Undeniably, the hills and coastal areas surrounding Monaco are some of the most beautiful places in the world; they each have their own unique charm that is worth discovering. One of the best ways to explore some of these areas is walking and HelloMonaco continues its series on Monaco’s most marvellous walks, taking you on a journey through the coastal and hilltop walks of the region, revealing the insiders tips of each destination.
If you fancy more of a challenging walk as you take in some glorious seaside views, the Chemin de Nietzsche trail in Èze is perfect for you. The walk starts in Èze-sur-mer right by the sea and ends all the way in Èze Village, a picturesque town nestled in the hills above. The village is situated at about 430 metres of altitude and takes around one hour to reach if you’re a more avid walker, or around an hour and a half if you prefer to adopt a more leisurely pace. It is definitely one of the more difficult walks in the region, with its steep incline and multitude of steps, but is such a rewarding workout and makes the views at the top even more worthwhile.
The trail is named after a great German philosopher who loved challenges, as he believed that the easier paths in life should be avoided, Friedrich Nietzsche. His work was essentially a critical genealogy of modern Western culture and of all its moral values. The philosopher had always been attracted to Mediterranean countries, which is why from 1883 onwards, he often stayed on the French Riviera. He settled in Nice at a time when his morale was at its lowest, but here he found the necessary creative emotion to write. He stumbled upon this walk and it was during the climb up this path from the seashore to the “wonderful Moorish village of Eza, built among the rocks” that he composed the third part of his work “Thus spoke Zarathustra”. Following his visit to the region, Nietzsche reportedly said, “I slept well, I laughed a lot and I regained a wonderful vigour and patience.”
The start of the trail is situated directly opposite the Èze-sur-mer train station, towards the very beginning of the seaside town where you’ll find plenty of spots to park your car, or even better come by train.If you prefer a more leisurely walk, start in Èze village and make your way downby taking the opening situated right by the first entrance to Chateau de la Chèvre, before returning by bus. The pathway is very clearly marked and stairs have been built into most of the trail, but it is advisable to wear proper shoes to increase your grip and avoid slipping. Also bring plenty of water and sun cream as the path is exposed to the bright summer sun in many areas – set off earlier or later in the day to avoid the strongest rays of sunshine!
As you make your way up to the village that looms above you, you are surrounded by majestic cliff faces on a path that moves sinuously with the green covered valley. Make sure to look back at the views below as you make your way up, to catch glimpses of the clear, blue sea below as well as the historical villages perched on the hilltops.
Once you reach Eze village, the sights there never disappoint; walk through the towns windy little streets, and explore the art galleries and charming hotels, La Chevre D’Or and Chateau Eza. Reward yourself with a satisfyingly fresh drink and take in the wonderful views – you’ve earned it!
The descent takes around forty minutes and is a lot easier, as the path back towards the sea is entirely downhill, and you are able to admire the beautiful coastal views in front of you. Stop by Èze beach before you head home to cool off in the clear, turquoise water and look back and admire how far you’ve walked!