Exploring medieval French towns has become a popular tourist activity over the past few years. Reaching some of the most interesting of the ancient villages often means travelling to remote places but there is one site that can be explored in a half-day excursion. This is the twelfth-century town of Eze.
The village of Eze is located 400 metres above sea level and can be reached by car or bus to a parking area but does involve a further walk up a steep path to the peak. The panoramic view of the Mediterranean is well worth the walk. In addition to the views, visitors can enjoy the Jardin Exotique which features many unusual plants and flowers. There is a small charge to enter the garden so carry cash to avoid disappointment.
The castle, which formed the centrepiece of the original village, was demolished in the eighteenth century but the circular shape of the village is still obvious. The residents of Eze sell their arts and crafts in atmospheric shops which are quite an attraction in themselves. The village has been lovingly preserved by the locals and the narrow streets often lead wanderers to bustling cafés and fine restaurants.
Tourists exploring the Riviera can reach Eze from Monaco, Monte Carlo or Cannes. Anyone interested in taking in the atmosphere of one of the other historic towns in the Riviera region would be rewarded by a visit to St. Paul de Vence, which includes several art museums amongst its attractions.