The eagle’s nest
Of all the perched villages in the Alpes-Maritime, Eze is perhaps the most easily accessible. It is situated right off the busy Moyenne Corniche which runs between Nice and Monaco (the other two corniches are the Basse Corniche and the Grand Corniche; they mean, of course, the middle, low and high road, respectively). Eze is perched like an eagle’s nest atop a rocky peak adjacent to the Mediterranean. It traces its origin back to a fortified medieval settlement which grew around a castle, whose ruins still perch like a crown atop the pinnacle of the rock.
Eze is no less picturesque and exotic than any of the other perched village. The stone-paved walkway with a strip of red brick down the middle follows a gentle spiral on its way to the top. At times it requires a steep walk up stone stairs, other times it’s no more than a lazy stroll. It winds its way among earth-toned stone houses, many with an urn topped with colorful flowers, occasionally ducking into a tunnel carved into the rocks, or coming tantalizingly close to the edge of the precipice and giving visitors a bird’s eye view of the azure water below.
As can be expected from its location so close to Monaco, Eze is extremely popular with tourists, or the students of philosophy who wish to follow Nietzsche’s footsteps. Many of the establishments are converted into hotels, pricy restaurants, or shops. Nevertheless I still find that a leisurely stroll here is wonderfully peaceful and relaxing.
Last visit: May 2004 Pros: Picturesque perched village, cute houses Cons: Potential crowd In a nutshell: The most accessible perched village for those short on time