is èze oz?
The views from atop Èze Village on a clear day are gorgeous. However, visiting Èze, France, a “village perché” on the Côte d’Azure, can be difficult without a car. I prefer to go places in southern France by train or bus. Thus a voyage there by train and bus will be an adventure.
Four years ago I took the train to Èze-sur-mer (Èze on the beach), and from the train station I walked up a path, winding around the side of a hill, to Èze Village. The hike is pleasant and easy enough, although it may be daunting for those not in shape. It took me approximately 45 minutes to complete the walk. The return trip to the station takes about half the time, maybe 20 minutes.
Last week I wanted to take the train to Èze, but then catch the #83 bus at the train station to the village. Easy enough, I thought. (Did something go wrong?)
I had an adventure.
One must be careful when taking the TER. Will it stop at your destination? The trains will pass some small towns along the route. The guichet said the train would stop in Èze, however. It did not. (Lesson: double check the printed schedule.)
After a brief pause in Monaco, I caught a return train to Èze.
The next difficulty occurred when I arrived at Èze-sur-mer and looked for the bus stop. Does one cross the street and stand there at that bus stop? Or, does one remain on the side of street with the train station? If you can read some French, you will stand and wait and wait and most likely wait some more on the side with the train station. The bus stops have some hints about which direction the bus will take you.
The buses run hourly and are not timed to arrive at the train station with the arrival of the trains. For example, I arrived at Eze-sur-mer by train near 11:10, and the bus had already left after 11:00. The next bus was to arrive after 12:00.
OK. What to do? Do you walk up? Or, do you wait for the bus? I waited; I had wanted to take the bus.
Before traveling to Èze, I had noticed on the train schedule that few trains arrived and departed from the station at Èze. I saw that Beaulieu-sur-Mer, a nearby town on the same route as Èze, had many more departure and arrival times. Why not go stop there and catch a bus to Èze?
Finally, after making it to Èze Village and after visiting with the tourist office near the bus stop in Èze, I learned that returning to the Beaulieu train station by the same #83 bus would be a better plan than returning to the Èze station. More train arrivals.
But . . . the bus stop in Beaulieu is not near the train stop. One must hunt for it, and some knowledge of French and some experience in asking for directions would be necessary.
Directions to the train station from the #83 bus stop in Beaulieu-sur-Mer: leave the bus and turn left and walk the sidewalk until you reach a major road that goes inland. Do you see a short tunnel that goes under the train tracks? Good. You are going the right way. After the tunnel, turn left and walk the sidewalk past a supermarket on the left. Ahead and to the left is the train station. Pass to the far side of the station for the trains going in the direction of Nice and Antibes.
Those directions seem simple enough. But finding the bus stop for the first time from the Beaulieu station would be very hard.
From the top of Èze, after having walked through the jardin exotique, one might spend a good portion of the visit, looking across the horizon.