Market days are a way of life in Provence. They originated in the 12th century, when farmers and craftsmen would come to nearest town to sell their wares, or engage in bartering agreements.
Not much has changed since those days - the market is still the place to come for locally grown produce of all shapes and sizes. Check our Events Calendar to find out specific dates and times of markets and other events throughout the year.
|Popular markets in Provence|
|Monday||Fontvieille, Isle sur Sorgue|
|Tuesday||Aix en Provence, Avignon, Gordes, Vaison la Romaine, Orange|
|Wednesday||Arles, Velleron, Avignon|
|Thursday||Aix en Provence, Isle sur Sorgue, Roussillon, Vaison la Romaine|
|Friday||Avignon, Chateauneuf du Pape|
|Saturday||Villeneuve les Avignon, Isle sur la Sorgue, Avignon (flower market)|
Types of market
You can expect to find two common types of market in the Nice region, the farmers market and the Provencal market.
The farmers market
This is where you'll find the fruit and vegetable of the local region on sale, plus meat from the butcher, bread and cakes from the baker, cheeses, herbs and spices. Anything to do with food really! This is the kind of market that all the larger villages offer. Prices tend to be higher than you would find in the supermarket, but the taste and the quality of market-bought goods simply does not compare. The climate in Provence lends itself so beautifully to farming that much of the produce in the market is organically grown and likely to have been picked the day before.
The Provençal market (Marché Provençal)
These markets tend to be much larger, with all the fresh produce described above, with the addition of clothing, fabrics (napkins and tablecloths are most popular), ceramics and other local crafts, costume jewellery, leather goods, the list goes on...
Flea markets are also popular - they are known as Marche aux Puces or La Brocante (secondhand goods). They tend to occur once a month at selected locations, usually on a Sunday.
Where & when
Markets generally open early from 08:00 and tend to finish around lunchtime (12:00 - 13:00) although there are quite a few evening markets and some, like the Velleron farmer's market, that are open all year.