The Charming Seaside Village of Villefranche-Sur-Mer

It’s hard to imagine a seaside village more picturesque than Villefranche-Sur-Mer!  It truly was enchanting to view Old Town Villefranche as we cruised into port with it’s colorful, pastel buildings cascading steeply towards the sea. 

The harbor of Villefranche

Situated close to Nice and near Monoco,  Villefranche is in the heart of Cote d’Azur, otherwise know as the French Riviera.  Many of the colorful, pastel buildings date back to Medieval times. The town itself was founded in the 14th century, by the Count of Provence, Charles II of Anjou.  Later the town fell to the Dukes of Savoy and Villefranche remained a part of Italy until 1860.  There are many lovely, historical buildings to visit and explore the rich history of  Villefranche. 

The colorful buildings of Villefranche.

The Bay of Villefranche boasts of one of the deepest natural harbors in the Mediterranean Sea and has become an important port.  Although a small fishing fleet operates here, the beautiful harbor primarily caters to mostly pleasure boats and cruise ships.  While we were in port, we noticed the infamous World Ship, the largest privately owned residential yacht, was also in port.  

MS WorldWe took a tender from our cruise ship, Vision of the Seas, into the town.  Once we arrived, we were delighted to wander the narrow, cobblestone streets filled with terrace cafes, charming shops and balconies filled with flowers.

The colorful buildings along the harbor of Villefranche.

We stopped in a charming cafe to enjoy a pizza and a glass of wine.  While we were having our lunch, a very friendly older woman stopped to visit with us.  She spoke very good English, but would sparkle the conversation with bits of French.  I will always remember how she shared her memories of her childhood when France was occupied by Germany during World War II.  She was so thankful to the Americans for coming and saving France from the German occupation.  It made me realize that there are very few people still alive that have memories of this devastating time in history.   I have to say she really touched my heart with her gratitude.  

Terrace cafes in Villefrance, France.

After our lunch, we took a bus to Nice, capital of the French Riviera.  I understand there is also a train that will take you the brief five minute ride to Nice.  We spent some time wandering the historic quarter, visiting the flower market, and sauntering through the narrow streets to admire the fabulous architecture.  The streets of old Nice are lined with with tall houses painted in warm hues of reds, yellows and pink.  There are also many restaurants and boutiques to wander through.  

    Both Villefranche and Nice are fabulous places to visit, and once again, I longed to have more time to wander the enchanting streets, visit the charming boutiques, enjoy the exquisite cuisine and take in some of the amazing museums.  

View of the narrow streets of Villefranche.

However, our plan was to visit the Medieval visit of Eze and check out some amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea.  So we had to scurry on our way.  You can check out our visit to Eze in my next post.     Until then, thank you for stopping by!     Gerri