WHY GO TO UZES
Uzès is a magical bastide town 40km west of the Medieval walled city of Avignon, 25km north of Roman Nimes & just 13km from the world UNESCO heritage site, Pont du Gard. It boasts a rich and ancient history dating from the Romans and is home to the first duchy of France, (the direct lineage to the Royal family) its Ducal Castle being still occupied by the family today.
Its cobbled streets spill out onto elegant squares, shaded by gently worn, shuttered buildings. There are many grand renaissance mansions and other interesting landmarks including its château, cathedral, and its iconic Fenestrelle tower.
At the heart of Uzès is the magnificent central square, Place-aux-Herbes, fringed by limestone arches under which its restaurants and shops spill out onto the cobblestones, shaded by the broad branches of long ago established sycamore trees.
One could sit here for hours listening to the soft splutters of the fountain, enjoying a refreshment from one of the many enticing restaurants, becoming immersed in the local bustle. Place-aux-Herbes plays host to carnivals, an annual truffle fare, art & antique fares & exhibitions, and well renowned twice-weekly marchés, the most vibrant in Provence. Smiling locals selling linens, ribbons, baskets, and flowers, cheese makers, olive growers, and an abundance of fresh produce.
Uzès, has a unique, beguiling atmosphere one which having visited will leave you feeling as if you’ve spent a moment, back in time.
HOW TO GET TO UZES
The nearest international airport is Marseilles (MRS), 120km south with numerous international connections from Paris, London Frankfurt Munich and many other European cities. Several regional European airlines fly into Nîmes (40km south) and Montpellier (80km south).
If driving, Uzès is about 20km west of the A9 autoroute, just 25km south of the major A7/A9 autoroute interchange near Orange.
WHAT TO IN UZÈS
If your stay in Uzès was spent entirely within this delightful, historic town your experience would encapsulate the very essence of this magical part of France. Uzès oozes charm and ambience; its cobbled streets, enticing boutiques, wide variety of restaurants and wonderful markets are all part of its enchantment.
There is much to explore to within the town itself and should you wish to venture further the surrounding area beckons!
THE CHÂTEAU The château in Uzès, Le Duché d’Uzès, is known by the locals as ‘Le Duchy’ and is where the original ducal family still reside. Tours are available, check for times
THE CATHEDRAL ~ Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit d’Uzès dates from the Middle Ages, it was the former seat of the Bishops of Uzès’
THE FENESTRELLE TOWER ~Uzès’ most famous landmark, an incredible Rapunzel tower of windows!
THE MEDIEVAL GARDEN ~ originally part of the castle, it was restored to a medieval garden in 1995, utterly captivating!
THE MARKETS ~held twice a week in Place aux Herbes. 8am -1pm.
Wednesday is mostly fresh produce including flowers, cheese, wine, olive oil, honey and soaps.
Saturday is a much larger affair tumbling out of the Place-aux-Herbes onto the surrounding streets.
A visit to this incredible World UNESCO heritage site should not be missed. Just 13km east of Uzès on the road towards Avignon, for over 2000 years it has spanned the River Gardon. Built in 50AD as part of the Roman aquaduct of Nimes it was used up until the 6th century. A breathtaking marvel. Watch the video here
There are many great local Uzès wineries to sample from, tastings are mostly free and the local vintners are more than happy to share their knowledge and proudly show off their vintages.
WHAT TO DO NEAR UZES
There is a rich Roman heritage in this area of France which is reflected in the many ruins which include amphitheatres and arenas in the local towns especially in:
NIMES lies 25km south of Uzès and was once the most important city of Roman Gaul, much of which remains in evidence, in particular its arena, one of the best preserved in Europe and still in use today.
ARLES This lovely Roman city, lies 60km south east of Uzès and was much painted by Van Gogh who lived there for a year. Sun kissed and golden it is full of Roman sites and a particularly fascinating Van Gogh museum. Arles sits on the banks of the Rhone, nestled by the Camargue, infamous for its majestic white horses and bulls.
ORANGE Founded in 35BC and also abounding in Roman splendor is 50km north east of Uzès. Its stunning stone theatre is still the magical, atmospheric setting for productions today.
AVIGNON The stunning, medieval, walled city is 40 km away. Most famous for Les Palais des Papes which was the home of the Popes for 100 years and the Pont D’Avignon. A tour of both should not be missed.
CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 47km north east of Uzès, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is France’s first wine appellation, where the wine for the Popes were cultivated and produced.
MONTPELLIER 80km south west of Uzès, Montpellier is the capital of Languedoc Roussillon, a grand medieval city well worth spending a day exploring.
ST RÉMY DE PROVENCE 55km south east of Uzès, St Rémy-de-Provence is a charming, very Provencal town packed with shops and restaurants, with a fantastic Wednesday Market. Whilst there combine a visit to the perched village of Les Baux de Provence.
60km south east of Uzès and just a fifteen minute drive from St-Rémy-de-Provence is the stunning perched medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence.
The self-guided audio tour around the château ruins is fascinating and do NOT miss the spectacular video art extravaganza Carrières de Lumières. Set to music and projected onto the walls of one hundred foot high bauxite caves the art of the Masters is profiled; Van Gough, Michelangelo, Gaugin, each year someone different, it is utterly breathtaking!
AIGUES-MORTES 70km south of Uzès. The roots of Aigues-Mortes date back to 102AD, this fortified wonder is the most well preserved medieval city in Europe. Walk the walled rims of this fortress city and gaze out across the salt flats where salt has been mined since before the Romans. Tour the factory Saunier de Camargue whose salt is considered the ‘Rolls Royce’ of salts!
75km south east of Uzès is The Luberon Valley. A beautiful region resplendent with vineyards, olive groves, abundant fruit trees, and from about mid June, endless fields of fragrant lavender. Watch the video of the Luberon Valley here and then explore it’s timeless perched villages yourself, Lacoste & Menerbes, Gordes, Roussillon & Bonnieux and my favorite, Lourmarin not actually perched but quite magical!
Download The Travel Guide for Lourmarin & the Luberon here.
WHERE TO STAY IN UZES
Renting a property There are many properties available, renting somewhere to stay can provide a tiny snapshot of what it is like to actually live here; having more space to relax and shopping in the local stores and markets to cook at home. Typically it is more expensive to rent in the town center and parking can be problematic but being able to walk to restaurants and the market in my opinion makes it worth it.
If you rent out in the villages you will probably get more space with a garden and a pool.
Check out Homeaway and airbnb
LA MAISON DE LA BOURGADE 31 Rue de la Petite Bourgade, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 22 71 10
Location: ~Uzès center, seldom closed, parking available for €7 a night. Price: €100 -€130 per night, breakfast included. Comments: Exquisite but simple rooms, you will be charmed by Elizabeth who opens up her home & her heart to her guests. Stylish and charming a delightful place to stay,
L’HOSTELLERIE PROVENCALE 1 Rue de la Grande Bourgade, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 22 11 06
Comments: A lovely 9 room hotel, all ensuite and air-conditioned with its own restaurant, La Parenthese. In addition there is a recently renovated guest house across the street.
LA MAISON D’ UZES 18 Rue du Docteur Blanchard, 30700 Uzès Tel:+33 4 66 20 07 00
Location: ~Uzès center, Closed: mid February to early March. Price: €190 -€530 per night Comments:
This wonderful Relais Chateaux hotel, tiny and discreet (just 4 rooms and 2 suites) but luxurious and divine, is a splurge, complete with a spa and fabulous restaurant. A lunchtime special menu is an incredible bargain. Book well in advance.
LA BEGUDE ST PIERRE Chemin des Bégudes, 295, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard Tel: +33 (0)4 66 02 63 60
Location: 6 km east of Uzès on D981 leading to Uzès, 2 minutes from the Pont du Gard. Price: €65 -€260 per night breakfast €15, parking free on site, gourmet restaurant. Comments: One of our favorites’s. La Begude St Pierre renovated a few years ago this former 17th century coaching inn offers 4 star luxury in one of its 23 rooms and suites. All rooms are air-conditioned with flat screen TV’s, mini bars and safes. It is worth paying extra for one of the rooms with its own oversized private terrace. The spa services available in your room are highly recommended!
L’ARTEMISE Chemin de la Lauze, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 (0)4 66 63 94 14
Location ~ 10 minute walk from center of Uzès Closed: normally closed during winter months
Price: from €200 per night Comments: A 16th century Provencal mas, 8 exquisite suites, decorated with soft Belgian linens & each room with its’ own kitchen facilities. L’Artemise offers a spa and gastronomic restaurant. A luxurious, laid back spot, just a 10 minutes stroll from Uzès, gorgeous!
CLOS DU LETHE Chemin de la Lauze – 30700 Uzès, Tél : +33 04 66 74 58 3
Location ~ 6km from center of Uzès Closed: normally closed during winter months Price: from €200 – €320 per night check with hotel. Comments: A sister hotel to L’Atemise, 6km from Uzès. 5 rustic and spacious rooms with sitting areas, IPod docking stations, plasma TVs and espresso machines, most have a terrace or small outdoor area. Like L’Artemise, luxurious & thoughtfully designed within the limestone walls of an ancient building. There is also a gym, a library and a steam room, pretty special!
MAS D’AUGUSTINE Rue de Ravel, 30580 La Bruguière Tél : +33 (0)4 66 72 71 61 Location ~ 10km from Uzès center. Closed during winter check website Price: from €125 – €160 per night Comments: Enjoy the fabulous hospitality of this delightful British couple, Jane & Gary in this former silk mill which they lovingly converted. There are five luxurious ensuite rooms, price includes a delicious breakfast. 3 nights a week it is possible to book bistro style suppers from €15 p.p. or great value 3 course table d’hotes at €45 p.p. inc. wine.
WHERE TO EAT
There are many delicious dining choices in Uzès, here are a few we love.
RESTAURANT PARENTHESE ~ Uzès center (In L’HOSTELLERIE PROVENCALE)
1 Rue de la Grande Bourgade, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 22 11 06
Price: €18.00 -€40.00 per person Closed: mid February to early March Comments: Great restaurant, with delicious, locally sourced ingredients.
LA MAISON D’ UZES ~ Uzès center
Contact: 18 Rue du Docteur Blanchard, 30700 Uzès Tel:+33 4 66 20 07 00
Price: €47.00 -€90.00 set menus. Lunch from noon to 2 pm, Dinner from 7:30 to 9 pm Closed: For Sunday dinner and all day Monday, annual closure – mid February to early March. Comments: A wonderful Relais Chateaux hotel, with a fabulous restaurant. The lunchtime special menu €25.00, is an incredible bargain but book well in advance as it is hard to secure a reservation in this special spot.
LE ZANELLI ~ Uzès center
Contact: 3 Rue Nicolas Froment, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 03 01 93
Price: Pizzas from €14.00 Comments: Excellent pizza and wide choice of other Italian food. We love sitting on the gorgeous terrace as the sun drops down behind the clay tiled roof tops, reservations are a must!
PIZZA DU DUCHE ~ Uzès center
Contact: 14 Rue Jacques d’Uzès, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 22 30 42
Price: Pizzas from €14.00
Comments: Excellent pizzas, ‘feu de bois’ Cosy inside on a winter nights or outside when its warmer where it’s fun to watch the world go by! Also serves excellent steaks and kebabs, reservations essential!
BEC A VIN ~ Uzès center
Contact: 6, Rue Entre les Tours 30700, Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 22 41 20
Price: mains from €28.00 Comments: Follow the cobblestone lane to this charming restaurant, dine in candlelight under the domed limestone ceiling, the food is wonderful, booking essential.
RESTAURANT D’ ENTRAIGUES ~ Uzès, opposite the Fenestrelle Tower
Contact: l’Evèché, Place de l’Évêché, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 72 05 25
Price: 3 courses about € 38.00 per person. Comments: A former 15th century mansion, superbly renovated in 2013 into a luxurious but unpretentious hotel & gastro bistro excellent! Closed Weds & Sundays
TEN ~ Uzès center Contact: 110 place Dampmartin 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 (0)4 66 22 10 93 Price: Mains from about €18.00. Comments: Opened in 2016, by a delightful lady from Devon, England and her charming French husband. An interesting & delicious menu ~ brunch, lunch, tapas & dinner. Dine on the front patio, under the warm curved ceiling inside or in the rear garden patio, lovely!
LA BEGUDE ST PIERRE ~ 6 km east of Uzès on the D981 2 minutes from the Pont du Gard Contact: Chemin des Bégudes, 295, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard Tel: +33 4 66 02 63 60
Price: mains from €27.00 Comments: Great food in the new gourmet restaurant of this recently renovated sumptuous former 17th century coaching inn.
L’ARTEMISE ~ 10 minute walk from center of Uzès
Contact: Chemin de la Lauze, 30700 Uzès Tel: +33 4 66 63 94 14
Price: from €55.00 set course menu Closed: during winter months
Comments: A 16th century Provencal Mas with a gastronomic restaurant, wrapped within warm, exposed limestone walls, excellent service
LE TRACTEUR ~10 minute drive from Uzès
Contact: Boregre neighbourhood, 30700 Arglliers Tel: + 33 04 66 62 17 33
Price:€€€ call Comments: You need to know how to find this delightful country restaurant, set in old farm buildings but strikingly modern and chic inside. Great food from the local area, menu frequently changing, always getting better and better!
HOSTELLERIE LE CASTELLAS ~ 8km south east of Uzès
Contact: 30 Grand rue – 30 210 Collias Tel: +33 (0) 4 66 22 88 88 Price: 2 or 3 course Lunches €25-35 Dinner Thursday to Monday evening, from €45~120 May to September also on Wednesday evenings.Comments: A Gastronomic restaurant at this lovely boutique hotel.
Do let me know your own recommendations AND please do contact me if you would like additional help!