Uzes, France is a very pretty town to visit in the Gard region close to Provence. We recently spent a weekend there and we had a great time. Together with Aix en Provence, St Remy. Aigues Mortes, Avignon, Sommieres, Lagrasse, Carcassonne and Pezenas; Uzes really ought to be up there on your list of places to visit if you are planning a tour of the South of France. The best time to visit Uzes is during the Saturday morning market, when the whole comes alive with stallholders selling fresh local produce including truffles, herbs, olive oil and handmade preserves.
History of Uzes, France
Uzes grew propserous in the 16th century as a centre for textiles. At one point the town employeed 2,000 people in various silk factories. The town retains many of the old merchant houses, which are now protected monuments. Uzes was also the town of the Duchy of Uzes (a family very loyal to the French monarchy - so loyal in fact, 21 Dukes died fighting various battles on behalf of the French Kings down the years!). Despite going into exile after the French revolution, the family got some of their property back under the Restauration and the family still owns the chateau with its colourful roof right smack bang in the middle of the town. During the Religious wars in France during the 16th century, Uzes was the 5th largest protestant town in France - not a great thing to advertise when you are living in Catholic France! Going further back, Uzes, France was the source of the water that the Romans used to irrigate Nimes and which led to the building of the famous Pont du Gard aqueduct. Uzes later claim to fame was as the location of the Zan liquorice factory, now part of the Haribo company.
Uzes tourism, South France
In the centre of Uzes, South France there are lots of narrow streets with little boutiques arranged around the old Duchy. In the centre you will find a big square (Place aux Herbes), laid out with fountains and plenty of decent restaurants. Whilst we were visiting, there was a big Arts Fair going on - which really sums up Uzes - it is a big art loving town. Uzes and region have a bit of a reputation as a foodies paradise. The Saturday market in Uzes takes over most of the town and it is very good (as well as busy). You will also find a number of good restaurants in Uzes (although I have to admit, whenever I go to Uzes I always go to the same Gourmet Burger restaurant in the main square - yes I know it is shameless, but they are the best burgers in the South of France.
Uzes Haribo museum France
The other reason for coming to Uzes, France (especially if you have kids - or a sweet tooth) is to visit the Haribo sweet museum. I took my three little monkeys there and they absolutely loved. It was like Willy Wonkas Chocolate factory! There were plenty of free sweets, some boring exhibits of old sweet manufacture and more interesting intreactive displays about how they make the sweets today. The shop on the way out is something to behold. It cost me a small fortune.
Around Uzes, France.
I like the Gard. It is very picturesque. There are lots of tree lined country roads, vineyards and scenic hills covered in the famous Garrigue (stubbley bushes) and Olive tress. It makes driving through the area very pleasant. Near to Uzes you have Nimes, the Pont du Gard , Avignon, Anduze and to the north, the very picturesque Gorges d'Ardeche (with its famous site of Pont d'Arc).
Uzes weather during the year
The weather in Uzes is usually pretty good all year around. The summers are dry and hot with an average temperature of 30oC. I think the best time of year to vist Uzes is either from April to June or from September to October. During these periods you will find that the temperature is around a pleasant 18-25oC. During the winter months the temperature can dip down to 3-4oC at night, but usually the days are bright, with poweder blue skies for much of the winter period. During the day, even in December, you would expect to get around 11-14oC
Accommodation in Uzes, France
We actually stayed just outside Uzes, in the pretty village of St Maximim (in one of the Uzes gites listed on the site). St Maximim was perfect for us. The neighbours were very friendly and it had everything that we needed. Certainly, if you came here on holiday you would not be disappointed. Actually about 2 months ago an American couple landed up on our doorstep looking for a place to stay at short notice (they had been advised to see us by the local barman - these things happen in the South of France). Anyway we sent them up to Uzes to stay in Amanda's Uzes house rental. They loved it so much they booked it for a second week and invited friends down to stay with them. We have some great rental properties in and around Uzes, including large villas with pools, a cluster of three pretty apartments, gites and and more gites!
Where to next . . . ?
Find out more about thenearby Pont du Gard aqueduct bridge now an UNESCO World Heritage site
Read about the Best Museums and Art Galleries to visit across the South of France during your stay
Check out the Best markets in South France to visit
Contact Iain by Email or by phone +33 6 95 00 28 44 if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about visiting the South of France. If you liked the article then please share it with others using the Twitter, Facebook and G+ buttons below. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France.