“One of the most exhilarating and picturesque hikes my wife and I experienced almost didn’t happen.
While visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer, we read about a nearby challenging trail that winds down the side of the mountain from Eze Village to the aqua-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. We decided to ascend the trail, named the Nietzsche Path, but could not find the trailhead. Instead, we hopped on an air-conditioned bus that took us to the top of the mountain.
The charming and ancient Eze Village was first inhabited around 2,000 BC, strategically perched on a cliff 1,401 feet above sea level. Once you have taken in the ambiance, famous gardens and historical buildings, circa 1300s, there are three ways down. Bus (there are very few cabs), by car or negotiating the Nietzsche Path, named after Eze’s most famous visitor, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. After our late afternoon self-tour, it became apparent that buses were finished operating for the day—and there were no cars for hire.
As we wandered to find the trailhead, we gathered others who also wished to leave the village. With a new sense of adventure, my wife and I, a college student from Brazil and his parents, and two female Korean students began our descent. Rocky and a bit slippery at times, the path is not as steep and intimidating as it looks.
We all became fast friends during the hour-plus trek down to the seaside taking group pictures and selfies with one another. Our unplanned journey became a once-in-a-lifetime incredible experience. And when the trees parted as we traversed the side of the mountain toward the sea, the vistas that opened up were not only breathtaking, but offered spectacular views you may never see elsewhere.
If you ever have the chance, hike the Nietzsche Path. It’s a feat you shall never forget.”