One of the hardest parts about visiting a new place is knowing exactly when during the year you want to go and what you want to see when you get there.
Now that the Barefoot Blogger calls Uzes “home,” here are some hints for a leisurely, one-day visit to Uzes. On this trip, you’ll take time to experience the rhythm of the town. That’s the best way to see it.
How to get to Uzes
There are a number of ways to get to Uzes by air and train. If you are arriving from the US, fly into Paris, London, or Barcelona. Check on the best fares.
From each of these cities, I suggest you board a train to Nimes or Avignon, France. In fact, there’s a direct train from London to Avignon. If you prefer to fly, head for Marseilles, Nimes and Avignon, but schedules are often interrupted by airline strikes, so keep on guard for notices. (See “A Photo Guide to SNCF/TGV Trains at Paris’ CDG Airport-Updated”)
When you arrive in Nimes or Avignon, there is bus service to Uzes with regional buses that depart on a regular, reliable schedule. The bus station in Uzes is in the middle of town, number #6 on the map below, close to most destinations in the historic district.
“How to Get to Uzes” from other locations.
Visit on a Saturday or a Wednesday for a market day in Uzes.
Both the Saturday and Wednesday markets in Uzes are centered in the Place aux Herbes. It’s at #17 on the map below. Start out early in the morning on whichever market day you choose because the crowds start arriving around 10am. In the summer, you will be shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists by noon.
Saturday Market – When I visited Saturday Market in Uzes for the first time, I fell in love with the town. In fact, Saturday’s one of my favorite days of the week living here. The market vendors are in the Place aux Herbes with fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and all the flavors and foods that make this part of France so wonderful. Throughout the plaza and along the main avenue that circles the historic part of town, more vendors line up side by side selling men and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats and more. Musicians are on almost every corner playing French, Spanish and even Dixieland sounds.
Wednesday Market – The market on Wednesdays in a scaled-down version of the weekend event. Most of the vendors are selling food items that are local to the region. The market is mainly in the Plaza aux Herbes which gives visitors a chance to get a good look at the permanent shops located along the main streets and alleyways.
Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants along the boulevard or plazas.
Take your choice of restaurants along the main avenue for lunch. Make yourself comfortable, like the French do, and take a long — sometimes two hour — break to eat, drink wine and relax. Most restaurants serve from noon to 2pm. If it’s a very busy day in town, scope out a place you want to stop for lunch before market, then make a reservation for “dejeuner”. One of my favorite “cheap and cheerful” restaurants in Uzes is Le Provencal. The “plat du jour” is usually less than 10 euros, the food is good and authentic, and owners who also serve — Alex and Fabian — are delightful. The restaurant is across the Boulevard Victor Hugo from Saint-Etienne Church, which you can see better on this map than the one above.
Stroll through the historic area (map above).
There are so many things to enjoy seeing, like the Medieval Garden, the Fenestrelle tower, and the Cathedral of Saint Théodorit with it’s classic French organ. Pull out your camera and capture some amazing photos that the people and town provide. Narrow, cobblestone streets lined with 12th century architecture are everywhere.
Visit a special hideaway frequented by Uzes insiders: Valle de l’Eure. It’s not easy to find but it’s worth the venture.
If you want to pick up a snack or a picnic for the park, Gaiffier’s Green Grocer is on the way. Ask there for directions to the entrance to Valle de l’Eure which is just down the road toward San Quentin la Poterie. There’s a stone archway on the righthand side of the road that leads into the parklike area. The public swimming pool and tennis courts are on the left. Follow the path that’s beside the tennis courts until it ends at the “stairway” shown below. It’s a long way down the steps, but as they say in France: “oh la,la!”
Make your way back to the center of all the action — Place ax Herbes — to enjoy the fountain, shop! and take in all the sights and sounds around you. On market days, the vendors are out of the way and the plaza is back in time for you to enjoy a glass of wine, a pastis or an aperitif before dinner.
Dinner at a restaurant with an outdoor patio.
If you can stay long enough for a lovely dinner under the skies, there are several nice restaurants with outdoor patio/gardens. If there’s a crowd in town, you’ll need to make a reservation in advance. They will welcome you anytime around 7pm, but not before.
One of my favorite places is Les Comptoir 7. The food is excellent and the service is superb.
Enjoy! Come Back Often!
For more information about these favorite spots, check out these posts: