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Èze, French Riviera, France

This scenic village is both picturesque and very historic. Èze is called an "Eagle's Nest" or "Fortress on a hill" because of its location overlooking a high cliff 427 metres above sea level on French Riviera. It's a wonderful stop-off between Monaco & Nice and it's one of the very best villages we have visited in Southern France. The old town of Èze is breathtaking - every corner of this village offers you a great photo/video opportunity. There are cobbled winding walkways through this quaint village. The entrance to the village is free but you must pay to visit the "Le Jardin exotique d'Èze" and to get to the summit with amazing views.

How to get there

Because Èze is located not far away from Beaulieu-sur-Mer, you can combine sightseeing of both towns in one day. You can come to this town using the highway, turning to local road at exit 56 (Monaco, Cap d'Ail, Beausoleil). If you do not have to go through Nice, best steer clear of this big metropolis.

The parking in Èze

You can park your car in the La Colette parking lot (P1; GPS: 43.729542, 7.361172) (remember to arrive as early as possible since the town is very crowded by the tourists and unocuppied parking places can be unavailable).

The old town and the exotic garden

The you can start strolling the old town beginning at Avenue du Jardin Exotique. After walking beautiful, narrow streets you can get to a wonderful exotic garden. The ticket costs 6 €, but if you bought a combined ticket in Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, then the price is much lower and it's in fact only 1.5 €. Botanical garden is located on a slope, falling from a height of 400 meters straight into the sea. There is an impressive collection of cacti and succulents from around the world. There are ruins of fourteenth-century castle (A; GPS: 43.728394, 7.361170) on the very top of the garden. You can admire a beautiful view of surrounding villages, the Cap Ferrat peninsula, Nice, and even Corsica in case of exceptional weather. After returning from the garden you can enjoy a delicious Hausbrandt coffee in the Gascogne Cafe (B; GPS: 43.729872, 7.361997).

Fragonard perfume factory

Visiting the town is not completed without visiting the Fragonard perfume factory (C; GPS: 43.729546, 7.363130). There is also a free parking lot (P2; GPS: 43.729926, 7.363468) for visitors, where you can leave the car. In the factory area you can see various devices used for manufacturing of the perfumes and interesting fountain with scented water, designed by Bernard Pages in 1991.

Parc de la Grande Corniche

A few kilometers from Èze the Parc de la Grande Corniche is located. This is one of the parks of the department of Alpes-Maritimes. It has an area of ​​approximately 660 hectares and includes the following villages: La Turbie, La Trinite, Èze and Villefranche-sur-Mer. It offers breathtaking views of the area from San Remo to Saint-Tropez. From this place you can see the town of Èze very well, which looks like a miniature as if it was placed on a molehill. You can also see the peninsula of Cap Ferrat.

To get to the park, exit Èze on the Boulevard de Marechal Leclerc road (D46) towards its intersection with Avenue Des Diables Bleus (D2564). At the intersection, you should move straight ahead the narrow and winding Route de la Revere, which will lead you to a parking lot at the top of the mountain (P3; GPS: 43.739108, 7.364590).

The unusually strategic location of the place led to the fact that in 19th century the army began to build defense installations . For the protection of Nice, the Fort de la Revère was built using the stones from ancient fortifications of Liguria. It was then equipped with powerful artillery, located on the plateau. Currently the fort is not used and it's closed for visitors.

The park is one of the last areas containing vegetation typical of coastal ecosystems in the department of Alpes-Maritimes. There are about 450 species of plants, including some of them protected at national level.

The Parc de la Grande Corniche is also one of the most interesting places for watching the animals. There are large birds of prey that use air currents created by land's relief of the coast (for example owls or eagles), and also wild boars, hares, badgers and foxes. It is also one of the few European locations of ocellated lizard.

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