I was first introduced to the idea of visiting Uzès by Jean-Marie of Our French Impressions.
He was born in the area and lived much of his life in the local region, and his family continue to live there.
At the time, I remember that I struggled repeatedly to even pronounce the name ‘Uzès’, or to find out much about the village online.
I wasn’t really sure about booking some time there in my itinerary. The accommodation was reasonably priced. Was this a good sign? Or, did it mean no-one wanted to go there? And frankly, the images on Google weren’t terribly awe-inspiring.
Nonetheless, I took the tip from a real local and booked a week in the village.
And I am sooo glad that I did! Uzès is undoubtably one of my all-time favourite destinations in France.
It has everything that I could want in a French destination. Character-filled streets, beautiful shops and galleries, wonderful restaurants, and marvellous historic buildings. Plus, it is still relatively unknown to the wider tourist community.
Beauty + space = perfection, in my eyes.
The first thing you’ll realise about the layout of Uzès is that it is encircled by a one-way ring road fringed by beautiful plane trees.
This is typical of many Provincial towns and they cast a beautiful dappled light over the many cafés and bistros that line the street.
This works really well in diverting the traffic from the village centre. In fact, it’s a no-through zone for traffic, open only to residents and service vehicles.
The pace is surprisingly low-key, the drivers generally courteous, and the crossings into the centre ville infrequent. At the same time (as is typical on French roads), you are required to be confident - even at the crossings - otherwise you will wait all day for someone to stop.
As soon as you venture into the town centre, the pace slows even more ...
Vehicular access is limited to local traffic and delivery vehicles, so you’re free to wander slowly.
Delight in the perfectly -preserved architecture, delightful shops, plentiful galleries, and local restaurants.
The paving of the picturesque rues is the most beautiful I have ever seen, and is still in perfect condition. It is beautifully maintained by the locals + council, and carefully managed, even with the introduction of modern services.
I am a mad keen photographer with a passion for shutters and doors so I’m thrilled by the photo opportunities that this village offers. Most of the facades are in brilliant condition, even the archaic, crusty doorways inspire delight.
Check out my gallery for a smorgasbord of images to revel in.
Uzès Food and Brocante Markets.
As many of you know by now, I’m not much of a shopper, but even I was delighted by the variety of quality shops and galleries in this relatively small town. With a population of around 9000, clearly tourism has revived an economy which only a few short years ago was under threat. Beautiful homewares, gorgeous clothing, desirable arts and crafts, and gastronomic delights await the shoppers in this wonderful community.
Not to mention the markets! Every Saturday, the town square and surrounding ring road is covered with marketeers selling everything from the classic foodie treats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses crafted in the region, saucisson locale, fish, nougat, and endless other treats, but also a vast array of clothing, accessories, and homewares.
The market extends from the town square, out around the main streets and onto the ring road, so be prepared for a lengthy shopping experience if markets are your thing. There is also a Wednesday market which offers divine local foods without the robust clothing and homewares elements.
I like the quieter markets. I’m not much of a collector of things.
Uzès is also ideally located for day trips to visit places like Arles, St Remy de Provence, Avignon and a host of other Provincial villages.
I hesitated in publishing this post because I don’t really want to tell anyone …X
If you’ve been to Uzès and have some tips to share, restaurants to recommend, or places to visit, let us all know in the comments.
10-day Tours to the French Riviera
Small-group Tours for Women staying at Villefranche sûr Mer on the Côte d'Azur
Stay in the *heart* of Villefranche sûr Mer. Discover the Côte d'Azur: the hilltop village of Èze, over-the-top Monaco, gentle Antibes, vieux Nice, artsy St Paul de Vence, and more. Lunch at Beaulieu sur Mer, visit Villa et Jardins de Rothschild and the divine Villa Kerylos, explore medieval Italy, and dine in any of the fabulous restaurants in Villefranche.
Go touring and experience those fabulous Mediterranean views, and have lunch in Italy. Breakfast at the celebrated Welcome Hotel, dine by the harbour, and relax in a beautiful apartment in the old town.