Visit Riez (Provence, France)
Riez is a small Provencal town situated below the hill of Saint-Maxime in the lavender fields of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, between Valensole and Moustiers. Riez is officially listed as a 'village of character' and falls within the Verdon Natural Regional Park.
The origins of Riez date back to the gauls, when it was an important regional centre, followed by the Romans who established a town here in the first century AD after they had conquered the region. These early settlements were on the fertile plain which lies below the medieval village we see today, which had relocated to the nearby hill because the location was more easily defended
The picturesque village itself is quite compact, with attractive old stone and pastel painted houses lining the narrow streets of the 14th century heart of Riez, with a wide selection of 'artisan gift' and pottery shops.
You will also see various traditional provencal fountains as you explore, a traditional public washhouse and various carved stone decorations on the house fronts. Parts of the ancient fortifications can also be seen, including the clocktower and two original entry gateways at the Porte Aiguiere and Porte Saint-Sols.
There are two particular monuments to remind us how long the town has been established here. The first is the four corinthian columns, all that remains from a Roman temple to Apollo (the 'Temple of Riez') that once stood here. (Archaeological excavations have also discovered a substantial thermal baths here.)
The second ancient monument to see in Riez is the ancient baptistery, possibly 5th century in origins, and is all that remains of a very early cathedral complex that once stood here. Square on the outside, the interior is octagonal with eight columns supporting the roof dome.
Places close to Riez
You can ascend the hill for lovely views across the surrounding countryside and to see the Chapel Sainte-Maxime.
In addition to numerous small villages to explore nearby (be sure to visit the very scenic Moustiers 10 kilometres north-east of here) and the splendid scenery, the main attractions close to Riez are the Lake of Sainte-Croix and associated leisure activities and the stunning Gorges du Verdon to the east.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Riez, Digne-les-Bains, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence, 4500 || GPS: latitude 43.818889, longitude 6.093611
Map of Riez & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Riez, France
- Clos de Villeneuve - remarkable garden (9km)
- Lac de Sainte-Croix - site of natural beauty (10km)
- Moustiers - most beautiful village (11km)
- Verdon - regional natural parc (11km)
- Gorges du Verdon - grand site of france (23km)
- Prieuré Notre Dame (Ganagobie) - religious monument (25km)
- Jardins du château de Sauvan - remarkable garden (29km)
- Jardins du prieuré de Salagon - remarkable garden (29km)
- Tourtour - most beautiful village (30km)
- Lac de Castillon - site of natural beauty (36km)
Market days in Riez: Regular market(s) are held in Riez each Wednesday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Riez (Francais)