I have been wanting to hike the Nietzsche Path from Eze-sur-Mer to Eze Village ever since I came to Nice and googled “Hiking on the Cote d’Azur”. Well, this weekend I finally got around to doing so, the weather has cooled considerably since September began and by considerably I mean it has gone from an average of 31 degrees to an average of 25 with a lot more cloud cover.
Hiking in July or August is near impossible with the heat and humidity, I can’t even walk to the grocery store 500m down the road without breaking into a massive sweat. So now that the sun isn’t so harsh it is definitely time to check out those hiking trails I have been reading about for the past three months.
It was super easy to get to, just catch the train to Eze-sur-Mer (“Eze by the sea”), just 15 minutes from Nice, and the trail starts just 200m down the road from the train station. I have been to Eze Village once before, by car, for lunch. It is a beautiful old (expensive) medieval town 1,400 ft above sea level known for it’s charm, beauty and incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea. The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306. The Nietzsche Path is named after Friedrich Nietzsche, a German Philosopher and Poet who lived in one of the oldest houses in Eze and often took the walk from the sea up to the village.
They say it will take 1-1.5 hours to get up but I think I got there in about 50 minutes, including plenty of time for pictures on the way. Now, the hike was no Grouse Grind but it was still pretty difficult and I was surprised to see people tackling the hike not wearing the appropriate footwear, the rocks and stairs were incredibly uneven, the terrain was loose and it was very easy to lose your footing. Definitely not a casual stroll in the park and not something I would want to be doing in jandals.
Despite my thinking that the temperature had dropped enough for this to be a comfortable hike, I was very wrong, the rocks soaked up every ounce of heat and radiate it right back at you as you are making your way up the mountain and there is really no respite from the heat at all. Thank godness I had my insulated Polar Bottles full of Skratch Labs to keep me hydrated, without those bottles my water would have been boiling in a heartbeat! They are seriously lifesavers in the heat.
The views as you walk up the climb were incredible looking out across the ocean, I am so glad I finally got out and did it. Once I hit Eze Village, although having already been once before (it’s not every big), I walked around the tiny alley ways of the village, grabbed some water, visited the church and made my way back down the mountain for a much deserved swim at the beach! All in all, the walk took me 1.5 hours (not including stopping time), and I will definitely be back to hike it again once I have ticked off all the other hikes on my list!