There are tons of reasons to visit the South of France and it’s not only a Summertime thing. If you’ve never been to Uzès before, it can quickly become one of your favorite places to visit in this part of the country. Have you already been in and around, Occitanie or Provence regions? Did you return home thinking, never again? Probably not and for obvious reasons.
You are not here long before you realize why people love this town so much. Here are some of those reasons and some local advice for travelers – from a local perspective!
1. The town, the architecture, the atmosphere
Discover Uzès and you’ll discover an architectural delight with plenty of charm with its heart – Place aux Herbes – and all its medieval streets and alleys. In just minutes, you’ll fall in love with from the very first second you are here. While visiting Uzès, don’t miss the Duché d’Uzès, a medieval fortress with a renaissance facade, or consider going up the Tour Bermonde to catch the view from the top. Even though Uzès is really small, sometimes you may find a lot of fascinating places which you wouldn’t expect to be here. Some of my favorites are Convertam (fashion accessories from recycled materials and eco-design objects), Poterie Uzès (a huge choice of gorgeous pots made in Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie displayed in a lovely courtyard), Le 8ème Péché (offering les vins du Duché but not just, which you enter via the courtyard Poterie) or an antique shop located in the front of an Italian restaurant Via Curti (30, Boulevard Charles Gide).
2. Uzès market
If you plan to visit Uzès only for one day, at least make sure it is a market day. Each Wednesday and Saturday morning Place aux Herbes changes completely and becomes even more lively, all because of the farmers, producers, and vendors who set up their stands with infinite amounts of goods. The sight of those fresh asparagus, olives, strawberries, or cherries… So incredibly tasty.
What makes the Uzès market so special, is the fact that people don’t come here only to do grocery shopping but also to chat with each other, have a coffee, and enjoy the atmosphere. Watch out on Saturday mornings when the market transforms into a huge fête du village as stands cover almost all the old town!
3. Food and drink
When you think of food and drink in the pays d’Uzès, what comes first to my mind is of course the market, but besides that and all the cafés and restaurants, you should note that Le Pays d’Uzès is home to many organic producers, worth discovering, like Domaine de Malaigue, De Grappes & D’Ô or Terres d’Uzès. And speaking of food & wine, how about hands-on cooking experiences for those looking for a more in-depth taste of France. Week in Uzès is the perfect opportunity to get a hands-on experience in Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine with a professional French chef. What better way to discover a country’s culture if not through its food?
4. Something for all tastes and ages
Food & Wine lovers are already delighted over the restaurant selections and wineries in and around Uzès but this city still has even more to offer. Candy lovers & history buffs rejoice! Everyone will find something for their taste. Just to name a few – The Haribo Sweets Museum for the young ones or the not-so-young ones. Another delightful treat for both young and old is a visit to the Musée 1900 in Arpaillargues where a trip to the past is only a short drive from the center of Uzès.
If you are lucky enough to have a room with a view when living or visiting here, you can feel the rays of the sun almost every day, even as you wake up! There are many vantage points from which to take in Uzès and the surrounding areas: Hotel Entraigues’s terrace, The top of the Mediathèque (public library), at the top of one of the three towers, or a balloon ride over Uzès!
7. Les Environs (The Surroundings)
Uzès is just a short drive from the Pont du Gard (perfect spot for a picnic), Nîmes, Avignon, or Montpellier, but that’s not all. You can discover lesser-known places, like Saint-Victor-la-Coste with its 13th-century fort, known locally as Le Castellas, from where you can admire the view over the valley below. Then lookout for some fresh cherries on the way back.
8. . . And the people
The people you meet will enchant you! The best part I left for the end – was the people who are really open, friendly, relaxed, and helpful. I could talk a lot about them – from the ones who found me a beautiful apartment, with a view, and who feed me with the most amazing food, to drivers who help me when I hitchhike, couchsurfers hosting me in Nîmes (imagine coming to a strange French-American family’s house and after 10 minutes chatting with the whole family, making pancakes and considering going to a spa together) or travelers visiting Uzès and taking me for a motorcycle ride (that was definitely awesome!). All these people made my stay in Uzès a very unique experience. Aren’t you wondering who you will meet?
So, I guess the only thing you should do now is to pack and come for a visit!
Join us in Uzès for a French market class with a French chef in English