One of the most complex 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.
An Unforgettable Day in Uzès
Now that the Barefoot Blogger calls Uzès“home,” here are some hints for a one-day Uzés visit. On this trip, you’ll have time to experience the town’s rhythm. That’s the best way to see it.
How to get to Uzes
There are several ways to get to Uzès by air and train. If you are arriving from the US, fly into Paris, London, or Barcelona. Check on the best fares. I suggest you board a train from each city 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 airline strikes often interrupt schedules, so keep on guard for notices.
When you arrive in Nimes or Avignon, there is a bus service to Uzès with regional buses that depart on a regular, reliable schedule. The bus station in Uzès is in the middle of town, number #6 on the map below, close to most destinations in the historic district.
Visit on a Saturday or a Wednesday for a market day in Uzès.
The Saturday and Wednesday markets in Uzès are centered in the Place aux Herbes. It’s at #17 on the map below. Start out early on whichever market day you choose because the crowds arrive around 10am. In the summer, you will be shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists by noon.
Saturday Market – When I visited Saturday Market in Uzès 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, selling men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats, and more. Musicians are playing French, Spanish, and even Dixieland sounds on almost every corner.
Musicians in Uzès
Wednesday Market – The market on Wednesdays is a scaled-down version of the weekend event. Most of the vendors sell food items that are local to the region. The market is mainly in the Plaza aux Herbes, which allows visitors to look at the permanent shops along the main streets and alleyways.
Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants along the boulevard or plazas.
Choose restaurants along the main avenue for an unforgettable day in Uzès for lunch. Make yourself comfortable, like the French, 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 hectic day in town, scope out where you want to stop for lunch before the market, then make a reservation for “dejeuner.”
Stroll through the historic area (map above).
There are so many things to enjoy seeing on an unforgettable day in Uzès … like the Medieval Garden, the Fenestrelle Tower, and the Cathedral of Saint Théodorit with its classic French organ. Pull out your camera and capture some fantastic photos that the people and town provide. Narrow, cobblestone streets lined with 12th-century architecture are everywhere.
Visit a unique hideaway frequented by Uzès 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 for directions to the entrance to Valle de l’Eure, which is just down the road toward San Quentin la Poterie. A stone archway on the righthand side of the road leads into the parklike area. The public swimming pool and tennis courts are on the left. Follow the path 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 aux Herbes — to enjoy the fountain and 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 excellent restaurants with outdoor patios/gardens. If there’s a crowd in town, you must make a reservation in advance. They will welcome you anytime around 7pm, but not before.