eze in the off-season.

I veered off track a bit with my Wednesday travel post last week and skipped ahead to the end of our Adriatic cruise, but now I’m back on track and today I’m sharing what we did during the first half of the day while our ship was docked in Monaco.

We took a ship sponsored shore excursion to Eze, France.

Eze is a small medieval hilltop village just across the border from Monaco.  It probably took us less than 30 minutes to get there, so it’s not far.  I’m not really sure of the exact timing because our very charming tour guide kept us entertained the entire way sharing interesting tidbits about both Monaco and Eze.

Once again I’m wishing I had a drone so that I could show you the amazing location of this pretty little village using my own photo.  Coincidentally, I was just reading the December 2018 issue of Martha Stewart magazine and guess what?  Martha has a drone.  She uses it to take photos of the sweeping vistas of her own property.  I don’t really think I need one for that, but it sure would be fun to have one for travel.  In the article she claims that drones are ‘more accessible and affordable’ these days.

Regardless, I doubt I’ll get a drone anytime soon.  Plus, I suspect Martha’s definition of ‘affordable’ is slightly different than mine.

In the meantime I’ll borrow this next photo from the web just so you get a feel for the location of Eze, which is perched at the top of a hill overlooking the sea.  You can see the church in about the center of the photo, and above it just a little to the right at the very top is the exotic garden.

Eze has been on my bucket list since the last time we went to Monaco, which was about 10 years ago.  That time we didn’t make it to Eze and I really regretted it.  So when I realized this cruise made a stop in Monaco I knew I had to get there this time.

The only downside to Eze is that it tends to be terribly touristy.  I always say that the reason why places become touristy is because they have something fantastic to offer.  People start talking about the place because it’s uniquely charming, or interesting, or historically significant and then word gets out and everyone wants to go there.  Suddenly the place is overrun with tourists.

But here’s the trick to visiting really touristy places, go in the off-season.  These captivating little alleyways can be thronged with people in the summer, but they were practically empty while we were there.

We stopped for a cup of coffee at this lovely cafe and were literally the only people in the place.

Granted, probably at least half of the shops were closed.  But that doesn’t matter one bit to me, I’m not a shopper when I travel.  I’d much rather spend my time running around taking photos rather than shopping.

While in Eze, we toured the Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption d’Èze.

This church was built between 1764 and 1778 on the ruins of an original 12th century church.

I thought the interior had a very French look with all of the gold, pale blue and crystal chandeliers.

Our guide pointed out the permanent arm holding a crucifix coming out from the pulpit.  Do you see it there in the photo above?  I’m not sure I would necessarily have noticed it otherwise.  She said that the priest’s arm got too tired holding up that heavy crucifix so he had a permanent one installed.  I’m not sure if that’s the true story behind it or not, but it was entertaining.

Le jardin exotique d’Eze is located up at the very top of the hill above the rooftops of the village.

  The first time we were in Monaco and visited the Jardin Exotique de Monaco, I was surprised to find that it was mainly a garden of succulents.  That time I was expecting something entirely different, a typical french garden like the one in Giverny that was featured in so many Monet paintings.  But this time I knew what to expect.

I have to admit cacti and other succulents are not my favorites.  I much prefer a lush cottage garden.  But the views from le jardin exotique d’Eze were spectacular.

I don’t think I would have enjoyed Eze nearly as much if we had visited during the summer, but seeing it in November was fantastic.

Not only were there fewer tourists, but the fall colors were beautiful too.

So I say if you ever have the chance to visit Eze in the off-season, and you enjoy charming little medieval French villages, definitely go for it!

39 thoughts on “eze in the off-season.

  1. I love traveling with you and Mr. Q. These are places I will probably never see and have never heard of some of them. Thank you so much for taking me along so to speak. I think you should have your your show : The Traveling Q’s. 🤗

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  2. Your photos are so beautiful, all the details are captured artistically. Lots of steps in the sweet little city. I agree, the charm of Eze is probably difficult to see when there are throngs of tourists around. And I totally agree that shipping is last on my list when I travel, unless it’s a flea market or thrift store! Is the climate temperate for succulents to thrive? I was surprised to see blooms on them

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  3. What a fun little getaway to take with you this morning 🙂 Eze is incredible! I cannot even fathom living somewhere with such history. 12th Century! Such eye candy, love it.

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  4. Thanks Linda these travel posts are so interesting. This village is beautiful and your photos are wonderful. I feel like I’m there with you. I think you are on to something in going off season. You get to really see “the place” instead being in a sea of tourists trying to see it.

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  5. I’m not a traveler by nature but your photographs are stunningly beautiful. I can’t imagine seeing these sights in person. It must have taken your breath away. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

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  6. What a beautiful place to stop on your trip. I love all of the alleyways and the architecture of the buildings. So quaint and beautiful. Thank you for sharing Linda.

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  7. The old European towns are great places to visit . The buildings and the stone streets are picturesque. I enjoy a little shopping but I too like to walk through the towns and get a taste of life and the past.

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  8. The church was just beautiful. Wish I could have seen it. The “arm” story reminded me of Kelsey’s 2nd grade comment when asked what the Statue of Liberty would say if she could speak. Kelsey’s response was “my arm is tired”….never fails to make me smile just thinking of it. Keep up the wonderful photograhy…I can’t decide which you do better….take pictures or paint furniture…or even crunch numbers! Lol…the All-Around woman. 🙂

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  9. Amazing…I live in Texas…and with the wide open spaces of America in general, it’s hard to imagine these old towns perched on hilltops with the winding streets and sidewalks and everything contained in a few square miles. I love the character and the history. Thanks for the tour. I am going to be one of the tourist you talked about in your post…

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    1. I had to look up the square miles of Eze because you made me curious. It’s 3.656. I think that includes all of Eze, which actually extends down the hill and to the sea. The small village at the top that we visited it even smaller than that.

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    1. It really kind of was. Of course, we were with a small group and they were around for the guided portion of the tour, but then we had free time and all went our separate ways. That’s when we really found ourselves alone on some of those ‘streets’.

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    1. That was one thing that was really different for such a touristy Mecca; the shops were primarily locale artisans, not just t-shirts and chotzky.

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  10. Great post and fantastic photos, Eze looks heavenly, we visited Nice last summer and didn’t get to visit it, we simply run out of time, there are so many beautiful towns and villages along its coast that a return trip is needed

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