At Essential Sailing, we love the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit almost as much as the sailing to get there. Our Captain’s Blog brings you a taste of what to expect from our luxury crewed sailing holidays around the French and Italian Riviera. In this blog we delight in the breath taking hill top village of Eze
Sit back and be inspired.
Without doubt one of the Riviera’s most strikingly situated and best preserved hilltop villages, Eze affords truly breath-taking views.
Èze is frequently called the Nid d’Aigle (Eagle’s Nest) because of its remarkable location, perched at the summit of a rocky outcrop, halfway between Nice and Monaco, where the mountains meet the coast.
The settlement records of Èze date back as far as the 11th century although the site has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The village was fortified in the 12th century and belonged to the Counts of Savoy for hundreds of years. In 1792, following the creation of the Alpes-Maritimes, Èze became part of the Principality of Monaco. It was only after the plebiscite of 1860, when locals voted in the village chapel, that peace finally came to Èze.
On entering through the only gateway in the ancient ramparts, you will be struck by the tall, golden houses and the labyrinth of tiny vaulted passages with cobbled alleys, which climb steeply up to the ruins of a once massive Saracen fortress 429m (1407ft) above sea level. It is surrounded by an exotic garden, bristling with magnificent cacti, succulents and rare palms.
Be sure to take time to explore the small and elegant flower filled passageways, crammed with countless craft shops hidden in caves within the rock – tiny treasure troves of antiques, ceramics, pewter and olivewood. At the foot of the hill, two Grassois perfume factories, Galimard and Fragonard, contain interesting museums in which the secrets of the perfume production are explained. Nearby, the Chemin de Nietzsche (a narrow path once frequented by the German philosopher) zigzags steeply down to the beach and the former fishing village of Eze-Bord-de-Mer, now a popular coastal resort.