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What is your favorite town/village in France?

Pauline

Forums Admin
Post on this thread with some information and photos of your favorite place in France. I thought this might be a fun exercise to make us think about the places we love. It will also be a help to travelers trying to decide where to go next. Tell us why you love this place.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
My current favorite town in France is Uzes! In the Languedoc (Gard department), north of Nimes, west of Avignon. It is a small town, population around 5,000. Chris told me how much she liked the town on a day trip several years ago, so Steve and I and Chris spent a week there last May. Steve and I liked it so much that we went back for 1 1/2 weeks in October. I am sure we will be back there again soon.

There are many walking/hiking trails in this area. They are well signposted, the trails are good and you can buy good hiking books (in French) and maps for the area. This photo is looking back to Uzes from a hiking trail.

uzes-4565.jpg


The town is beautiful with a nice sized, mostly pedestrian, medieval center. The town is just the right mix of upscale tourist destination and strong local culture mixed with old hippy roots. There is a very good natural foods shop. Many good small independent shops. Great cafes and bakeries. A good selection of restaurants.

The Saturday market is huge and a bit too popular (very crowded) but still lots of fun. The smaller Wednesday market is more "bio" - organic. Very good organic olive oil is produced in the area and I love the local olives - picholine.

This photo was take from the Medieval Garden tower looking over Uzes. The green tree tops are the Place aux Herbes, the main square.

uzes2-6842.jpg

The wonderful Pont du Gard is a 15 minute drive away. The Pont du Gard is part of the Roman aqueduct for Nimes. The aqueduct, built around 50AD, was 50 km long and carried water from the a spring in Uzes to the city of Nimes. It was in use up to the 6th century. The Pont du Gard carried the water across the River Gardon. The three tiered bridge is 360 meters long and was technical masterpiece in its time. You can visit the start of the aqueduct just outside of Uzes and several remains in the countryside.

IMG_3717.jpg


I like the size of the town. People are friendly and not in a hurry. The town is very walkable and you can head out onto hiking trails right from town. Parking is easy. It is a fun town to be in, to sit in a cafe and watch the action. The weather is probably too hot in the summer, but lovely in spring and fall.

The surrounding countryside reminds me a bit of New Mexico - big blue sky, fields of small trees and shrubs (garrigue).
 

Cameron

500+ Posts
Because we live in the countryside, we like towns/cities where we can walk and/or use public transportation instead of driving.

Aside from Paris, our favorite is Antibes. The little village has a great market, beautiful views, good restaurants (though I find they lean more toward Italian influence), train link to other coastal villages (or to Aix, Paris, etc.). We like the walkable size and the friendliness of the locals. It's amazing to have French couples strike up a conversation in French and believe we understand every word! The beaches are great and there are several from which to choose. There is a nice modern promenade with benches to watch the fun, or go to the Vieux Vielle and walk the ramparts. Good hiking out to Cap d'Antibes around the coastal path or spend an hour or so wandering through a botanical garden. It's quite laid-back compared to a few other places we've been. Always feel totally safe and if you don't believe me, take a walk to the train station at 5:00am in the morning and watch the streets being scrubbed clean as the shops take in their fresh foods for the day.

A few glimpses of Antibes on my blog. There would be more stories, but my husband demanded that I not publicize Antibes too much and ruin it for us!

Cameron
 

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