This pretty, chic, fairly upmarket little town is really quite stunning. We parked up about 100 meters from the centre and strolled into town for the afternoon. A beautiful main Square with rustic Archways all leading off to hidden alleyways, its the main focal point in town. The streets are lined with unique stylish boutique shops and upmarket fashionable cafes. We stopped for a glass of wine to soak up a bit of the atmosphere in a little bar opposite a pretty church before winding our way back through the streets to the van.
We decided to spend the night in the car park of Uzes and the following morning we woke up early to explore the twice weekly market in the main square where they were selling all the speciality local produce, including meats, fish, cheese, honey and nuts just to name a few! We enjoyed wondering around and sampling a few delights before making a few small purchases, a lovely morning spent in a picturesque beautiful town.
The next destination was a short afternoon stop but really deserved a bit more. The attractive walled city of Avignon in Provence. We parked the van outside the walls and enjoyed a nice cycle over the bridge and into the wonderfully conserved ramparts that surround another typical French Historic centre. A very pretty place, larger in size than a few other towns we had visited in the area but still retaining its charm with a lovely old town.
The main attraction, and understandable why, is the Paleis De Papas, The biggest Gothic Palace in the world! This Immense building looked amazingly foreboding against the dark stormy sky and the weather really added to the look of the old, almost spooky looking Palace. We were amazed by the sheer scale of it and cycled around the grounds in ore. After a short steep cycle through the surrounding gardens, we were rewarded with superb views over the city, countryside and adjoining rivers as well as the unique, strange half bridge just outside the city walls.
The little town of Arles was our next little stop over on our drive through Provence. We were led to believe from the lonely planet that Van Gogh spent most of his life here and so this was the main reason for our visit, but after a little more research, we learnt that he only actually spent a year here. In that year, he was very productive with his art and also he had his famous ´break down` here where he cut off part of his ear and gave it to a prostitute! The town has a Van Gogh trail you can follow and visit numerous places where his inspiration for many of his paintings came from, one such location we stumbled upon which was typically named ‘The Van Gogh Cafe’
Also in Arles, we were quite impressed by the 2 tier, 20 thousand capacity Amphitheatre, which is around 2000 years old, and has been very well restored, definitely something not to be missed. We enjoyed our cycle around the pretty old town ducking and diving between the alleyways before heading back to the van.
We spent a pleasant few hours in the city of Aix En Provence. Arriving quite late, but we still had time to cycle around and enjoy this full of charm and character old city. As it was Sunday, there was a huge Antique market taking over the main area in town and we wondered along catching the sellers as they were starting to pack away their stools.
The streets were bustling with students and tourist visiting this pretty city and the many restaurants and cafes were doing good business with people enjoying drinks and dining on this lovely summer afternoon. Many of the Restaurants chose very colourful table cloths for their outside terraces that really added to the charm and the prettiness of the place.
We continued exploring and came across the ‘Place Forum De Cardeurs’ a large, really attractive square with beautiful Architecture and a lively atmosphere with its many bars and restaurants. The square was enclosed with colourful buildings, all shapes and sizes in the heart of the old town and seemed like a delightful place to socialise and enjoy the amazing decor of some of the inviting bars and restaurants.
Our last stop on the way to Italy was an unexpected one as we stumbled across the enchanting little town of Entrevaux. On first sight we immediately pulled over as it looked amazing. A fast flowing river cascading in front of the high walls which surrounded the unique little town, the only visible entrance into the town was an old stone bridge across the river that led to a medieval draw bridge. Behind the town, perched on a mountain there`s a castle with its ramparts zigzagging down a steep cliff. The whole place is really quite spectacular.
We enjoyed getting lost for a while around the narrow medieval alleyways, where the buildings are almost touching, it reminded us of someplace from a fairy tale, like we had suddenly stepped back in time, the fact that the streets were almost completely vacant of people added to the uniqueness of the place even more. This truly was a fantastic, unexpected find for us and as it was getting late we decided to stay the night and save the coast and onto Italy until the morning.
Coordinates to free park up; (43.9491 6.81281)