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ze - an ancient Riviera village

The village of ze lies in the far south-east of France, on the celebrated French Riviera stretch of the Mediterranean coastline. It is one of the most visited and beloved villages in the south. ze consists of a coastal stretch and an ancient village that sits atop a dramatic cliff overlooking the sea. In the coastal stretch and the land that lies between the two, you will find most unusual vegetation, with date palms, banana trees and carobs growing happily in the almost tropical climate.

Summertime and the living is ze-y!

ze benefits from a superb climate, and seems to be warm (if not actually hot) and sunny most of the time. The village itself seems to glow with Mediterranean colour in the strong sunlight, as it climbs up the hill towards the cliff top where it is crowned with its lovely church. There are pretty houses of terracotta, cream and ochre, with bright blue shutters and a profusion of vibrantly stocked window boxes and hanging baskets. The village is full of little winding streets complete with the original cobblestones, and many have stone arches over them providing a welcome momentary relief from the heat as you climb ever upwards.

ze - a town with everything

Fortunately, in ze, your path is "eased" by the wealth of inviting cafs and bars along the way. Refresh yourself in one of these, and pause for a moment to browse the arts and crafts displayed in the tiny little boutiques situated in the cave like indentations in the rocky cliff. ze has everything. Right down to the fountains sparkling in the squares and corners of the streets, it seems that every detail of this ancient village was planned to charm. If there is a downside, it is that it can get rather busy in the summer, but that seems a small price to pay for experiencing such a perfect piece of France!

Things to do and see

As you would imagine, ze does not disappoint on this score either. There is so much to see and do both in and close to the village that you can guarantee that no one will be bored. In the village itself, see the church, the gardens of the chateau, the old fortifications and the amazing botanic gardens with their displays of rare and wonderful plants.

Further afield

Further afield, visit the soap and perfume factories that capture the very essence of the Riviera in their scents, and wander at will among the olive trees and aromatic pines which decorate your path down to the bay. The beach is fringed with palms too, and you could really be forgiven for forgetting that this is indeed France, and not some exotic tropical paradise. Another thing to remember is that if you are based in ze, you are well placed for exploring the glamorous city of Nice, and also for visiting Monaco, home to the truly wealthy!

Sports and fun

The beaches offer all the usual opportunities for swimming, sunbathing and sailing, but there is much more to do bedsides this. The forest, which stretches up for many hectares behind ze, provides a beautiful natural environment for walking, cycling and horse-riding, and as this is the Riviera you can find almost any other sport or leisure activity you can name within reasonable reach.

How to get there

Nice airport is easy to reach from many parts of the UK, and is served by a great variety of airlines. These include budget airlines easyJet, bmibaby, bmi, Jet2 and flybe, as well as British Airways, Air France and Aer Lingus. It is also possible to travel to Nice by train. The drive, if you are driving all the way from Britain, is long but fascinating, and you will find the town from the A8 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around ze

Unless you are wealthy, property in ze will stretch your pocket, there is no doubt. The village is one of the most sought after locations in the south of France, so don't look here unless you are prepared to pay high prices. The returns, however, are great. The village is historic and beautiful, the facilities in and close to it are excellent, the weather almost perfect, the scenery glorious and the people warm and friendly. It could just be worth digging a little deeper into that pocket!

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ze AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS ze?

ze is located in the south-east of France on the Mediterranean coast. It lies in the south-east of the Alpes-Maritimes department, close to the borders with both Monaco and Italy.

ze Property Map

IN THE REGION OF PROVENCE-ALPES-CTE D'AZUR

Provence-Alpes-Cte d'Azur Guide

Provence-Alpes-Cte d'Azur Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ALPES-MARITIMES

Alpes-Maritimes Guide

  Alpes-Maritimes Map


Population: 2,446


Access: By air: Fly to Nice with a great choice of airlines and departure points around the UK. By road: Take the A8 motorway, then follow the low, middle or high roads to the different areas of ze. By rail: Nice has a railway station.


Economy: The economy is driven by tourism, and ze is one of the region's most picturesque and popular villages.


Interesting fact: The climate in ze is so warm and sunny that there is a proliferation of exotic plants growing naturally there. You can even find productive banana trees and date palms!

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