The attractive town of Uzès is situated some 25-miles west of Avignon and 15-miles north-northeast of Nimes in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. It is near the impressive Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard (1.3m visitors a year).
What is the best way to get to Uzès?
Visitors to Uzès coming from outside France, including the US, the UK, Asia, and Australia are most likely to fly into Paris and then transfer from there. It's possible to combine a stay in Uzès with time in Paris or other French cities, by using France's high-speed TGV train routes or by hiring a car.
Uzès has no train station itself, so train passengers making use of France's excellent high-speed train network will need to get off the train at either Avignon (40 mn) or Nimes (25 mn), and then take a bus (60 mn) or a taxi the rest of the way.
The high-speed Méditerranée train from Paris to Marseilles leaves from Gare de Lyon station in Paris, with Lyon the major stop along the way. Visitors to Uzès will need to get off in Avignon or Nîmes. The journey time from Paris to Nimes is 2 hours and 55 minutes to Nîmes. It is possible to purchase tickets online in advance of the journey.
Getting to Uzès by plane
There are a variety of airports to choose from within a 60-mile radius of Uzès. The nearest airports are: Garons Airport in Nimes (18 miles), Avignon-Caumont (25 miles), and Méditerranée Airport in Montpellier (37 miles). A little further away but with more flights to choose from, the much larger Marseille Provence Airport is around 98 miles from Uzès. For direct Air Transat flights from Montreal, Quebec, and Toronto airports in Canada, Marseille Provence Airport is an ideal choice. It takes around 1.5 hours in a hired car and the journey passes through some of southern France's most attractive scenery, as well as the historic towns of Arles and Nimes.
A few trains run directly from Marseilles Airport to Avignon and there is a bus from Avignon to Uzès.
Tips for getting to Uzès
Those planning on driving to Uzès from Paris or other parts of Europe have a number of routes to choose from - one via Lyon, one via Toulouse and another via Clermont Ferrand. The latter route is worth considering as it takes motorists over the Norman Foster-designed Millau Viaduct, the world's tallest bridge.
French motorways are generally pleasant to drive on and are less congested than UK motorways. Be aware of motorway tolls, as well as the French speed limit, which in the Languedoc region is generally 130km/h but does occasionally drop to 110km/h.
For those driving to Uzès from Nimes, the quickest and most direct route is via the E52. For those in no particular hurry, taking the more scenic B21 affords some impressive views of the surrounding countryside.
Why Uzès is worth visiting
One of the best-preserved towns in all of the South of France, with excellent examples of Renaissance architecture, Uzès is unpretentious and cultivated, with a strong feeling of community. With approximately 9,000 inhabitants it is a relatively quiet town. There are several elegant, superbly renovated little boutique hotels, and some classy restaurants run by world-renowned chefs.
A sophisticated but low-key little town, Uzès has always had a reputation for tolerance and very civilized behavior. During the 5th century, when Jews began to settle there, including many Jewish scholars and a community of the persecuted Cathars, they were accepted by the locals without a fuss. Uzès' Saturday market is popular with locals and visitors alike, who can enjoy browsing local produce, handmade souvenirs and cloths made in the region.
Catherine Lees is the author behind this post. She is lucky enough to be a regular traveler, and loves getting the opportunity to explore and learn about new destinations and cultures. To learn more visit her Google+