One place I really regretted not visiting was the Fragonard Parfumeur! I orginally became acquainted with the fact that Eze Village was home to a parfumerie when the Travel Chanel's Samantha Brown based one of her episodes on Cote d'Azur and visited Eze.
The Perfumerie Fragonard, founded about 1926, was named for a painter, Jean-Honore Fragonard. The Perfumerie has a boutique not only in Eze Village on the Cote d'Azur, but also its original establishment in Grasse and also in Paris. Visit the perfume "laboratory" in Eze for sure but also the shop where they showcase their signature perfumes as well as soaps, lotions, comestics, antique jewelry, and linens, glass and wicker for the home.
Free guided tours are offered at the laboratory and where they explain the essentials of making perfumes and interesting facts. The person known as "the nose" is the person responsible for actually creating new perfumes and his/her job is well worth finding out about. It's quite fascinating! Also learn how perfumes are made.
The laboratory is open every day, including holidays, from approximately 8:30 am to 6:30 (store hours in town 10 am to 7pm). Each of these places is closed for lunch from noon to 2pm from November through January.
Unfortunately I didnt take a photo of the Tourist office or the carpark - but the Tourist office here was so helpful - maps for Eze and good brochure on the Exotic garden right at the top to show that it was not to be missed. The girl working in there that day was very sweet and helpful and spoke good english - the most thing that kept me happy was in addition to maps for Eze was also the itinerary for the Citron Festival which I was trying to get to at Menton - was that she happily plugged in my camera battery charger so that that the second battery which was already flattened by photos for the day so far could be readied for what was ahead after visiting Eze!!
Loads of brochures and info on the must sees and whatever to see around the Cote D'azur area.
The village above that winds its way around the knob of a hill is pedestrian only so cars have to be left down below and then theres a walk up. Theres a good car park with parking ticket instructions in english that thankfully point out clearly that tickets must be bought for any parking other than the first hour which is free in the carpark and the tourist office girl did answer my questions that yes it definitely applies on public holidays and enforcement officers do come check.
Theres also a large clean public toilet block just next to the tourist office - 40 euro cents a time with a woman there who collects payment.
Sometime after WWII, the Mayor of Eze, Rene Gianton, decided to create an exotic garden perhaps with inspiration coming from Monaco's exotic garden. With the assistance of the founder of Monaco's exotic garden, Mr. Jean Gastuda, the Monsieur Mayor accomplished his goal. Apparently the Mayor enlisted a group of men to carry bags filled with soil and carry stones towards the ruins of the castle where some sections of wall still remained and the result of this hard work is a simply fabulous garden.
Somehow, the site is well sheltered from winds of north by the Revere Mount and being on an incline, drainage is not a problem. It became an ideal site for cactus, agaves, aloes, etc. Since visiting Arizona several years ago, I have become a big fan of cacti. I picked up a beautiful postcard featuring the many types of cacti in the Jardin Exotic d'Eze. It seems quite unusual to see abundant cacti growing here in Eze's rocky soil and so many species too however the conditions seem to be perfect. In addition, Eze has many flowering bougainvillas which you find trailing over walls up & down the mountain and other greenery too.
Although I didn't visit this beautiful garden, it wasn't lack of interest but time which prevented me from seeing it. The winding rock and stone paths, the beautiful seaview, and statuary make visiting this garden a must do for the avid gardener.
Open every day, all year: September 1 through June 30: 9am til 6/7pm
July 1 through August 31: 9am til 10pm
Shorten hours in the winter: 9am til nightfall
5 Euros - Adults;
2.5 Euros - Students and groups of 10 or more
1 Euro - foreign school-age children
Free for Ezasques children under 11 years of age.
pictures to follow
The Medieval village of Eze, France, has been likened to an Eagle's Nest, because of its position perched on the mountain above the Mediterranean Sea. Although the views and beauty charms visitors today, the village was actually located here for practical purposes---as a deterrant to marauders!
The beauty of the stone buildings and narrow passageways meets the eye at every turn as you steadily ascend the mountain or explore the various levels of the village. Shops, inns and restaurants are tucked in here & there, flowering bushes and vines cling tothe the rocky walls, unique hanging lanterns arch over passage ways and ornamental, rod-iron railings make a nice contrast to the rough rock.
Don't miss climbing to the top to visit the Jardin Exotic, visit the church or stop in for a special dining experience because everything here is a feast for the eyes. Grab a map from the tourist office at the bottom of the mountain. when I asked for information there, the attendant gave me a small map diagram and nothing else with very much information about the village which was a shame.
The Exotic Gardens, or Jardins Exotique, designed in 1949 by agronomist Jean Gaustaud, group together several hundred species of Succulents: aloes, cactus,agaves,spurges (?!), grow and reproduce in these arid Castle ruins at the summit above the Eze village.
Information is provided around the carefully made pathways and viewpoints on the plants in the collection and also history of Eze and the community.
Signs around the village point you in the streets up to the entrance where theres a 5 euro entrance fee - but absolutely well worth this price - if not for the amazing and rather beautiful collection of plants then for the absolutely amazing views!!
Panoramic views around the French Riviera below - with blue water shimmering and white waves to be seen crashing on the sandy shores below - the terraced hillsides - and the views over Eze rooftops. In lovely sunshine and fresh air - its a glorious visit.
As the brochure proudly broadcasts ' overlooking one of the world's most beautiful panoramas'.
Around the gardens also are carved statues of women by sculptor Jean-Phillipe Richard.
Once the former residence of Prince William of Sweden from 1923 to 1953 (all these little facts that can lead off to more interesting investigations!).
The ground floors were originally used as wine cellars or stables for small livestock. Imagine these narrow streets being climbed by donkeys coming back from the terraced fields nearby loaded with the fruits famed for growing in the area - citrus, olives and figs.
On my roaming the sign giving info on the Chateau says from its terraces it has some of the best views of the village over the Riviera. There is now a restaurant there that I shamefully was too reluctant to intrude as a tourist in a rush just wanting their views! (but I did get stunning ones from above at the Jardins Exotiques!)
A magnificently charming place on the south side of Eze, overlooking a pool with views of the sea.According to legend, the 'golden goat' lured away robbers trying to make off with loot.
It is now a 4 star hotel with three restaurants, part of the Relais & Chateau chain.
Designed in 1949, the garden sits atop Eze, among the ruins of the old fortress. It features succulents and cacti in a most tranquil setting.
Stunning views are in store for those who make the climb.
The remains of this castle sit high atop the hillside, 429 metres above sea level. Eze has been ruled by many, from the Phoenicians to the Romans and the Lombards, then to the County of Savoy in the 14th century to the French army later. Even the Ottomans had their day here.
Being situated so high and steep, the village didn't need the defences of most villages, in fact, there are only two gates. Its stronghold, however, was destroyed by the army of Louis the 14th, in 1707. By the end of the 18th century, Eze became a permanent part of France.
This church very prominent in amongst the medieval stone buildings looks decidely out of place really but does add a bit of colour and character?
Building began in 1764 and the church was consecrated in 1772.
'The stripped facade contrasts strongly with with the magnificence of its nave' writes the tourist brochure information.
The nave and choir are baroque in decoration. An Egyptian cross can be found inside
Fantastic panoramic views from these lovely gardens are so worth going up to the summit for!!
Beautiful views over the French Riveria below - shimmering blue seas, the white of waves on the sandy shores, the terraced hillsides and the dramatic access roads including the Moyenne and Basse corniche roads along the Cote d'azur.
And such a relaxing environment to be in - glorious sunshine, fresh air and a beautiful collection of plants landscaping the hilltop amongst the ruins of conquestors of days gone by.
As you make your way up the rise heading for the village of Eze in great anticipation for what beholds! you approach the postern.
Despite the ravages of time and history of Saracen and French offensives the postern here is still looking at the ready for potential invaders - dating back to the 14 th century.
theres a 16th century canon crenel that protects the first gate.
With quite a history. Eze was part of Provence but in 1388 became part of the County of Savoy. In 1543 it suffered from the offensive of the Ottoman fleet of the Suleyman the Magnificent allied with Francis the 1st. During the 16th and 15th centuries the village was occupied and devastated on several occasions by the French army.
Eze up on its hill above the French Reviera is still only a small village - packed in in a labyrinth of narrow pathways and stairways but still a small area and you want to catch all those little pictures of charm - including medieval charm - so take all the little streets that it has - maps are available from the Tourist Office down below before you start the climb up to the village.
Its certainly a picturesque village with lovely lovely stone buildings and those living or working there are keeping it meticulously clean and charming!
This is the main street as you arrive through the entrance gate - at the little square or place called 'Placette' where you can head along Rue Principale or up the stairs to Rue du Brec and short cut to the church - so the first impressions of the village were rather impressive and the sights along the medieval streets were as impressive all the way around!
Narrow paths and stairways, interesting doorways, windows and steps, remains of walls that apparently go centuries back!, and all picture perfect - clean and dusted, no litter, nothing really out of place!? Very cute.
Up around the Exotic Garden are signs that make interesting and worthwhile reading with information given on history on the site, the Eze village and the surrounding area.
Though with a couple I read the translation into english from french translated into rather ambiguous wording but otherwise mostly understandable and informative.
The sign in this picture refers to the houses built close together to keep the homes and streets cooler in the summer and the stone used in the buildings around the village.